Wholeheartedly endorsed by the Portsmouth Public School System, STARBASE Victory is the only public/private STARBASE partnership in the United States. Our program is an innovative result of STARBASE programs originally conceived as a community relations project for the Department of Defense. The first STARBASE program was created in 1989 with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan. Eventually, there were over 40 federally funded STARBASE programs operating throughout the United States and Puerto before budget cuts impacted their funding. These early STARBASE programs proved to be innovative and effective in addressing poor preparation in math and science, lack of personal direction, and drug abuse.
When the only federal program in Hampton Roads (a Norfolk program begun in 1996) was no longer sponsored, Executive Director Bill Hayden founded STARBASE Victory. STARBASE has been serving Portsmouth since 2002. Today, over 3600 students experience STARBASE during the school year and a full schedule of summer camps brings many of them back for extended curriculum.
The STARBASE Victory program…
- Provides STEM education to ALL fourth, fifth and sixth graders in the Portsmouth Public School system. Students are transported from their neighborhood schools for a four-day experience in the STARBASE facility.
- Encourages participation in class by giving every student a “team jersey” (a program TShirt) and a unique STARBASE call sign. Mission logs emphasize reading and writing skills, while hands-on projects (like making and launching their own rocket) create learning moments for life.
- Instills critical thinking by employing an experienced-based curriculum that incorporates the state Standards of Learning (SOLs).
- Introduces career skills such as goal setting teamwork and interest in “marketable” technologies.
- The comprehensive curriculum is continually updated and improved by dedicated teachers with Masters and PhD Degrees.