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STARBASE launches with the 133rd AW in renovated facility

STARBASE launches a new era in education with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 at the 133rd Airlift Wing base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport. Rep. Keith Ellison thanks students from Farnsworth Aerospace school marching band who came to help open the program. USAF official photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Young

STARBASE launches a new era in education with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 at the 133rd Airlift Wing base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport. Rep. Keith Ellison thanks students from Farnsworth Aerospace school marching band who came to help open the program. USAF official photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Young

STARBASE launches a new era in education with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 at the 133rd Airlift Wing base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport. Elementary students from inner city schools like Farnsworth Aerospace K-8 in St. Paul learn science, technology, engineering and math skills while exploring concepts such as building a colony on Mars. Students enjoy a week at the facility during the school year that includes spending time with Minnesota National Guard Airmen. USAF official photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Young

STARBASE launches a new era in education with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 at the 133rd Airlift Wing base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport. Elementary students from inner city schools like Farnsworth Aerospace K-8 in St. Paul learn science, technology, engineering and math skills while exploring concepts such as building a colony on Mars. Students enjoy a week at the facility during the school year that includes spending time with Minnesota National Guard Airmen. USAF official photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Young

STARBASE launches a new era in education with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 at the 133rd Airlift Wing base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport. Rep. Keith Ellison (center) is joined by students, staff and supporters. USAF official photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Young

STARBASE launches a new era in education with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 at the 133rd Airlift Wing base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport. Rep. Keith Ellison (center) is joined by students, staff and supporters. USAF official photo by Senior Airman Jonathan Young

St. Paul -- The STARBASE program launched back into business at the Air National Guard base in St. Paul, Minn. with a reopening ceremony on Oct. 17, 2011 of the science, technology, engineering and math program that "strengthens skills, increases motivation and expands opportunities for inner city youth," said Kim Van Wie, Executive Director of STARBASE Minnesota.

Students, staff and supporters enjoyed a short program, a marching band from Farnsworth Aerospace School in St. Paul and a tour of the state-of-the-art educational facility in the refurbished building. The program has been held this past school year during the reconstruction at a Navy Reserve facility at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included Rep. Keith Ellison, a long-time supporter of the educational program at the 133rd Airlift Wing. The congressman represents Minnesota's Fifth District, which includes Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs, which is where many of the students who participate in STARBASE attend school.

"I want to say a special thank to the Minnesota National Guard," said Ellison. "Your support of STARBASE is key. You have looked beyond your immediate mission of protecting us and looked towards the future."

"STARBASE is the only program of its kind in the state of Minnesota," said Van Wie. "This renovation created an exciting, state of the art facility to immerse students in a more technologically relevant learning environment."

"The improvements to the facility are the result of a unique partnership between the United States Department of Defense, the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota National Guard and the Minnesota business community, with added support from Minneapolis and St. Paul schools," said Air Force Col. Greg A. Haase, 133rd Airlift Wing Commander.