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STARBASE offers after school program

STARBASE offers after school program

Peter Holden, Hanscom STARBASE director, assists a fifth grade student during an activity at the STARBASE Academy after first opening. The STARBASE Academy here recently announced that a free weekly after-school program at the Hanscom Middle School will take place for children in sixth and seventh grade beginning Feb. 25 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Officials at the STARBASE Academy here recently announced that a free weekly after-school program at the Hanscom Middle School will take place for children in sixth and seventh grade beginning Feb. 25 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

The program will combine science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, activities for students in middle school.

“The after-school club is called STARBASE 2.0 and will extend the engagement of STARBASE 1.0, which is our Hanscom-based program here for fifth graders in school districts across Massachusetts,” said Dr. Peter Holden, STARBASE Academy director.

The new after-school club will explore computer-aided design, foster teamwork, teach technology skills and promote career awareness.

“Children will work on computer-aided design and learn how CAD could assist with planning for missions to Mars, putting out forest fires or help with a rescue mission,” he said. “Then their task would be to assemble a vehicle that goes with this mission and tailor that vehicle so that it is able to accomplish the mission and solve problems.”

The after-school program at the middle school is the first of its kind for the Hanscom-based STARBASE program.

“This is something that we hope will grow and become an institutional part of our program,” Holden said. “A key component to the program is through a team mentoring approach.”

Anyone interested in registering for the Hanscom after-school club may contact Holden at pholden@mass-starbase.org or 781-862-4015. The program is open to 15 Hanscom Middle School students on a first-come, first-served basis.

Similar programs will take place at the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster in Leominster, Mass., and at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury, Mass.

Holden said Yawkey Boys and Girls Club is in search of volunteer STEM mentors. The Yawkey Boys and Girls Club will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. beginning Feb. 27 and continuing through April.

Boys and Girls Club and STARBASE staff will handle teaching and organization.

“Mentors are needed to be supportive role models, encouraging the students to have fun, achieve and show good character,” he said.

Anyone interested in volunteering at STARBASE 2.0 after-school programs in Roxbury may contact Holden.

The STARBASE Academy at Hanscom is a free STEM enrichment program supporting students, teachers and school districts in Massachusetts.