Fletcher Falcons soared this year! Fifth and sixth graders attended Starbase this February. Students were on the airbase, in South Burlington,  as part of this exciting five-day program. Starbase is an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Defense.  Fletcher fifth and sixth graders spent about 25 hours in the Starbase facility and the instructors also taught lessons at our school.

The lessons, or missions, are high interest and hands-on. Students started their experience with choosing a callsign that is unique to them. All Starbasers picked a name that expresses their personal interests or had a personal connection. The callsign was used while at Starbase just as a pilot would have a callsign. 

The program fosters collaboration and shows students the value of working as a team. Students learn about possible careers in these fields. 

The other piece is the excitement of leaving school and going to the Airbase. Students have the opportunity to see F-35 jets take off just outside the classroom window on the base.

Mrs. Palermo coordinated a visit from the TAG, General Knight. Students heard about the importance of education and how the skills they learn in school will transfer to their future careers. He stressed the importance of knowing how to work with others and being a part of a team. General Knight shared the importance of having a mentor and that sometimes you have to do the hard job to get ahead in your career. 


“It was scientifically amazing!” – Will Mauck

“It is fun!”- Koda Chipman

“Students get excited and are more engaged in the learning as a result of  their Starbase experience.” – Mrs. Palermo

“I really liked all the chemistry, the molecule lesson and the flight simulator.” – Cailin Macauly 

“Starbasers were motivated by the cutting edge technology each day. Whether it was the flight simulator or it was a design challenge in CAD, students were 100% invested in their learning. “ – Mrs. Palermo

The program focuses on STEM lessons. 


  • Chemistry
  • Physics & Energy 


  • Robotics & Nanotech
  • Navigation


  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Eggbert- Crash Landing


  • Data & Graphs
  • Measurement & Geometry

Aimee Toth is the Principal of Fletcher Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s