Students at Holbrook Elementary School celebrated science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics as part of STEAM week, May 7 through 11. The kindergartners through fifth graders all got to see and experience the importance of these subjects through guest speakers, projects, presentations, performances and more.

The third graders in Cynthia Grant’s class had a week filled with fun and learning. They participated in a variety of activities, from building a protective case for an egg drop with help from the Soldiers of the 100th Engineer Company, 20th Engineer Brigade to putting on a play.

The play was a part of “arts” day, Grant’s students received eyeliner mustaches; donned cowboy hats made out of newspapers, tied on bandanas and practiced their lines for a performance of “The Legend of Lightning Laura.” The play is a classic tale of good versus evil where good wins out with the help of Lightning Laura, who turns the bad guys good by the play’s conclusion.

“The play also teaches the students from a historical perspective through its western theme. It’s something they’ll remember and learn from while still having fun,” she said.

The third graders got into their roles, excitedly grabbing hats for rehearsal and with nearly all the students, male and female, lining up to have Grant draw a mustache (getting to choose between curly or full) on their faces. After a quick rehearsal for their later performance, the students went to the auditorium to learn more about the theater from Tom Quaintance, the artistic director at Cape Fear Regional Theater.

Quaintance taught the students about the role of a director in leading the actors.

“There are lots of different ways to tell the same story,” he said. “That’s the main job of anyone who works in theater – to tell stories.”

The third graders understood the lessons Quaintance was teaching, having already modified the gender of the main character to fit the direction they wanted the story to go in. The class erupted in laughter as they practiced some of the improvisational exercises the director taught them.

“This is so much fun,” one student exclaimed after passing on “energy” to the person standing beside him. After leaving the assembly, the students put the finishing touches on their own performances and headed off to show off their acting chops to the school’s fourth graders.