For Teachers



    Hands-on activities, such as robotics programming, 3D CAD, and engineering design, as well as educational tours of military facilities fill the STARBASE program with hours of fun, inspiring learning opportunities.



    NGSS 5 PS2-1

    Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
    For rocketry, Pop goes the Fizz and Ocean of air students identify forces that affect rockets, canisters, and air molecules the primary of which is gravity. Students identify that other planets and celestial bodies can have gravity. Students reason that gravity can be affected by mass. Students support their reasoning by identifying the downward pull of an object to the center of the earth. Students further support their reasoning by citing evidence of rockets and canisters returning to earth, the earth’s atmosphere staying in place, and marshmallows remaining in place despite being in a vacuum.


    NGSS 5 PS1-1

    Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.
    During Ocean of Air, students weigh six marshmallows prior to removing the air with the use of a bell jar apparatus. Students re-weigh the marshmallows, finding that they have less weight; it is concluded that air has weight. Students use atmospheric pressure bars to explore the pressure of air as it is applied to the surface of earth.

    In Molecular Models, students investigate the periodic table of elements. Students build H2O, CH4, H2, NH4, O2, CO2 molecule models. While using the models, students investigate the lattice structure of H2O (water) as a solid, and change the structure to a liquid and a gas. Students conclude that mass has not changed.

    The nanotechnology lesson allows students to sort objects using standard measurements which helps put the object’s size into perspective since many of them are too small to see. Students observe properties of matter that are affected by the atomic structure and which are not immediately observable to the naked eye.


    NGSS 5 PS1 -3

    Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
    In Nanotechnology, students identify size as a property. Students sort macro, micro, and nano sized objects based on measurement. Students identify hydrophobic/philic, luster, color, and texture as physical properties. Students conduct an experiment with two types of sands with physical properties that are the same and that are different. Students characterize the differences by writing and drawing observations about the sand. Students observe hydrophobic material and hydrophilic cloth and NiTi wire (memory wire) in a demo.

    Students notice not all technology is electronic. Students will work with computers and robots as electronic technology.


    NGSS 3-5 1,2,3

    Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

    Students are posed with the challenge of designing a prototype for a shuttle system that will crash land on the moon. They have constraints on time, materials, and cost. Students will work as a team. Students produce a labeled diagram of their final design and may submit multiple designs during the design process. Students construct the prototype using only the materials provided and staying under budget. They then test the prototype and reflect (verbal or written) on how to change their design and what designs had qualities that worked well.

    Students use the CAD program provided by PTC to engineer a part for a space station, develop a space station, and put together a UAV in sequential order using program specific constraints and test them during construction.

    Students use software to program a robot to perform specific instructions in order to complete a mission. Students conduct research to plan their mission. Students attempt to complete the mission. Students identify problems with their program and variables that might affect their program. Students correct program in multiple trials in order to meet the criteria of the mission.



    Students will have extensive review or introduction to Base 10, Fractions and Measurement and some Geometry as part of the Common Core. Activities such as Nanotechnology, Circuit Board Geometry, Pop Goes the Fizz, Mapping, and Robotics will have students practicing the standards in the ways listed below.

    Students review ones, tens, and hundreds place values as well as tenths and hundredths when precisely measuring distances, volumes, and weight.For Nanotechnology, students fill in a table with measurements of different objects expressed in only nanometers (one billionth, 1/1,000,000,000, 0.0000000001 of a meter). Students use vocab, decimals, fractions, and exponents with metric units to compare sizes of certain objects.

    Students round to the hundredths or tenths place when measuring distance, volume, and weight in the above activities. For Nanotechnology, students convert measurements of objects into nanometers. During mapping, students use several two-step measurement problems to convert horizontal scale and vertical scale to actual distances using a map. Students recognize that volume is something that solid figures have as well as liquids. Students use rulers to measure solid volume. Students use ordered pairs to create random points in all four quadrants. Students focus on the third quadrant to complete a circuit with two dimensional geometric shapes and guided oral directions using ordered pairs from a peer.


    Students who visit STARBASE are introduced to many specific jobs and career fields that use the skills they are asked to practice at STARBASE. Additionally STARBASE invites guest speakers to the program who can talk about how they use Science, Technology, Engineering, and/ or Math in their job. Speakers also discuss personal interests and goals in order to be employed in their chosen field. This helps students feel empowered to “Launch their Dreams” by giving them the vocabulary for their interests and a role model to admire.
  • Want to do more with your class?


    Please excuse the mess! This section is under development, but please feel free to take a look and complete these activities with your class. 

    Feedback is welcome! Please reach out after completing these activities


    • “The children LOVE Starbase. Next year’s students are already asking me about it. The older children (previous participants) talk with me constantly about our
      Starbase experience.”

      4th Grade Teacher
      Mt. Holly, Vermont
    • “Our students were very engaged and enthusiastic.”

      J.J. Flynn
    • “The students love it—it’s the best educational experience they’ve ever had!”

      5th-6th Grade Teacher
      Proctor, VT
    • “As usual my students rave about STARBASE. They love the instructors and activities.”

      5th Grade Teacher
      Salisbury, Vermont
    • “Students spent time [after STARBASE] analyzing how they would improve upon what they had done that day and how they would make changes if they had another chance.”

      Robin McCormick
      Grandmother of a 5th grader
      St. Francis Xavier School
    • “The students were consistently excited and engaged in STARBASE.”

      5th Grade Teacher
      Burlington, VT
    • “The lessons and activities [at STARBASE] reinforced many standards in Math and Science we had already been learning, and there was lots of new learning too. The technology and hands on experimentation/ engineering increased our students opportunities for active STEM work.”

      Tracy Garland
      Orchard School, So. Burlington, VT
    • “I think STARBASE is perfect; well thought out and expertly delivered!”

      Lolly Bliss
      Orchard School, So. Burlington, VT
    • “Every minute of the STARBASE experience is rich with both academic and social skills. At the same time that the students are exploring an F16 jet and learning about aerodynamics they are also being taught the social skills necessary to be part of a group and to be a guest outside of school. It’s a well-rounded experience that not only creates better, more excited scientists, but also more successful community members.”

      Denette Locke
      STEM Teacher Leader
      Fletcher, VT

    STARBASE Vermont has an afterschool program for middle school students who loved STARBASE and who are ready for a new challenge! STARBASE 2.0 has launched two pilot programs at John F. Kennedy School in Winooski and Hunt Middle School in Burlington. Starbase 2.0 has invited several students and mentors to be part of the after-school program. The program features EV3 robots, rockets, TinkerCAD and fun science experiments! Want to join in the fun? Ask about invitations for your student or volunteer to become a mentor by contacting “Ladybug” at today!


    STARBASE accepts any applications for primarily 5th grade classes. Schools that best match our mission requirements and who have teachers that extend the program through their efforts at school are given the highest consideration. Applications for a class to attend need to have all fields filled in, it must be signed by the principal, and turned in to STARBASE via fax or email by May 1st 2017 in order to be considered for the 2017-2018 school year. Applications will be considered on a first-come first-serve basis. Teachers can download the forms here or request the forms via email. Selected classes are notified of their acceptance at the end of May which includes a list of dates their class will be attending STARBASE the following school year. Teachers must submit an application for each class they would like to have attend.

    Please click Download Application for your closest STARBASE VT site to start the application process. Contact us with any further questions you may have.

  • Burlington 18-19 ApplicationDownload
  • Burlington Required Forms Download
  • Rutland Required Forms Download
  • Rutland Site 18-19 Class ApplicationDownload