WIESBADEN, Germany – More than 100 students from DoDEA high schools across Europe gathered in Wiesbaden for the annual STEMposium event where they were grouped into teams to develop projects and solutions to real-world scenarios based on climate change and impacts to population centers.
“Students representing our 21 DoDEA Europe high schools are presented with a different real-world scenario in which they are required to formulate actionable solutions in order to be successful,” said DoDEA Europe Student Activities Coordinator Rob Smith about the event. “Our students are getting hands-on, real-world experience dealing with cutting edge tools, technologies, and techniques that can lead to success later in life.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District was one of a handful of organizations that supported the STEMposium, participating in career fair and providing mentoring and answered questions of students as they worked on their projects.
In a first for the annual STEMposium, this year’s event incorporated a STEM-focused career fair where representatives from different organizations, including Europe District and several others.
“It was great talking to the students during the career fair,” said Europe District Engineering Branch Chief Nathan Fox. “They were all very engaging and curious about the range of jobs available for engineers and in other STEM fields.”
As part of the event, the students were broken into teams and assigned different areas of expertise including biotechnology, civil engineering, data engineering, environmental engineering, robotics and using CAD programs for 3D printing.
“STEMinar” sessions were scheduled for each of these areas where students worked through their projects with real-world subject matter experts that could answer questions and mentor the students.
“I worked with the students focused on environmental engineering tasks in their groups; they were a bright group of young people who asked a lot of good questions,” said Europe District Environmental Branch Northern Section Chief Patricia Jackson. “They were tasked with providing clean drinking water following a disaster scenario, so we talked about water filtration methods, specifically those that would be climate-neutral. Some solutions we covered were lagoons with plants for filtration, as these filtering plants also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. We also covered ways to minimize pump power usage, such as through gravity filtration when possible.”
Smith noted that the annual event was again a success and that it is part of DoDEA Europe’s dedication to providing unique and impactful opportunities for the children of DoD personnel stationed overseas.
“This event represents DoDEA's unwavering commitment to providing educational experiences that are not just on par, but often exceed what's available stateside,” Smith said. “It's an immersive journey into the world of STEM, where students engage in hands-on activities, gaining a deeper understanding of science and its real-world applications. More than just an academic exercise, STEMposium is a launchpad for future careers in STEM, nurturing essential skills like critical thinking and teamwork.”