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Rota Elementary School Hosts Third Annual Family STEAM Night

26 April 2023

From Courtney Pollock

NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain -Rota Elementary School held its third annual STEAM Expo Family Night, April 26, 2023. The evening included interactive STEAM - science, technology, engineering, art and math - presentations as well as a sevillanas dance performance and students' science projects spread throughout the school complex.

The family night was held in conjunction with the conclusion of third through fifth grade students’ science projects. During the event, community members could view the students’ projects and findings as well as the winners from each grade.

“It is important for our community and parents to see the hard work our students do every day,” said Mary Chambers, a fifth grade teacher at Rota Elementary School and the event coordinator. “It's amazing to see the students beaming with pride and excitement. Our students need these opportunities to ‘show off.’”

The students didn’t only show off their science knowledge, but their dancing too! The event kicked off with bright colors, ruffles and clapping as the school’s sevillanas club held its recital. Students in first through fifth grades learned the traditional Spanish dance, sevillanas, seen at spring fairs throughout Spain called feria.

“Their favorite part is showing off what they have learned during the recital,” said Yadira Cuba-Bizardi, a second grade teacher at Rota Elementary School and the club coordinator. “They love to get dressed up in their beautiful feria outfits.”

Once the performance had concluded, students and families were able to wander the halls for a variety of presentations on everything from household chemistry magic and robots to escape rooms and germs.

“The importance of this event is that we’re able to bring in the community members,” said Chambers. “That really gets the kids into a position where they are able to see how different careers in science, technology, engineering, [art] and math play out in the real world.”

This year there were 16 community presentations which included personnel from U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Rota, Navy Environmental Preventive Medical Unit (NEPMU) 7, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 8, and Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota Fire Department in addition to school teachers and community members. Even the high school chemistry club was there putting on a dazzling display of fire, explosions and science!

Chambers said over 165 families came out to support the family night, including this year’s addition of a few activities geared towards the younger learners.

“Primary read aloud and games was a huge hit,” said Chambers. “And not just with the littlest people…I saw adults sneaking in to make cookie houses!”

Overall, students and families engaged, learned, and grew together which was Chambers' goal for the family night.

“I love seeing the students and families smiling and having a great time with each other,” said Chambers. “Hopefully we are also sparking a love for a future career!”

Rota Elementary School is Department of Defense Education Activites (DoDEA) school located on Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota military base. In conjunction with David Glasgow Farragut (DGF) Middle/High School, the combined campus provides education for installation children, kindergarten through 12th grade. Rota Elementary School was awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award for 2022.

As the "Gateway to the Mediterranean,” NAVSTA Rota provides U.S, NATO and allied forces a strategic hub for operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. NAVSTA Rota is a force multiplier, capable of promptly deploying and supporting combat-ready forces through land, air and sea, enabling warfighters and their families, sustaining the fleet and fostering the U.S. and Spanish partnership.


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