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Starbase PR updates computer lab in San Juan

Starbase PR, a Department of Defense (DOD)-sponsored youth educational program located at the 156th Wing at the Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Carolina, has modernized its computer laboratory inventory with 33 new computers, after recently upgrading its internet capabilities.

The new computers will enable students to engage with the latest versions of science, technology, engineering and math programs included in the curriculum.

“The Puerto Rico National Guard is committed to continuing its support of the DOD STARBASE program … planting the seed of curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math in students around the island,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Denny Lozano, the Starbase PR program manager assigned to Joint Forces Headquarters, Fort Buchanan.

“We are achieving this unwavering commitment to the program by leading the projects for faster internet speed, new computers and soon-to-be-improved common areas to create an ambiance more conducive to students’ learning and exploration,” Lozano said.

To fulfill the technology requirements of this program, the computer laboratory is equipped with the latest version of OnShape Computer-Aided Design software, which allows the students and teachers to work as a team in real-time product design while applying basic engineering concepts, he explained.

“The computer upgrade has impacted us a lot,” said Urbano Ayala, director of Starbase PR. “The old computers were running on an outdated Windows 7 operating system, and our OnShape CAD software needed Windows 10.”

Along with the hardware modernization in the computer laboratory, the recent upgrade of the internet service increased capacity from 6 megabits per second (Mbps)to 500 Mbps, providing a reliable connection and enabling an efficient workflow among the students and the staff, they said.

“There was a substantial improvement in our daily operations,” Ayala said. “We saw a significant impact by increasing the internet capacity and meeting the technological requirements of the administrative staff and students using the computer laboratory and classrooms.”

For the past 27 years, more than 27,000 middle school students have had the opportunity to participate in and graduate from the STARBASE PR program, which is not only designed to immerse students in a hands-on STEM curriculum to solve real-world problems, “but also surround them with exemplary [service members] and other positive role models,” the officials said.

“The Puerto Rico Air National Guard has always been willing and able to support us,” Ayala said. “As part of our career development class, we bring [service members] to speak to the students about the importance of STEM in their career fields.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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