A Letter From Major General Donald P. Dunbar

As the Adjutant General of Wisconsin, I am proud to sponsor the DoD STARBASE program in our state’s urban center, Milwaukee. This year, more than 1,600 students in Milwaukee will take part in the DoD STARBASE Wisconsin STEM odyssey. During their five visits to DoD STARBASE , students will participate in 25 hours of the most  stimulating STEM activities of the academic year. They will program robots, build bridges, design restraints, explore fluid dynamics, practice Newton’s laws, and learn computer-aided design (CAD) using state-of-the-art technology.

Milwaukee Public Schools have approximately 80,000 students, including a booming fifth-grade population of 5,000 students, and 80% of these fifth-graders qualify for free or reduced lunch. Since DoD STARBASE Wisconsin opened its doors in April 2012, it has served 750 Milwaukee youth. Over 90% of these students were African-American. The Wisconsin Air National Guard is honored to sponsor this dynamic educational opportunity to students historically underrepresented in STEM fields.

The Department of Defense has vested interest in the development of this nation’s future innovators, and is uniquely suited to serve as a trailblazer of stakeholder participation in America’s STEM education efforts.  By leveraging its national infrastructure and engaging its highly-skilled military personnel with our national treasure–our youth, DoD STARBASE exposes children to exciting real-world applications of science and math.

Raising American students’ interest and achievement in STEM is imperative. There are national and international implications, not only in terms of cultivating the next generation of civilian thinkers and problem solvers, but also in terms of helping those students seeking a military career acquire a firm technical education foundation.

It is a privilege to sponsor DoD STARBASE Wisconsin. It is my hope and expectation that students will leave our program eager to continue exploring STEM fields, and as these young people grow, we will see a return on investment in increased academic achievement and technically competent work and service ready young adults.

Donal P Dunbar, Maj Gen, WI ANG

The Adjutant General