By Ed Barker, Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs
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PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- Veterans of the Navy's Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program, STARBASE-Atlantis, were offered advanced challenges by attending the level two program at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola July 25-28 and Aug. 1-4.
"Level two offers open enrollment for kids that have already completed their initial training at STARBASE with their school, or during the summer," said Donna Eichling, director of the STARBASE-Atlantis program at NAS Pensacola. "It builds on the same STEM fundamentals, but changes the concentration from air and aerodynamics to water and hydrodynamics. We also include navigation and mapping, plus the tours are expanded to include the Air Traffic Control School."
Classroom projects for level two include designing and testing a mini-submarine that can descend and resurface under its own power. The kids also return to rocket building, but this time their rocket is powered by air and water instead of a rocket motor.
"The challenges we give the kids in level two are similar to their first outing, but they are given a lot more latitude in design and construction," said Greg Adams, Starbase instructor. "They have over twenty construction materials to choose from in building their submarine. We tell them what it should do in the water, but not how to design or build it."
The summer program's open enrollment attracts students that might not otherwise have a chance to attend STARBASE-Atlantis. Avionics Electrical Technician 1st Class Paul Lee, a Coast Guard instructor at the Naval Air Technical Training Center, watched his son test his completed submarine.
"We home-school our kids, and STARBASE gives them an excellent opportunity to get hands-on experience in science and math in a classroom situation," said Lee. "Our daughter thought science was hard before attending STARBASE last summer. Now it's one of her favorite subjects. From what I've seen today with the submarine competition, I'm sure my son feels the same way."