Sending Office: Honorable Alan S. Lowenthal
Support STEM Education in Defense Appropriations, Support STARBASE!
Deadline: March 15th, COB
Current Cosigners: Carbajal, Carter, Castro, Cisneros, Garamendi, González-Colón, Hastings, Jackson Lee,
Katko, Kelly, Krishnamoorthi, Moulton, McCaul, Moore, Napolitano, Payne, Omar, A. Scott, Soto, Stauber, Vargas, Walorski, Welch,
We write today to ask that you join us in support of the STARBASE Program in this year’s defense appropriations bill.
Run by the Department of Defense, the STARBASE program provides vital Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills to 5th graders across the country. Its “hands-on, mind-on” experiential learning program has a proven record of inspiring
children and improving STEM skills. Strong evidence-based evaluations of program participants show significant improvement in the students’ understanding, interest, and ability in math and science, which has led to increased enthusiasm in pursuing STEM education.
Founded in 1993, DoD STARBASE has served over 1,100,000 students from 40 states in more than 400 school districts.
The program is vital in the effort to close our STEM achievement gap with other nations. It helps to ensure that our young people have the skills necessary to maintain our prosperity and security. It fosters awareness of military culture, and builds ties
between DoD facilities and local communities, and provides key skills to young people underrepresented in STEM fields.
We therefore urge you to join us in signing the letter below to request that the appropriations committee fund the STARBASE program at $35 million for FY2020, matching the level passed by the House of Representatives in FY2019. This would represent a $5
million increase in funding from enacted FY19 levels.
This increase in funding will allow STARBASE to establish new programs in new states and expand its outreach to secondary school students. STARBASE and to invest in its existing programs, which operate in 1,287 schools, across 413 school districts nationwide
and serve over 70,000 young people each year.
Alan Lowenthal Tom Emmer
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Dear Chairman Visclosky and Ranking Member Calvert:
We write to respectfully request that the Defense Subcommittee fund the Department of Defense (DoD) STARBASE Program at $35 million for Fiscal Year 2020. This amount would match the funding level passed by the House in the FY19 appropriations bill and would
represent a $5 million increase in total enacted FY19 funding.
DoD STARBASE is an effective DoD outreach and STEM education awareness program for elementary and secondary school students. It provides 25 hours of outstanding STEM instruction, along with hands-on after school STEM activities. Students learn the importance
of STEM skills in real world situations and develop essential math and science fundamentals, while fostering positive relationships between the military bases and local communities. Since its inception in 1993, DoD STARBASE has served over 1,100,000 students
from 40 states in more than 400 school districts.
Strong evidence-based evaluations of program participants show significant improvement in the students’ understanding, interest, and ability in math and science, which has led to increased enthusiasm in pursuing STEM education. In 2017, knowledge scores
of chemistry, engineering, math, physics and technology increased by 27.6% for all students, while favorability scores of math and science showed clear improvement. In addition, recent studies performed by Wilder Research on STARBASE Minnesota and by the
University of New Mexico at STARBASE La Luz show that the program has potential long term benefits, increasing both high school graduation rates and college enrollment. Furthermore, STARBASE curricula are designed to reach students at the fifth-grade level
that are underrepresented in critical areas of study and careers.
Nationwide, the program is one of the most cost-effective programs across the federal government, costing an average of only $328 per student in 2017. In FY 2018, the program served more than 76,000 students in 1,287 schools, across 413 school districts.
Nationwide during FY18, the program documented 8,578 volunteers, who contributed over 100,000 hours of labor to the program, valued at over $2.5 million dollars.
With increased funding, STARBASE seeks to launch new programs in Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, North Dakota and Tennessee. 25 locations are currently on waiting lists to establish new programs. In addition, STARBASE seeks to continue to expand its
outreach to older students, building engagement and continuing to promote STEM skills as young people approach college.
The program’s volunteer support, and the robust demand for new programs in spite of funding uncertainty, are a testament to broad community support for the STARBASE program.
With its national reach and broad record of success, STARBASE is a key tool in the DoD’s ongoing national effort intended to close the STEM achievement gap with other nations, thus reinforcing our long-term security and prosperity. The program is a key tool
in bolstering relationships between the DoD and local communities, through assured access to military installations while fostering awareness of military culture.
We therefore ask that the STARBASE receive your full support, and that the program’s funding be maintained at House-authorized levels.
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0