STARBASE Nellis, located on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is Nevada's first STARBASE academy. With a staff of four teachers and administrators, as well as assistance from base volunteers, the program is postured to instruct up to 1,300 students from the Las Vegas valley annually in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STARBASE Nellis began in April 2012 under the stewardship of the 926th Group, a U.S. Air Force Reserve tenant unit also located on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense program developed to raise the interest and improve the knowledge of at-risk youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, leading to a skilled American workforce that can meet the advanced technological requirements of the nation.

STARBASE provides 20-25 hours of instruction using a common core curriculum in line with national standards. Students participate in challenging "hands-on, mind-on" activities studying Newton's Laws and Bernoulli's principle; exploring nanotechnology, navigation and mapping; using computer software to design space stations, all-terrain vehicles and submersibles; and using metric measurement, estimation, calculation geometry and data analysis to solve equations. Additionally, the students interact with military personnel to observe STEM applications and explore career choices.

STARBASE originated at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., when Barbara Koscak, an educator in the local area there, recognized a need to energize youth in STEM areas. Koscak secured funding for a week-long pilot program and partnered with military personnel, community members and school district teachers to launch "Project STARS" on the base in 1990.

In 1991 the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded Project STARS a three-year grant to offer students a year-round program. The results of the program were recognized by Congress, and in 1993 federal funds were allocated to expand the program, redesignated "DoD STARBASE," to seven states.

Today STARBASE has 76 academies in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Approximately 700,000 students have participated in the program since its inception.

(Current as of May 2012)