Portsmouth students are flying drones on make believe Mars, a colony made of Legos.  The activity is to learn to how to program a drone for a supply drop off on the make believe colony.

The drone whizzed upward, heading toward a make believe Martian colony. At Victory Elementary School, where the flight took place,  although the Martian colony wasn’t real, the drones and programming were.  That gave Hodges Manor Elementary students who were 11 and 12 years old a look at their future, according to sixth grade STEM teacher Matt Stakes.

“Hopefully this sparks something in their minds to inspire them to pursue a STEM career,” he said.

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Portsmouth Public Schools have a partnership with STARBASE Victory, a nonprofit group which endeavors to provide more exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math for students.

Each sixth grade class in the school division participates in a four day program during the year.  They learn motion, energy, and force through real world problem solving. Teamwork and critical thinking are encouraged.  STARBASE programs are also open to fourth and fifth grade students.

“Our kids need adaptability,” said Rich Neefe, science program specialist and STARBASE Victory program coordinator. “We really need our students to have a wide view of the world, because tomorrow is going to look different than today.”

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