Impact Statement

DoD STARBASE focuses on elementary students, primarily fifth graders, who attend schools with a high number of under-served and under-represented population. The goal is to motivate them to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they continue their education.The program engages students through the inquiry-based curriculum with its “hands-on, mind-on” experiential activities. Surveys have shown that students who attend DoD STARBASE improve their attitudes about and their confidence in STEM. STARBASE South Dakota serves approximately 3600 fifth grade students each school year.

Board of Directors

Our Board Members:

  • President, Tony Fischer, Project Engineer, VRC Metal Systems
  • Secretary – Will Barnes, Design Engineer, Caterpillar
  • Treasurer, Marie Midttveit, Electrical Engineer, Caterpillar, Inc.
  • Voting Member, Eric Scherr, Manager of Origination, Black Hills Energy
  • Voting Member (on hold), KC Russell, Program Manager, Sanford Underground Research Lab
  • Voting Member, Sarah Tuntland, Director of Corp. Operations SDN Communications
  • Voting Member, Eric Scherr, Black Hills Energy
  • Voting Member, Julie Erickson, Learning Specialist, Technology & Innovation in Education
  • Voting Member, Ryan Reker, Project Manger, USGS EROS Center contractor

Foundation Ex-Officio Board Members:

  • MG Jeffrey Marlette, Adjutant General – South Dakota
  • BG Steven Warren, Assistant TAG – Air SDANG
  • BG Russ Walz, Director of Joint Staff
  • Col Marshall Michels, SDARNG
  • Col Greg Lair, Vice Wing Commander SDANG
  • LTC Brent Post,  SDANG
  • LTC Kory Knight,  SDARNG
  • Maj Bob Liebman (Retired USAF), NAU
  • Andy Lauck, SDANG
  • Sue McAdaragh, Sioux Falls School District
  • Joe Hauge, Black Hills Special Services Cooperative
  • Polly Unterbrunner, STARBASE – Rapid City –NH
  • Donna Van Veldhuizen, STARBASE – Sioux Falls – NC
  • Andy Hermanson, Engineering Design Applications, Daktronics
  • Chris Aeilts, Sales Engineer, SDN Communications
  • Interested in contributing? We are always looking for mentor volunteers! STARBASE is funded through the Department of Defense with local donations helping to offset items not covered with the grant. STARBASE 2.0 is entirely funded through in-kind donations, cash donations, and grants. Donations are tax-exempt. For more information, contact us.