Visalia/Tulare

McCarthy lauds launch of Pentagon-backed STEM program in Porterville

A new educational program run by the Department of Defense focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is headed to Porterville. 

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) announced the launch of the new STARBASE program at the Porterville Military Academy. 

Earlier this year, the California National Guard submitted an application for the academy, which received a letter of support from McCarthy. 

“There are few things in this world that are as wholesome as a young child who is excited about learning. In our community, I am proud to say that countless students fit this mold. That’s what makes it particularly exciting to announce that the Department of Defense is establishing a STARBASE at the Porterville Military Academy. STARBASE is a state-of-the art program that provides students with opportunities to learn more about STEM through hands-on learning, and I have no doubt that this program will help to inspire a generation of future STEM leaders,” McCarthy said. 

“I am grateful to the collaborative efforts by the Department of Defense, California National Guard, Porterville Military Academy, and the Porterville Unified School district, that has made this program become a reality for our local students. With this new investment, I cannot wait to see the benefits in our community and country in the years ahead.” 

The Porterville STARBASE location is the second in McCarthy’s district, with the other one located at Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County, and will be the fifth program in California. 

The program will allow 5th grade students to explore STEM fields starting this fall with a hands-on approach. 

Students have the opportunity to interact with military personnel and observe STEM applications in the real world over the 25-hour program. 

“For over a decade, Porterville Unified School District has worked with community partners to build our Pathway programs to provide our high school students hands-on, real-world learning and career exploration opportunities, with the most recent addition being the Porterville Military Academy,” said Porterville Unified School District Superintendent Nate Nelson. 

“With this investment by the Department of Defense and in collaboration with the California Military Department, we are incredibly excited to bring these same experiences to even younger students in our community and open their eyes to the many opportunities in STEM as they continue their education. We are grateful for the continued support of Congressman McCarthy and the many other individuals who made this new program possible.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.