STARBASE Portland: Kids love tanks! Its a fact.
  • DoD
  • STARBASE Portland: Kids love tanks! It's a fact.
Last week Portland Public Schools signed a new two-year contract with the Department of Defense to teach science to many local fourth and fifth graders, despite the protests of some parents upset that the program is military recruitment disguised as science.

The STARBASE science program teaches science to elementary school during week-long trips to classrooms on national guard bases and has attracted vociferous protests from Portland parents upset about the military in classrooms. When a Mercury reporter sat in on a STARBASE science class this summer, he found students got hands-on with F-16 fighter jet parts to learn how to make paper airplanes.

The new contract continues the science program that the Department of Defense has offered locally since 1993. The Portland Observer reports that parents showed up to the contract hearing to protest the renewal, pointing to photos of happy kids climbing on tanks and helicopters on the STARBASE Portland website as evidence that the science program has a recruitment bent.