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STEM-ulation: Edwards AFB stars in new video game

  • Published
  • By Adam Bowles
  • 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

DoD Starbase Edwards has created the very first interactive mobile video game starring Edwards Air Force Base. "Battlecraft" inspired by the popular video game "Battleship" was created to teach kids about science, math, engineering and technology with a fun interactive experience.

"We created this game during the pandemic when we were not able to see our students in person," Amira Flores, DoD Starbase Edwards Director explained. "The game is an extension on a lesson we already do at Starbase called Fly on the Ceiling. The game aligns with California mathematical standards and ISTE technology standards. So, the crew decided to produce this game to help students retain these important STEM principles in a unique way."

With video games very much a part of today's culture, what better way is there for the Starbase Edwards students to learn mathematical skills, coordinates and even Edwards AFB aviation based on what kids nowadays all know and love.

"Who doesn't love video games," Flores said. "We know based on research that students love to play with interactive games like Minecraft and Roadblocks. Based on that research, we decided that why not create a fun math game based on video games. They are actually playing and learning and don't even know that they are learning."

Truly starring Edwards AFB, the player gets to choose between different Edwards aircraft to use to play Battlecraft and choose between different levels of difficulty that challenges even the smartest of minds. 

"Airplanes have always been a fascination for me," Emily, a Tompkins Elementary School sixth grader said. "It's really fun playing it. You have to figure out what they are trying to say and make it click in your brain to get it right and win."

It is also tailored to Starbase Edwards using avatars based on actual team members.

"We created avatars based on our teachers so when the kids come and interact with us they can also interact with us at home," Flores explained.

With the guidance of developers and graphic artists Alfred De La Costa, Roanna Victorio, Rahul Khurana and Jesse Krepelka, after one and a half years of hard work, programming, and learning how to code, the concept of Battlecraft came to life.

"We also talk with the students how we created this video game," Flores explained. "We talk about the graphic design, the coding systems, and how long it takes to create a narrative and a story to the game."

Try out Battlecraft for yourself and see if you have what it takes. (Must use a non-CAC enabled device) 

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.