Department of Defense Education Activity

Europe Student Academic Activities - STEM


DoDEA-Europe’s STEM Student Academic Activities emphasize learning in the curricular areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through challenging events that promote 21st Century learning skills. “Gracious professionalism” is an identifiable theme throughout these events. Events currently offered in the STEM category include:

  • FIRST Tech Challenge
  • JSHS
  • STEMposium

FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)
Grades 9-12

FIRST Tech Challenge is an exciting and fun global robotics program that ignites an enthusiasm for science, technology and discovery in young people. With a focus on STEM skills and concepts, the event teaches principles of leadership and how to work as a team. Student teams at FTC compete head to head in shifting alliances using robots designed, built, and programmed by team members. The robot kit is reusable year-to-year and is programmed using Java. Teams are required to develop strategies and build robots based on sound engineering principles and keep an engineering notebook detailing their work. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments. The team registration fee is $300. This event is currently hosted by Kaiserslautern High School in Kaiserslautern, Germany in February. The top award-winning team will receive an invitation to the World Championship in the United States. The team bears the cost of the registration fee and if they choose to stay at a hotel, their costs should not exceed 250 Euro.

Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (JSHS)
Grades 9-12

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS) Program is a tri-service (U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force) sponsored STEM competition which promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement. By rewarding research excellence, JSHS aims to widen the pool of trained talent prepared to conduct research and development vital to our nation. Students work under supervision of a mentor, typically school-based, to develop and conduct their original research project for submission to the DoDEA-Europe Regional event held in Groß-Gerau, Germany in March. The best projects from the Region are advanced to JSHS Nationals. Students and their families bear no cost for participation in JSHS because it is funded by a DoD grant.

Math Counts
Grades 6-8

School sponsors coach middle school students in problem solving and math skills for this national program. Students then compete as both teams and individuals at the School, Chapter, and State levels, with State finalists advancing to Nationals. First, second and third place team and individuals receive trophies.

Registration Fee: DoDEA Europe pays the registration fee for every DoDEA Europe middle school to compete. State qualifiers are responsible for their lodging and meal expenses at the State Competition in Wiesbaden, not to exceed 250€.

Grades 9-11

STEMposium is a weeklong experience in problem-solving and engineering during December in Wiesbaden, Germany. The event is designed to introduce selected DoDEA-Europe students to a real-world engineering scenario which requires the application of science, technology, and math. Content area experts will present information, mentor, and provide hands-on, practical experiences targeted at solving a multi-faceted, relevant, and dynamic problem. The goal of the STEMposium is to use practicing researchers, scientists, and engineers to model 21st Century Skills such as team dynamics, adaptability, problem-solving, complex communications, systems thinking, and self-management/self-direction. The registration fee of 250€ covers food, lodging, and T-shirt.