A Letter from Sharon Cooley, Principal of Indian Hollow Elementary School, Frederick County Public Schools, Virginia

The Winchester DoD STARBASE program has made a huge impact on the fifth grade students in my school and in other schools in the Frederick County and Winchester area. The program provides much needed access to quality STEM instruction which is so valuable in preparing our students for future education and career opportunities.

While at the program, our students have opportunity to collaboratively solve problems and explore scientific, mathematical, and engineering concepts using various technologies and equipment that they do not have available within the school system. This excites and engages students, leaving lasting impressions that help develop interests and skills for future careers.

As a Title I school, many of my students do not have opportunities to experience activities of this kind without access to a program such as this. The skills learned in this program teach, reinforce, and enhance the standards of learning in science and math.

I have spent time at the DoD STARBASE facility every time my students have participated. The quality of the instructional program is superb. The staff is always patient, helpful, and professional, making this a meaningful and valuable experience for my students.

In addition to accessing the program at the DoD STARBASE facility, the staff from the Winchester DoD STARBASE has been willing to participate in outreach at special events at my school. Most recently they participated in a math-science night by bringing and sharing a STEM activity with my students and their families. This type of outreach allows families (many of which have limited knowledge about STEM) to experience and broaden their understanding of science and engineering.

I sincerely hope every effort is made to continue to fund this quality program. The students we have today will become the scientists and engineers of the future provided they are exposed to the opportunities available to them. The Winchester DoD STARBASE enhances those opportunities. I hope we can continue to send students to this program for many years to come.




Sharon Cooley,

Principal, Indian Hollow Elementary School, FCPS, VA

Posted September 2018