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Verbatim: Cuts threaten STEM program at Fort Wayne base

Statement as issued Thursday by the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base:

Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base, IN – The Department of Defense funded STARBASE Indiana STEM Program, located at the 122nd Fighter Wing, is in jeopardy of closing as a result of a recent amendment to the FY13 Defense Appropriation Bill (H.R.933).

If the amendment is passed, it would immediately dismantle a nationwide education program, which has turned thousands of young students, over its 20+ year history, on to future Science Technology Engineering and Math careers.

STARBASE Indiana has graduated 820 students in just over a year. The average increase of scores from the program’s pre-test to its post-test is an astonishing 42%. “This program is invaluable to the youth of our local community,” said Col David Augustine, 122nd Fighter Wing Commander. “I have seen 5th graders that come into the program who have no interest in STEM, graduate full of excitement for science and technology. The hands-on approach that STARBASE uses to educate our kids, with the experiments and high-tech equipment, is a great addition to our local curriculum that we cannot afford to lose.”

Not only does STARBASE educate local 5th graders at no cost to the schools or families, but STARBASE also provides age appropriate STEM activities to patients at the Lutheran Children’s Hospital and an after-school program to the youth of the Fort Wayne Urban League.

If you would like more information on how you can make a positive impact on keeping STARBASE in Fort Wayne, please visit http://fortwaynebcc.org/ or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-DoD-STARBASE/614184268607391.

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