STARS Success Story

Unlocking Student Potential: STARS Thrives in the NASA Universe

South Texas AstRonomical Society (STARS) is a Brownsville, Texas based nonprofit founded in 1992 with a  mission to ignite CURIOSITY and spark community engagement through bilingual stem and space science programs. 

STARS members come from all walks of life with careers in education, science, engineering, technology and design.  We strive to unlock academic potential and help young minds discover and nurture their passion for lifelong learning through STEM engagement and practice.

The Challenge:

How do we deploy NASA resources for the first time in a historically underserved community on the Texas-Mexico border with limited staff of volunteers at the edge of a deadly pandemic? 

The Solution:

We turned our challenges into strengths: being a young, flexible, and short-staffed organization taught us to rely on our dedicated members and volunteers to fill the gaps, making this an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.  

The Way Forward:

When Generation Artemis wrapped at the end of 2022, we realized that for STARS, Community Anchor designation was just the beginning. To keep the momentum going, we asked for more resources to continue challenging ourselves, and our NASA OSTEM support system did not disappoint, delivering an amazing array of opportunities for us to develop and inspire our students.

NASA Anchor Award
Generation Artemis

June 9 -july 9, 2022

Generation Artemis Summer Camp

One hundred students participated in hands-on STEM activities that represented the primary components of the Artemis Program: The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft, Gateway Lunar Space Station, and Human Landing System (HLS).

Summer 2022

Generation Artemis SEES Internships

Seventeen students from Brownsville and Los Fresnos were chosen for this highly-selective summer internship administered remotely, culminating in final two weeks at UT Austin and a group visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center at the end of July 2022.

october 1, 2022

To the MOON! Event
Generation Artemis

Two hundred Brownsville students and their families participated in a wide variety of hands-on STEM activities focused on the scientific exploration of the Moon in celebration of NASA’s Artemis Program and International Observe the Moon Day - October 1, 2022.

The Generation Artemis Summer Camp Experience

“From day one, everyone at STARS has been supportive of my career goals. I always found a way to showcase my skills and contribute creatively. STARS also helped me connect with Cosmic Perspective and participate in fascinating projects working with the most talented group of people I’ve ever met. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

Mykel Del Angel

2022 Generation Artemis Camp Participant

Pace High School Graduate / Freshman at the Berklee College of Music, Boston

All Systems GO!
Staying in NASA's Orbit

February 16, 2023

NASA CONNECTS Virtual Classroom

Lucero Martines, STARS volunteer and NASA Liftoff Alumna, held a NASA CONNECTS Virtual Classroom Connection Q & A with Samantha Testa, NASA Lead Recovery Director at Canales Elementary School in Brownsville.

July 22, 2023

Students2Launch RGV STEM Hub Event

An all-day rocketry extravaganza designed to spark interest in space, engineering and technology through NASA-themed STEM activities for middle school students. All forty participants successfully completed all S2L activities and qualified to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to attend a live launch.

September 6, 2023

Downlink with the Space Station

Brownsville students will connect with astronauts Frank Rubio and Jasmin Moghbeli aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday, September 6, and get their questions answered live on NASA TV.

STARS Keeps the Momentum Going to Sustain NASA's Educational Impact

“After every Generation Artemis event, we had many interactions with students and families, all ending with this question: what’s next and where do we sign up for that? Feedback like this is what every educator dreams of when they engage with students.” 

Victor De Los Santos

NASA Community Anchor Award Principal Investigator

Executive Director, STARS