STARBASE Academy explores extreme weather

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The STARBASE Academy here hosted base children ages 9 to 11 for an Extreme Weather and Survival summer camp Aug. 20 through 24.

Throughout the week, students learned about the impact of weather and heard from military and civilian weather predictors about meteorology.

“This week the kids have been working on extreme weather and survival which is a theme most of these kids find exciting,” said Peter Holden, STARBASE Academy director. “This camp provided each of them some understanding of those scary weather events.”

In addition to activities at the STARBASE Academy, campers took field trips to the 66th Civil Engineering Division Fire Department and Boston MedFlight Center to learn about emergency responses.

Pamela Gardner from WBZ in Boston spoke to the group about being a meteorologist. .

“I’m thrilled I was invited to come and talk to the group as they were so engaged during the presentation,” she said. “I could tell they were very enthusiastic about science, math and weather.”

The children also heard from Maj. Nessa Hock, a weather officer at Hanscom.

“The kids here did a great job learning about severe weather and how it impacts a person on the ground and how it impacts the environment around them,” said Hock, chief of Weather Integration for Battle Management. “It’s fantastic that they were able to gain as much knowledge as they did in a short amount of time.”

Holden said the guest speakers provided the students an opportunity to learn about the career from those who work in weather.

“They represent not only experts in the field, but potential mentors, people they would look up to,” he said. “The students learned a great deal this week.”

Attendees at the weeklong camp will be entering the third through sixth grades this school year.

“I had fun making the louver on the computers and making the weather instruments,” said Christopher Bailey, 9, a summer camp attendee. “These are useful to show which way the wind is blowing. It was fun making them.”

Another student, Zoey Burges Vazquez, 9, discussed what she enjoyed about attending the summer camp.

“I enjoyed learning about clouds because I now know that cumulonimbus means a storm cloud,” she said.

STARBASE is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Enrichment Academy founded by the Department of Defense. The Hanscom-based academy opened in November 2012.

During the school year, STARBASE provides challenging, hands-on programs for fifth-grade students throughout the Boston area.

To learn more about the Hanscom-based STARBASE Academy, call 781-862-4015 or 781-862-4016 or visit