Karen Walker

STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0, Department of Defense, ASTEC Charter School, Oklahoma City
Mentees: ASTEC 2.0 Club Students
Years Matched: 15

Karen Walker has been a STARBASE 2.0 mentor at ASTEC Charter School since the very beginning of the program, graciously offering to host the STARBASE after-school meetings in her classroom. Walker, a sixth-grade science teacher at ASTEC, was praised as an outstanding mentor whose expertise in the classroom has increased the quality of the program immeasurably.

“Ms. Walker uses various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities to engage and motivate her mentees,” said David Stacey, deputy director of STARBASE Oklahoma. “She involves them in real-life problem-solving activities and by doing this encourages them to find ways to express their creativity in an amazing welcoming and productive environment.”

Stacey said students’ reactions to Walker are incredibly positive. “It is evident they admire her and are excited to integrate the information she teaches them.”

Walker loves to hear students’ conversations as they collaborate on projects and to see how they experience success in the STARBASE 2.0 club environment. “The ASTEC scholars who participate in the program love the activities and the opportunities to work with peers in a family-like atmosphere,” Walker said. “Each student has found a uniqueness within themselves that has been transferred to real-life problem solving. The content of this program remains something I am very passionate about.”

Stacey said Walker’s preparedness and professionalism have made it very easy to conduct a STARBASE 2.0 program at ASTEC. “She expects the same level of preparedness and professionalism from her student mentees.”

About the Program: STARBASE 2.0 combines STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities with a relationship-rich, school-based environment serving at-risk youth in fifth through eighth grades. The program uses a team mentoring approach, pairing teams of three to four students with one adult mentor for four hours each month.