A Letter From Carrie P. Duits PhD.

To Whom It May Concern:

The culminating experience for our elementary science program is attending DoD STARBASE. Students, teachers and volunteers have raved about the hands-on, powerful learning, and high level thinking that goes into each lesson. Students are highly engaged, while using critical and creative thinking skills to tackle problems. Students also experience a true sense of working collaboratively as young scientists in the field. DoD STARBASE is a program that will stay with students for a lifetime.


As our students move into middle school and high school, they continue a love for science and math. We have many students participating in STEM-related classes and clubs, with outstanding results at local, regional and state competitions.  Our assessment data also suggests a strength in post-secondary aspirations in STEM fields.


When determining how to move forward with the new science standards, the ideals of DoD STARBASE launched us into designing a science curriculum in partnership with a local science institute, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. We met with our elementary principals and representatives from Pierce Cedar Creek Institute to explore ideas based on one central question, “How can we design a world-class science program, K-5, that will be as unique, authentic, engaging and powerful as DoD STARBASE?” STARBASE became more than a culminating experience; it became a model for learning science in our district, K-5.


Students of all ages love science with the DoD STARBASE philosophy of minds-on, hands-on learning. The Hastings Area School System continues to develop our partnership program with labs, projects and problem solving. Science education fulfills the natural curiosity that young students have about their world. Through hands-on experiences, students discover, make connections, and remember their learning. More importantly, students become thirsty for more. We are growing both science education and a passion for learning. Many thanks to DoD STARBASE for leading us to this new design for science education in our district. Our students are becoming “Science Strong” with much gratitude to DoD STARBASE.



Carrie P. Duits, Ph.D.


Posted August 2018