Spring 2016 happenings at STARBASE Vermont

February 19, 2016


The STARBASE program at the Rutland site is exciting and action-packed this spring. We have expanded our collection of materials to include a Phantom 2 Vision UAV, replica Apollo space suit, Nitinol Wire, and LEGO EV3 robots!

The Phantom 2 Vision Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is an amazing way to view rocket launches. This UAV has a high resolution camera with a stabilizer to take clear shots and videos from above. It’s able to travel up past the clouds where real-time video can be watched on an iPod. We have some great footage of rocket launches using this piece of technology.


The recent addition of an early replica space suit from the Apollo Missions allows students to get a sense of what real astronaut gear felt like by trying it on and moving around in it.

Dressed as an astronaut

We have two Nitinol wires that have been manipulated using nano-technology so that they reform into their original shape – even when twisted and bent into something else! One wire recoils when heated and the other straightens. All you do is add heat and voila! The name Nitinol comes from the metals it’s made of and the lab where this family of alloys was discovered NiTi (Nickel, Titanium) NOL (Naval Ordinance Laboratory).


We are very excited to add the latest LEGO EV3 robots into our curriculum. These robots are easier to maneuver. This is because the EV3 robots uses a ball rather than a wheel in the rear. This has led to a noticeable increase in the success of the student robot missions. We are also looking forward to using the extension kits for both the EV3 and NXT robots.


Spring at the South Burlington site this year brings with it a variety of transformations that are sure to capture the imaginations our eager participants, including new robots, holographic maps, and the launch of our new STARBASE 2.0 Program.

We have also upgraded to the new LEGO EV3 robots and our students are enjoying the benefits of the improved technology these robots have to offer. Students are able to complete their missions with greater ease and a higher success rate. An added bonus is the cool look of the new robots which were built to resemble the robot from the movie WALL-E.

Wall-E Style Robot

Holographic maps are another exciting addition to our program. The visual representation is 3- dimensional, providing a life-like appearance. These maps allow our students to get a 360-degree view of the area instead of the flat perspective provided by ordinary 2D maps. Students can look over, under and around to get a better sense of the topography.

Holographic Map