STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0, Department of Defense, Union Middle School, Tulsa
Capt. Quinten Tibbetts thinks learning should be enjoyable. Tibbetts, the Mentor of the Year for STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0 at Tulsa’s Union Middle School, has his mentees building rubber band cars, building and testing parachutes, and doing computer programming to encourage them to be creative and hone their problem-solving skills.
“As an Air Force maintenance officer at the site where the program is based, Capt. Tibbetts brings a unique perspective to students in the program, states David Stacey, deputy director of STARBASE Oklahoma. “He is able to relate STEM activities to real-life experiences in career/vocational fields and spark students’ interests in those areas.”
And as a former teacher, Stacey adds, “he has an affinity for helping young people learn new things. The positive energy and passion that he brings to the club are infectious, and his manner lights a spark with students that can most certainly motivate them to accomplish amazing things throughout the rest of their lives.”
He adds, “As deputy director at STARBASE over the 2.0 clubs, I recognize and appreciate how much Capt. Tibbetts has gone above and beyond for our program. Often, he has taken personal time to research club projects and work through them with his own children, so that he may share that expertise and background knowledge with the STARBASE 2.0 team.”
The Air Force captain says he has especially enjoyed being able to relate the STEM activities to careers in the military. “Sharing real-world application on their projects is important to me because I believe it inspires students for future endeavors.”
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.