The Director's Corner

“The greatest gift we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.”

Dr. Montessori

I want to thank all of our partners for our success over the last 25 years. The staff and I have genuinely enjoyed educating the students of Middle Georgia about the wonderful advantages of STEM. I have been with the STARBASE family for 23 of the 25 years here at Robins AFB. STARBASE ROBINS has been a blessing to me, as I hope that it has been a blessing to the many students that have crossed our threshold.

We hope you enjoy the October issue of our newsletter where we pause a moment to celebrate our 25th year. STARBASE ROBINS truly would not function without the dedication of our staff and the partnerships that we foster. In this issue, we spotlight three of our staff members and our partnership with Fort Valley State University College of Education, a historically Black College and University (HBCU).

I close with a proud feeling about the students we serve. This issue welcomes our students back into our facilities here at the Museum of Aviation. It was fitting that Springdale Elementary opened our in-person school year off because, in March of 2020, Springdale Elementary classes were interrupted due to the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming all students back this year.

STARBASE ROBINS Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Big picture
STARBASE ROBINS celebrates 25 years of Educating, Equipping, and Empowering Students in STEM. On October 6, STARBASE ROBINS held a ceremony to commemorate our 25th anniversary. Our Executive Director, Mr. Wesley Fondal Jr. began the ceremony by addressing Vineville Academy 5th grade students, teachers, STARBASE ROBINS and Museum of Aviation staff. The guest speaker Mr. Albert Rogers was the second person to serve as Director of STARBASE ROBINS. He is the Founder of Cirrus Academy in Macon, Georgia.

During his speech, he talked about the history of STARBASE ROBINS, gave encouraging words to the students, and shared the importance of our continued effort to provide STEM learning opportunities through partnering with local school districts in the Middle Georgia area. We concluded our 25th anniversary with a graduation ceremony to acknowledge the students and teachers at Vineville Academy for successfully completing our STEM program.

25th Anniversary Congratulatory Messages

STARBASE ROBINS 25th Anniversary Video
To commemorate our 25th Anniversary, we are sharing congratulatory messages from a few of our partners in education and the workforce. Our partners play an integral role in helping to support the vision and mission of our program. We want to say thank you to all of our partners for your continued support for the last 25 years.

A special thank you to Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr., Stephanie Johnson, William Ray, Charles Goolsby, and Jamie Cook for sharing congratulatory messages to help celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

Dr. Curtis L. Jones Jr., Superintendent, Bibb County School District

Stephanie Johnson., STARBASE Teacher Mentor, Peach County Schools

William Ray, Principal of Kings Chapel Elementary, Houston County School District

Charles Goolsby, Chief Workforce Development Branch, Robins Air Force Base

Jamie Cook, STEM Outreach and Workforce Coordinator, 21st Century Partnership


Congratulations and welcome Sydnie Daniely! Sydnie is the newest addition to our instructional staff. She will serve as one of the instructors for our DoD STARBASE program. Sydnie holds a Masters Degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Fort Valley State University. We are so excited to have you apart of our team!

"SMART" Scholarship Recipient

The Science, Mathematics, and Research, for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship is awarded to students pursing a Bachelor, Masters, or Ph.D degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Yakira C. West is among the elite 2021 recipients of the SMART Scholarship. Yakira is a graduate of Middle Georgia State University. She is a Full-Time Senior Software Consultant with Robins Air Force Base and a Part-Time 2.0 Facilitator at STARBASE ROBINS. To learn more about the SMART Scholarship click the link to read the full article.


Big picture
Fort Valley State University (FVSU) is a Historical Black College and University (HBCU) nestled in a rural community in Fort Valley, Georgia. The partnership between FVSU and STARBASE ROBINS was pioneered by Dr. Edward Hill, former FVSU Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Alfrieda Manson, a former FVSU Professor and Mr. Wesley Fondal Jr., Executive Director of STARBASE ROBINS because of the national push for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. The STARBASE ROBINS Practicum continues today under the direction of the current Dean Dr. Beth Day-Hairston.

The initial goal was to provide FVSU teacher candidates with alternative teaching experiences. Through this partnership, FVSU teacher candidates are exposed to a STEM curriculum and Practicum that includes observations, reflections, co-teaching with the STARBASE ROBINS faculty and teaching students from surrounding counties in the Middle Georgia area. Click the link below to read the full article.

STARBASE Welcomes Students Back on Campus

Big picture
On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, STARBASE ROBINS welcomed students back on campus. The last school we served before the COVID-19 Shut Down was Springdale Elementary. It was such a great experience to welcome Springdale Elementary students back on campus for the return of in-person classes. Springdale Elementary students got the opportunity to participate in 25 hours of hands-on, mind-on STEM activities at the Museum of Aviation.


STARBASE ROBINS Lead Instructor Audra Hubbard attends the United States Patent and Trade Office National Summer Institute. Each year, participants apply to be invited to participate in this unique learning opportunity. Mrs. Hubbard was selected to attend the July 2020 workshop. The workshop was postponed due to the pandemic.

In July 2021, Mrs. Hubbard attended the virtual workshop utilizing the platform Virbela. Virbela is a virtual campus with classrooms, offices, auditorium and various stages. Users created an avatar that interacted with other participants. Click the link below to read the full article. For more information on the USPTO and programs offered for teachers and students visit

Big picture


Dry Ice Recipes - Cool Halloween Science
Each month, STARBASE ROBINS will feature a Got STEM at Home activity in our newsletter. The topic will include a fun activity teachers can do with students or a Do It Yourself (DIY) experiment or project parents can do at home. In this month's edition of Got STEM at Home, click the link to the video to learn how to make Dry Ice in preparation for Halloween.

Mentors Needed for STARBASE 2.0

Big picture
STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool Mentor Program provides students in grades 6-8 with hands-on real-world enrichment activities 1 day a week for 2 hours. We currently serve 15 schools in 4 counties (Bibb, Houston, Peach, Twiggs) in the Middle Georgia area. We are seeking highly motivated Teachers, STEM Professional, Military Personnel, College Students and Parents to serve as Mentors for our STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool Program. To learn more information, please call Andrew Dennis Jr. at (478) 926-1986 or email

First LEGO League Volunteer Opportunity

Big picture
STARBASE ROBINS will host the Super Regional First LEGO League Tournament on January 22, 2022 at the Museum of Aviation. We need people to serve in the following roles to make this event a great experience for all students.

  • Judges
  • Referees
  • Keepers of the Course (reset the competition tables)
  • Keeper of the Room (help in the volunteer and judge break areas)
  • On-Time Coordinators
  • Information Table Greeters
  • Raffle Area
  • Practice Table Monitors
  • Score Keeper
  • Score Keeper Assistant
  • Photographer

If you are interested in working as a volunteer, please click the link below to complete the STARBASE ROBINS First LEGO League Interest Form. For more information contact Tangie Franks at (478) 926-1986 or email