“Adding Value to America” through educational outreach that focuses on the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math and dedicated to enhancing the performance, success and personal growth of youth.


STARBASE Austin objective is to raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of at-risk 5th graders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by offering 25 hours of exemplary instruction using an engaging curriculum that meets and exceeds State Standards. Hosted at Camp Mabry, students participate in challenging "hands-on, mind-on" activities and interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the "real world."

STARBASE Austin Informational Flyer
STARBASE Austin Informational Flyer

Texas STARBASE Austin provides students in grade 5 a first-hand journey into the exciting world of science, technology, engineering, math, aviation, and aerospace during the school day. The program will be conducted at Camp Mabry in a varied and exciting environment, giving students a new perception of the STEM sciences. The curriculum consists of rigorous hands-on minds-on activities, interactive investigations, experiments, simulations, and on-site tours demonstrating use of STEM in the workplace. Classroom instruction includes Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, Bernoulli’s Principle, navigation and mapping, flight simulation, investigations of nanotechnology and nanoengineered products, atmospheric properties, rocketry, engineering design process, computer assisted design (CAD), and 3 dimension manufacturing. Students explore STEM careers, processes for goal setting and teamwork skills, and the importance of staying in school and becoming a life-long learner. Certified educators teach the curriculum with assistance from Guard and community volunteers with technical and content expertise. All curriculum content and student activities are correlated to state and national science, technology, and math standards.

We have the capability to accommodate 2 academies of 32 students per Chohort simultaneously (64 students).  The instruction is typically delivered in five 5 hour blocks of instruction on one day of the week for 5 consecutive weeks. Our program is funded by the DoD & charitable donations, and is available at no cost to districts in our service area. We partner with a school district via memorandum of understanding (MOU) which outlines the service we provide as well as the requirements of the served district/school for participation.



This program combines STEM activities with a relationship-rich, school-based after school environment to provide the missing link for at-risk youth making the transition from elementary to middle and on to high school. It extends the positive impact of STARBASE through a n afterschool STEM mentoring approach which solidifies students’’ attachment to and engagement with school. STARBASE 2.0 tar gets sixth to eighth graders and meet at a lateral middle school. Clubs meet a minimum of four hours per month at regularly scheduled times. These groups consist of one STEM mentor and 3-4 students working together.


The STARBASE 2.0 curriculum will provide the compass for navigating toward a fulfilling club experience for individuals and the group. Projects may be in any of the STARBASE 2.0 curriculum areas (physics, chemistry, sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics operations and applications). They can include competitions, global explorations (through use of the internet), and/or partnerships with other STEM-related organizations (e.g. Computer Aided Design/PTC Creo, TCEA, Science Olympiad, etc.)


See what STARBASE is accomplishing across the United States: DoD STARBASE
The vision of DoD STARBASE is to raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of at-risk youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) providing for a highly educated and skilled American workforce that can meet the advanced technological requirements of the Department of Defense.

Texas STARBASE, the first program of its kind in Texas, has earned recognition at both local and national levels. It was the recipient of the U. S. Coast Guard Commandant’s National Partnership in Education Award and second place national winner as the National Guard Adjutant General’s Minuteman Mike Youth Program Award. NASA’s International Space Station Team and school district auditors have also recognized Texas STARBASE as a highly effective educational outreach program committed to educational excellence and the personal development of youth. Texas STARBASE has accepted invitations and made presentations at The NORAD Commander’s Conference Spouse Program, The National Interagency Counterdrug Institute, The National Guard Association of Texas Conference, The Texas Federal Women’s Program Annual Meeting, and The Texas Business and Education Conference.

Texas STARBASE actively involves students in hands-on minds-on, real world experiences in an unconventional instructional setting to:

  • Raise student interest and increase student knowledge in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Demonstrate the relevancy and use of science, technology, math, and engineering in today’s workplace and encourage students to pursue these fields as their life’s work.
  • Teach problem solving and goal setting skills that build confidence and foster success in the STEM content fields.
  • Develop teamwork skills and provide real world activities to practice these skills.
  • Stress the importance of staying in school and life-long learning.
  • Provide teachers with classroom demonstrations of practical activities to maintain students' interest in the STEM fields

Mr. Patrick Yonnone, aka “Mulligan”
Program Director

Mr. Patrick Yonnone

Mr. Yonnone holds a Bachelor of Science degree from United States Military Academy at West Point where he was commissioned as an Infantry Lieutenant in 1999. He was sponsored by Austin ISD to earn his teaching certificate through Region 13’s Austin Teacher Academy program and holds the following certifications: ESL Generalist(EC-8), Technology Education(6-12), Technology Applications(EC-12), Mathematics(8-12), and Physical Science/Mathematics/Engineering. Mr. Yonnone also holds his Masters of Arts in STEM Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Yonnone joined the STARBASE team in August 2014.


Mrs. Laura Badkoobeh, aka “Yotta”

Program Deputy Director/Instructor

Laura BadkoobehMrs. Badkoobeh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Louisiana State University. After university, she taught for a year in Louisiana.  Her passion for teaching and learning about education across cultures led her to move to China to teach in international schools.  She taught fifth through first grades and worked with developing science curriculum.  Upon returning to America, she moved to Austin, Texas and continued to work in education.  Mrs. Badkoobeh is passionate about travel, inquiry and empowering students to succeed in learning.  She joined the STARBASE team in July 2017.  


Mrs. Emily F. Bell, aka “Saturn”

STARBASE 2.0 & Community Outreach Coordinator

Mrs. Emily Bell

Mrs. Bell earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Texas Lutheran University in 2008.   She has a background in Special Events and Development in Higher Education. Her experience also includes marketing and community outreach in the public sector. She is enthusiastic about creative and engaging learning. Mrs. Bell is passionate about creating excitement and interest in the classroom so students are empowered to succeed. Being outdoors relishing nature, playing tennis and attending country western concerts are her pastimes. Mrs. Bell joined the STARBASE crew in September 2014.


Mrs. Kerissa Roberts, aka “Lightyear"
Lead Program Instructor

Mrs. Roberts holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating, Ms. Mitchell began a successful seven-year career with Hays CISD. During her time in the classroom, Mrs. Roberts grew a passion for her students to enjoy learning in all subject areas through song, project-based learning and inquiry. She helped write curriculum for various district STEM camps that incorporated student engineering. Mrs. Roberts loves her career as an educator. She feels the most rewarding part of her job is seeing the light and joy in her student's eyes, especially when they have reached their own goals or are successful. She also loves to sing, be with family, and travel. Mrs. Roberts joined the STARBASE crew in August 2017.

Ms. Marissa Bartels, aka "Titan"

Program Instructor

Barels HeadshotMs. Bartels earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in English as a Second Language (ESL) Education from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Prior to joining the STARBASE team, she has experience as an ESL Educator and in Montessori education in Wisconsin. Ms. Bartels is passionate about advocating for ESL students and creating lifelong learners. She is enthusiastic about putting learning into the hands of students and guiding them to success. Cheering for the Green Bay Packers, enjoying the outdoors, and exploring her new home, Austin, are her favorite things to do outside of teaching. Ms. Bartels joined the STARBASE crew in August 2018.


Ms. Mercy Maestro-Goodrich, aka “Nova”

Bilingual Instructional Specialist

MercyOriginally from Spain, Ms. Goodrich is a Spanish/American educator with more than 10 years of experience teaching ESL students from preschool to elementary. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege of teaching abroad in Mexico, Spain and China with a focus on cultural diversity and applying strategies that best accommodate every student’s learning abilities. Ms. Goodrich sees the potential in every child and makes it her mission to capture the kid’s hearts as she leads them into confidence in fulfilling their potential towards success. She also enjoys being outdoors, reading, swimming at the lake and hiking. Ms. Goodrich joined the STARBASE team in July 2018.


Mrs. Debera Hill-Bryson, aka “Luster”

Office Manager

Mrs. Debera Hill-Bryson

Mrs. Hill-Bryson is a native Texan with 25 years of administrative support experience and six years owning/operating a childcare facility. Though she lived in Phoenix Arizona for seven years, she has always considered TEXAS ‘home.’  Mrs. Hill-Bryson is passionate about helping all students identify and pursue their goals, and feels one of the best ways to touch their lives is via learning and education.  “To learn is to teach, and to teach is seeing the results throughout the entire world.”  She enjoys spending time outdoors and taking advantage of all the fun time in the sun in Central Texas.  Mrs. Hill Bryson joined the STARBASE team in May 2018.

CALL US: 512-782-3454

Texas STARBASE Austin is located in Building 31 at Camp Mabry, Austin, TX.

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)

Camp Mabry 
2200 West 35th Street, Building 31
Austin, TX 78763



Patrick Yonnone
Program Director
Email Patrick Yonnone
Phone: 512-782-3469

Emily F. Bell
STARBASE 2.0 & Community Outreach Coordinator
Email Emily F. Bell
Phone: 512-782-3470

Marissa Bartles
Program Instructor
Email Marissa Bartles
Phone: 512-782-3471

Laura Badkoobeh
Program Deputy Director/Instructor
Email Laura Badkoobeh
Phone: 512-782-3457

Kerissa Roberts
Lead Program Instructor
Email Kerissa Roberts
Phone: 512-782-3456

Mercy Maestro-Goodrich
Bilingual Instructional Specialist
Email Mercy Maestro-Goodrich
Phone: 512-782-3454

Debera Hill
Office Manager
Email Debera Hill
Phone: 512-782-3454


For employment opportunities with STARBASE Austin, please visit: Employment Opportunities

501(c3) Board of Directors purpose is to support Texas STARBASE Inc.

Michael Blalock 
William Petitt

John Jackson
Larry Werbiski
Randy Davis 
Dick Seltzer



Get Involved!

STARBASE Austin Volunteer

STARBASE Austin 2.0 Mentor Application

STARBASE Austin Map and Directions
STARBASE Austin Forms

STARBASE Austin Donate
For information about donating to STARBASE Austin, please contact Emily Bell at 512-782-3470 or by email.

STARBASE Austin Quotes!

“Hands down, STARBASE is one of the best youth programs out there. What a great way to influence our next generations of leaders in math, science and technology.  My daughter shows tremendous interest in such areas, thus STARBASE was the icing on the cake.  She loved it!
Many thanks to all the staff at Texas STARBASE Austin, for making this program 
standout and shine.  Excellent work!”
Stuart T Kidd SFC, NGTX

 “Such a great opportunity for kids who thrive with hands on activities.  Focusing on state mandated knowledge and skill was a super plus.  What a fun way to get a head start on science and technology for next year.”
– Olivia Lara

On the way home he couldn’t stay quiet.  He would tell me everything that happened that day.  He loved it!  When I visited for lunch I noticed that the kids were engaged and enthusiastic.  I could tell the program was successful!  He asked if he could do it next summer.  It was fantastic!  
Norberto Flores II LTC USARMY

“STARBASE taught me that setting goals is an accomplishment that you can finish and never give up.”
-Bella, Hillcrest Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“STARBASE taught me that setting goals is important because you know that you tried hard, even if you failed.”
Superman, Hillcrest Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“What I learned about myself through STARBASE was that I like learning at school, and having fun while learning is OK.”
Banana, Popham Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“My favorite memory of STARBASE is the teachers Nimbus, Java and Saturn.”
Money, Popham Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“At STARBASE, I learned that Teamwork is important because if we didn’t have teamwork, we would not have completed the missions.”
Groot, Popham Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“What I learned at STARBASE will help me in school because I will understand more of the things in the STAAR test.”
Renee, Del Valle Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“My thoughts about today’s mission: I loved today because I left like a real problem solver and I loved Eggbert because I like to design things.”
Crystal, Del Valle Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“What I learned about engineering… Engineering is not just building things, it is about putting thought into what we build.”
Pooh Bear, Del Valle Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“Day 1- Thoughts about today’s mission: I wish school was like this because it was really fun and creative.”
Julissa, Del Valle Elementary, Del Valle ISD

“STARBASE taught me that setting goals is a good way to motivate me.”
Silver Tails, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary, Del Valle Elementary

“At STARBASE, I learned that Teamwork is important because people can encourage you.”
Nicol Bolas, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary, Del Valle Elementary

“The things I learned at STARBASE helped me better understand the rules about inercia, gravity and acceleration.”
Zero, Hornsby-Dunlap Elementary, Del Valle Elementary

“STARBASE supports the enthusiasm I would love to see in my students.  It makes them want to learn more and to show-off their scientific understanding.  Students can express scientific concepts in a more enthusiastic way after this experience.  It makes all areas of STEM worthy for the students.”
– Candace Fox, Govalle Elementary

“It gave students, especially girls, a better understanding of what kind of jobs are out in the community that use math.  It is an excellent program and I would recommend it to the school board and expose more teachers to it.”
– Maria D. Guerra, Norman Elementary

“STARBASE did a great job of reinforcing the TEKS we cover in class and providing students with a look ahead at the possibilities that await them in middle school and high school.”
– Jack Jeansonne, Odom Elementary

“I will refer back to these activities, share the activities and information with other teachers, and use STARBASE students as “leaders” to teach other students.”
– Stephanie Noel, Gilbert Elementary