CenterPoint Energy donates to STARBASE 2.0 program Published March 3, 2022 By Staff Sgt. Tambri Cason 307th Bomb Wing BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- CenterPoint Energy presented DoD STARBASE Louisiana with a $14,000 grant March 2 at Elm Grove Middle School, Bossier City, Louisiana. Five CenterPoint Energy company leaders met with STARBASE officials and several Bossier Parish school and community leaders to present the grant. The group also observed and spoke with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) 2.0 students in the classroom. “The goal at STARBASE is to provide as many opportunities as possible for students to engage in science, technology, engineering and math because that is going to be the future,” said Laurie Ilgenfritz, DoD STARBASE director. “Grants like this allow STARBASE Louisiana to expand their offerings.” The grant from CenterPoint Energy will be used to fund a TEXTRIX robot challenge for seventh and eighth grade students in Bossier City schools. There will be about 125 students from four Bossier Parish schools involved in the project this year, said Ilgenfritz. However, these robots will be utilized for many years and impacting hundreds more students, she said. Students will model, build and program TETRIX robots to perform tasks designed around CenterPoint Energy, said Ilgenfritz. For instance, the school project may simulate laying natural gas pipes or assisting with fixing electrical lines after a hurricane. “Providing opportunities for students to engage in STEM activities is critical to the future workforce,” said Eric Barkley, District Director with CenterPoint Energy. “We’re proud to partner with STARBASE as they work to train the next generation of innovators in a fun, challenging and meaningful way.” The 307th Bomb Wing, Air Force Reserve Command, is the official program sponsor partnered with DoD STARBASE, Louisiana. For more information on STARBASE programs visit https://starbasela.org/.