A Letter from Major General Matthew T. Quinn

Educating our nation's youth is the biggest investment we as a country can make. Our partnership between the Montana National Guard and DoD STARBASE is centered on that investment. Montana DoD STARBASE locations, Fort Harrison (Helena) and Great Falls, have served nearly 15,000 students since the Helena site was established in 2007. STARBASE has hosted students from nearly 15 school districts throughout Montana to include urban and rural communities as well as public and private institutions.

DoD STARBASE programs and staff are dedicated to inspiring students using STEM curriculum as a vehicle. We have expanded the DoD STARBASE classroom to Montana's American Indian reservations by hosting week long summer camps throughout the state. Furthermore, the DoD STARBASE team provides week long summer camps for the children of our Montana Guardsmen and women, strengthening the partnership between DoD STARBASE and our Montana National Guard community.

The DoD STARBASE classroom is unique in that it is centered on hands-on learning. Students are taught lifelong skills by being actively involved in their education. Students visit the Montana Highway Patrol communication center, the MTANG Combined Support Maintenance Shop in Helena, the MANG Fire Station, C130 support facilities in Great Falls, and tour C130 aircraft. Military and civilian volunteers assist the students in a variety of capacities.

Students are challenged. They are allowed to fail and learn from their mistakes. Students who are low achieving or had behavioral issues in their traditional classrooms thrive at DoD STARBASE. They are exposed to real world role models and occupations that utilize STEM skills. They work individually and in teams, perform experiments, program robots, record and interpret data, and direct powerful CAD software. Teachers and students consistently report major improvements in enthusiasm for math, science and engineering once students leave. DoD STARBASE sparks students' interest in STEM and builds an understanding of STEM careers, military and civilian, available to them.

Through the DoD STARBASE program, students who may not excel in a traditional classroom setting or students may not have the opportunity to explore STEM are given that opportunity. DoD STARBASE expands students' knowledge of STEM and empowers them to pursue STEM careers. The program leaves a lasting impact on the students and is a great asset to our Montana youth.



Matthew T. Quinn

Major General, Montana National Guard

Director of Military Affairs

Posted September 2018