Local District South: Jordan-Locke Network Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Starbase

LOS ANGELES (March 9, 2017) – Students from 15 elementary schools in the Jordan-Locke Network in South Los Angeles will receive science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction, otherwise known as STEM, next school year.

They will use STARBASE, a Department of Defense youth program that promotes learning opportunities through STEM. The aerospace-themed, technology-rich instruction inspires students, building their skills and developing their confidence. Students engage in a five-day program aligned with national and state standards, while helping schools meet essential educational benchmarks.

“This partnership represents a tremendous opportunity for students in South Los Angeles to experience high-quality and interactive STEAM experiences with STARBASE,” said Local District South Superintendent Christopher Downing. “A special thanks for the outstanding efforts of Instructional Director Luis Heckmuller in forging this partnership on behalf of our deserving students.”

Participating schools include: 92nd, 93rd, 96th, 109th, 112th, 116th, 118th, 122nd streets; Barrett, Compton, Flournoy, Grape, Griffith-Joyner, Ritter, and Weigand elementary schools. Some schools in the Jordan-Locke network, like 96th Street Elementary, have long participated in the program. In recent years, those students have built their own rockets, toured helicopters, met with fighter pilots and, most importantly, benefit from a STEM program while in fifth- and sixth grade—all due to the STARBASE program.

Today’s agreement ensures that fifth-graders in the Jordan-Locke network can attend STARBASE for the next three years.

The program engages students in a "hands-on, mind-on" activities. They study Newton's Laws and Bernoulli's principle; explore nanotechnology, navigation and mapping. In addition, students are captivated by designing space stations, all-terrain vehicles and program robotics on a computer. Math is embedded throughout the curriculum and students use metric measurement, estimation, calculation geometry and data analysis to solve questions. Teamwork is stressed as they explore concepts. Students begin to perceive problems as opportunities and persevere in solving them.


Mission Statement: To expose our nation’s youth to the technological environments and positive civilian and military role models found on Active, Guard, and Reserve military bases and installations, nurture a winning network of collaborators, and build mutual loyalty within our communities, by providing 25 hours of exemplary hands-on instruction and activities that meet or exceed the national standards.

STARBASE focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders. The goal is to motivate them to explore science, technology, engineering and math as they continue their education. The academies serve students that are historically under-represented in STEM. Students who live in inner cities or rural locations, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged, low in academic performance or have a disability are in the target group. The program encourages students to set goals and achieve them.

The military volunteers apply abstract principles to real world situations by leading tours and giving lectures on the use of STEM in different settings and careers. Since the academies are located in different branches of the military this experience is highly varied.  Students may discuss how chemical fires are extinguished, learn how injured are transported, explore the cockpit of an F-18 or the interior of a submarine.

The academies work with school districts to support their standards of learning objectives.  A teacher whose class attended STARBASE stated, "STARBASE teaches science and math in ways that we wish we had the time, resources and expertise to do in the regular classroom.  It's experiential, exploratory learning with a direct tie to the standards."


Contact: Daryl Strickland (213) 241-6766