STARBASE holds Military Kids Camp, educates children in STEM fields

Capt. Blake Bennett, the 167th environmental manager, shows STARBASE Kids campers how to check ground elevation and slope using a level gun, Wednesday, July 30 at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Nathanial Taylor.)

Capt. Blake Bennett, the 167th environmental manager, shows STARBASE Kids campers how to check ground elevation and slope using a level gun, Wednesday, July 30 at the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg, W.Va. (Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Nathanial Taylor.)

Martinsburg W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing STARBASE didn't take the summer off. Instead, it hosted a week long Military Kids Camp, July 28 through Aug 1for students to stay engaged in learning during their summer break from school.

The camp was open to children ages 5-14 who either have a military family member or are sponsored by a military member.

According to Sherra Triggs, program manager for the Martinsburg STARBASE, Kids Camp is just one of the summer camp events that STARBASE has put on since being established at the wing in 2003.

While Kids Camp follows the general mission of STARBASE curriculum, to educate kids in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a fun and friendly environment, the curriculum is different than what is taught during the regular school year, Triggs said.

"We try to make it even more engaging than during the normal school year," Triggs said.

The camp was separated into two age groups to allow older students to learn more advanced concepts. Campers ages 5-8 learned about things such as team building, basic computer skills and the solar system while participating in experiments and games. The older group, which was made up of campers between the ages of 9-14, learned about robotic programming, computer engineering, basic flight principals and much more.

While all STARBASEs share the same purpose, each is a little different, Triggs said.

"Not all STARBASEs have a summer camp," Triggs said. "Each site is a little different from one another during the summer. We are not mandated as to what we have to do in the summer, so some have a camp [with] day activates and some take the summer to revamp and prepare for the coming school year."