Department of Defense Education Activity

CTE Student Activities in DoDEA-Europe offer opportunities for students to apply their career skills in events that expand their knowledge. Current CTE Student Academic Activities include:

  • CAFÉ
  • Educators Rising
  • FBLA

CAFÉ (Culinary Arts Festival Europe)
Grades 10-12

Each DoDEA-Europe high school with a Culinary Arts Program has the opportunity to participate in CAFÉ. Teams will follow the competition rules provided by DoDEA, with the event being standards-based and relevant to the culinary competencies. Coached by their school chefs, teams will demonstrate their culinary knowledge, skills, and creative abilities necessary to obtain employment in the hospitality industry. This event also focuses on the entrepreneurial spirit of the hospitality industry. A school team will work together to create and present products and restaurant concepts. Teams may prepare by working with industry mentors to enhance their skills and product development. A cultural dining experience is also planned in conjunction with the event. Registration fees for food, lodging, and mementos do not exceed $250. The location of the February 2021 event is TBD.

Educators Rising
Grades 9-12

Educators Rising provides a fun, interactive seminar for students who are interested in careers in education. Leading educators from DoDEA-Europe and the United States present teaching and learning strategies in sessions of choice. Activities are geared to motivate and inspire aspiring educators. Schools must have a local Educators Rising Chapter to send a delegation to this event. The European Educators Rising conference is held at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany in late January. Student registration: $250.00 covers lodging, meals, an outdoor activity, and materials. Any costs over $250 will be paid through chapter fundraising.

Future Educators Association 

Future Business Leaders of America
Grades -9-12

FBLA students strive to develop personal and professional skills that will support their college and career aspirations. The Student Leadership Connection in Garmisch, Germany in April features seminars on public speaking, leadership techniques, organizational skills, ethics, education/career guidance, and research and analysis of business and world events related to the relevancy of a high school student. During the face-to-face event in Garmisch, participants are engaged in competitions ranging from audio visual presentations to web design. Students manage and present the conference sessions while representing their local chapters as state level officers. An intensive business-style recruitment and interview process hires the new State FBLA Officers, who then begin the yearlong planning and development process for the next Student Leadership Connection. Attendance at the Student Leadership Connection is highly recommended for aspiring Local and State Officer Candidates. A registration fee of $250 covers meals, lodging, and materials. Any costs in excess of this amount will be paid by chapter fund-raising.

JROTC Drill Competition
Grades 9-12

Cadets compete in two general categories of Regulation Drill and Exhibition Drill with judging in 7 different events. There are no registration fees for these events. Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or JROTC, is designed to teach high school students the values of citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in self-esteem, teamwork, and self-discipline. The program prepares high school students for responsible leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens.  JROTC is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school, and it provides instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community, and nation.

The programs of three services, Army, Air Force and Navy, are offered at 18 high schools in DoDEA Europe. Breakdown by service follows:

Army Air Force Navy
  • Ansbach
  • Baumholder
  • Hohenfels
  • Stuttgart
  • Vicenza
  • Vilseck
  • Wiesbaden
  • Alconbury
  • Aviano
  • Kaiserslautern
  • Lakenheath
  • Ramstein
  • Spangdahlem
  • Naples
  • Rota
  • Sigonella

Please contact your school's main office for more information.

GiftEd Education

The Gifted teacher works with students, staff and parents in providing appropriate individual programs for students in the elementary school. The teacher provides for program development, assessment procedures, and in-service for faculty and parents.

For more information on the DoDEA Gifted Education as well as resources and publications for parents please visit the DoDEA HQ Gifted Education site.

It is the policy of DoDEA to identify giftedness among its students and to develop a plan for gifted education. Our school provides gifted students a comprehensive program that assesses their giftedness and provides appropriately differentiated learning experiences. Giftedness describes those students with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared to others of their age, experience, or environment. These students exhibit high academic performance and/or excel in specific academic fields. A student’s eligibility for gifted education services is based on a documented need for modifications in the student’s instructional program to ensure continuous academic challenges and supporting services.

A Gifted Review Committee is established at the school to determine a student’s eligibility for gifted education services. Optional ability testing may be used as one source of data for identification, but are not required components in the identification process. Other assessment data such as rating scales, anecdotal information, observations, performance assessments coupled with information from parents are essential elements as well. The Gifted Education teacher works with these identified students using those programming options that meet the particular student’s academic needs. Classroom teachers also use differentiating instruction in addition to collaborating with the Gifted Education Teacher to deepen and expand upon areas of study. Opportunities to address the social and emotional needs of the gifted are provided in the course of working with students on a regular basis.

Fine Arts Activities

DoDEA-Europe offers its students a variety of region-level activities and academic competitions focused on fine arts. These events are designed to enhance and extend classroom instruction and provide students with the opportunity to enhance their fine arts skills, as well as explore careers in the arts. The following activities are currently sponsored by DoDEA Europe:

  • Creative Connections
  • Drama Fest
  • Honors Music Festival
  • Jazz Music Festival

Creative Connections
Grades 9-12

Creative Connections is a six-day visual and performing arts symposium for talented high school students selected by application and audition. Instructors include experienced DoDEA teachers and contracted art and music specialists. Classes vary from year to year, but often include drama, show choir, strings, dance, costuming, video production, digital design, drawing, mixed-media and watercolor. The week of intensive instruction challenges students to explore new creative avenues and refine their skills to the highest levels. As one instructor described it, "Creative Connections is a whole semester of Fine Arts packed into one week." The activity culminates with an exhibition of artwork followed by stage performances open to the public. Costs to students do not exceed €250 for food, lodging, and a t-shirt. Creative Connections is normally scheduled in early November at the Oberwesel Youth Hostel.

Grades 9-12


All high schools have the opportunity to send a troupe of Thespians to participate in DramaFest, currently hosted in Wiesbaden, Germany in April. Schools hold auditions to send their most promising 6 actors and 2 theater tech students to the event to participate in monologues, duets, and ensemble presentations. Students have the opportunity to both give and receive constructive feedback to improve their skills. Special workshops in theater tech, movement, costuming, and make-up also comprise the program. When possible, the festival includes an excursion to a professional theater production. Costs to students do not exceed €150 for food, lodging, and a t-shirt at this 4-day event.

Honors Music Festival
Grades 9-12

The Honors Music Festival offers approximately 60 student instrumentalists and 80 vocalists the opportunity to study and perform a variety of band and choral literature under the batons of two of America's finest conductors. Students are selected by blind audition for the coveted positions at this event and are judged by a panel. After a period of intensive rehearsals with the guest conductors, the students present an evening concert with a combined band and choral finale. This event is currently held in Oberwesel, Germany in March. A registration fee of 220€ is collected for lodging, meals, and a t-shirt.


Jazz Music Festival
Grades 9-12

The Jazz Music Festival is comprised of outstanding jazz instrumentalists and vocalists from across Europe who are chosen by blind audition to be part of the elite big band and vocal ensemble. This event is held in January in the Kaiserslautern, Germany, area and features world-renown jazz clinicians as well as DoDEA music teachers as staff. In addition to the two performing groups, there are workshop groups for students who are striving to improve their skills as jazz musicians. The week culminates with a public concert as well as a concert at a German school. The registration fee for this event does not exceed 250€ for lodging, food, and a t-shirt.

DoDEA-Europe Student Academic Activities offers supports several events that support Social Studies and Leadership curriculum. These include:

  • JLS (Junior Leadership Seminar)
  • Model Senate
  • MUN (Model United States Senate)

Student cost: 250€ covers lodging, meals and materials.

Junior Leadership Seminar
Grades 6-7

Junior Leadership Seminar is a 6-day event designed to identify and develop leadership skills for use in school. Interactive workshops and games are make the learning fun! JLS is held in Oberwesel, Germany in October.

Student registration: 250 € covers lodging, meals, and a t-shirt.

Model Senate
Grades 9-12

MUSS is a unique simulation of the American congressional process in the United States Senate. High school students are assigned to play the roles of senators and other senior members of government. This event is currently hosted in Wiesbaden, Germany in March. A registration fee of 250€ covers the cost of lodging, meals and materials.

Model United Nations
Grades 10-12

While Model United Nations is not a DoDEA-organized program, DoDEA-Europe does support high school attendance by funding travel for a team of 18 from each of its high schools to attend MUN in Prague, the UK, or Turkey (whichever is geographically closest). At MUN, students typically roleplay delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. MUN participation is managed by each of the three districts in DoDEA-Europe: East, South, and West. Cost of participation varies by location.


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.