Military program for kids in Jeopardy - KOTA Territory News

Starbase Program in Jeopardy


If an amendment to the defense appropriation bill clears congress the Department of Defense would have to immediately shut down every Starbase site across the country, including the site in Rapid City.

This morning, representatives sent out an urgent e-mail encouraging people to contact their congressmen and senators and ask for their help to stop this amendment.

Why? Throughout the academic year, fourth and fifth graders tour military and other compounds to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.

Today, there were local students paying a visit to the Army Aviation Support Facility at Regional Airport.

If the proposed cuts to the defense appropriation bill become reality, students will not be able to finish the program.

"With our program you can have an impact on nine hundred or more students a year," said program instructor Mike McDaniel. "Which is a pretty awesome deal to be a part of I guess."

Students voiced their opinion on the idea that they may not be able to finish Starbase.

"I really don't want to think about it," said 5th grader Dalton Marshall. "I personally was planning on coming to starbase every opportunity I got."

Instructors say they may only have until next week at best which was a disheartening thought for everyone involved.

It cost $350 per student for the Starbase Program. Director Sarah Jensen said the price is considered pretty low. Fewer than 1,000 students attend each year.

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