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Minnesota National Guard
STARBASE Minnesota celebrates 50,000 students served

Starbase Minnesota ST PAUL, Minn - 50,000 students have walked through STARBASE Minnesota's doors since it opened in 1993 STARBASE continues to educate and inspire youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through exciting, innovative programming at the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing

Muhamed "Robo Knight" Come, a 4th grader at Frost Lake Elementary school, became the 50,000th STARBASE student to graduate from the program on April 28, 2015 He and his 80 classmates were surprised with virtual fireworks and balloons falling from the ceiling marking this milestone

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Wong, the volunteer guest speaker at the event heard from students as they described how they designed, 3D printed and tested their rocket prototypes and learned how to program rovers as they planned their journey to Mars In return, Lt. Col. Wong shared how he uses STEM in the Minnesota Air National Guard and how important education is to achieving goals

"As a partner with STARBASE, it is important to the Minnesota National Guard to build strong connections with students, schools, parents and our community that strengthen students' academic achievement and motivation in STEM I am excited to help prepare the next generation of STEM-literate kids," said Wong, the 133rd maintenance squadron commander

Commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing, Col James Johnson and Vice Wing Commander, Col Loren Hubert attended the graduation ceremony, along with STARBASE Minnesota board member and founder, retired Brig Gen Roger Delgehausen

"I had the pleasure of seeing the very first graduating class of STARBASE in October of 1993 Now, over 21 years later, seeing the 50,000th graduating student was remarkable and so rewarding," said Delgehausen

Tim "Igenous" Swanson, a STARBASE instructor said, "It is hard to grasp the idea of 50,000 students TCF bank stadium has a capacity of roughly 50,000 During the ceremony today, I began to imagine going to a Gopher football game and every fan in the stadium was a former STARBASE student Unbelievable! This is an amazing achievement for STARBASE, and I am honored to be a part of it!"

As a program of the Department of Defense, STARBASE is supported by the Minnesota National Guard who provides access to an exciting, technology-rich aerospace environment, in-kind services and volunteers STARBASE also receives support from the State of Minnesota and local STEM corporations

STARBASE serves six area school districts with 20 to 25-hour STEM programming during the school year A three-day summer program is provided for children of members of the Minnesota National Guard entering grades 4-6

For more information visit: http://wwwstarbasemnorg/programs2/summer/?2015

April 30, 2015
by Capt Winnie Tan
133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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