How do you end up in the Guinness Book of World Records…without even realizing it? Recently, Chesapeake students, teachers, and administrators did just that by joining students from Virginia Beach to break the record for the largest field trip! About 1,500 students from Title I schools in Chesapeake attended the NAS Oceana Air Show STEM Lab Learning Day. NAS Oceana, in conjunction with their annual Air Show, provides hundreds of displays highlighting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Students got to watch Air Show rehearsal in the background while getting hands-on time with companies and military entities on the cutting edge of these fields. This year, students from the Science and Medicine Academy at Deep Creek High School and the Governor’s STEM Academy at Grassfield High School participated as presenters, helping wide-eyed fifth graders engage in relevant, hands-on activities to spark their interest in STEM-related fields. Hear more from two academy students about their experience.
As you might imagine, the coordination of such an event is an enormous job. Members of the military and civilian staff at NAS Oceana do all that work behind the scenes for the benefit of local students. Our schools are extremely fortunate to have this partnership. As a close partner with the military, NAS Oceana and Fentress Airfield, here in Chesapeake (which operates under the auspices of the Oceana base), we have seen the dedication of our service members first hand. For example, we saw evidence of this with the Servicing Our Schools initiative in August, when service members showed up right before the beginning of school to assist teachers in preparing for that first big day. We also see their dedication in many of our schools every day.
By the same token, our school district and our individual schools are dedicated to our service members and their children. We have fourteen schools designated as “Purple Star Schools.” The Virginia Department of Education describes those schools in this way, “The Virginia Purple Star Designation is awarded to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military.” We hope to have additional schools earn this designation in the upcoming year!
We are proud and very appreciative of our relationship with our military families and military installations. We look forward to building even more meaningful and beneficial connections in the years to come!