Army Cadets attend STEM event

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During the half-term holiday, Army Cadets from around the UK were chosen to attend a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) camp, hosted at Westdown Camp, Salisbury Plain. The six-day camp consisted of a series of activities and short lessons on how the modern British Army makes use of the wide range of technology it has at its disposal.

Ex SCIENCE IN ACTION was an ideal opportunity for cadets in Years 9 to 13 with an interest in STEM to gain an understanding of how the Army makes use of STEM in a military context and to encourage young cadets to continue with STEM-based subjects at GCSE, A Levels and beyond.

In total, 160 cadets from the UK’s Combined and Army Cadet Forces attended this over-subscribed event, doubling the numbers of last year’s very successful pilot. (The adults present were a mixture of schoolteachers, STEM ambassadors and engineers, who have an interest or direct involvement with STEM through civilian employment.)

During the Camp, cadets were able to see how the modern Army makes use of the wide range of technology with the cadets being exposed around the various locations to over £2 million pounds of equipment.

Grantham cadets were well represented:

Sergeant Darshan Patel said: “It has opened my eyes and gave me a greater insight into other options which are available to me after I leave college.”

Lance Corporal Jack King was equally enthusiastic: “I wanted to join the REME before I came on this camp and am considering the role as a Recovery Mechanic. ”

But it was not only the cadets who valued the experience. Adult Instructor Tommy Napier, also from Grantham, commented: “Each day was crammed with STEM activity. The Army did a great job in showcasing what they had to offer these young people, a great majority of whom wanted to further their career in the MOD.”

Evening activities included Q&A sessions hosted by staff from Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College and The Army Foundation College, Harrogate. Other popular activities included talks on Networking, Cyber Security, Technical Surveillance Counter Measures (TSCM) and, for senior cadets, Leadership.

By the end of the camp, cadets had a greater understanding of how the Army applies STEM and the many and varied career opportunities available. One of the event organisers, Col Anthony Lamb, Ex-Director Reserve Forces, summed the week up nicely when he said: “The cadets left with a wealth of knowledge they wouldn’t have gained otherwise. It just goes to show you can be a scientist, without wearing a lab coat!’

One Response to Army Cadets attend STEM event

  1. admin November 9, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Excuse my bias (I’m also a Public Relations Officer in the ACF!) but this was obviously a tremendous event put on by the Army – see below.

    Bill Thompson
    YJA Senior Editor

    Stands were hosted by:

    Royal Signals –

    Staff demonstrated a range of state-of-the-art military communications equipment and the latest cyber Security initiatives, including the Yagi Antenna.

    The antenna was then used as a direction finder to find the enemy’s electronic transmitters placed around the camp. A coded message had then to be deciphered to complete the task. Cadets saw how an improvised Very High Frequency (VHF) antenna could be built by using salvaged materials and used to successfully transmit to a Fitted for Radio (FFR) detachment.

    Royal Artillery –

    Practical sessions included:

    Learning how to fly and navigate a virtual racing drone in a simulated environment, using hand-eye coordination around a racetrack.
    Working as a team to locate the enemy by using an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) in a Virtual Battle Space (VBS) simulation environment as used to train RA soldiers.
    Learning about the RA Mini UAS capability-Desert Hawk 3, which has proven itself as a critical surveillance tool on the battlefield.

    Royal Logistics Corps –

    Cadets were shown how the Army is sustained in the field, including munitions, fuels, and an explosives demonstration. Learning included an understanding of the physics affecting air-delivered items and the boiling points for different fuel types and conducting a flash point experiment.

    In addition, cadets observed a series of explosive demonstrations, explained by a senior AT. (The effects on air pressure when low and high explosives go BANG prompted the cadets to give their biggest cheer of the camp!)

    A useful visit to the Technology School, where cadets had the chance to explore the history behind munitions and weapons, concluded the session.

    Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) –

    Showing how modern equipment is recovered and repaired:

    This included a visit to MOD Lyneham home of the REME HQ and technical trade training schools. Here the cadets applied STEM principles to solve various challenges, which included: correctly adjusting the firing Pin Protrusion on the L115A3 Sniper Rifle, electrical fault finding to a Land Rover simulator and counteract the effects of vibration on rotary (model) aircraft using rotor tuner test equipment.

    Cadets also looked at the calculations involved in estimated pull in order to safely recover a stricken vehicle. Under guidance, their task was to recover a Land Rover using a winch rope, pulling hoist and shackles and lots of elbow grease!

    Army Air Corps –

    Cadets enjoyed a guided tour of an Apache Helicopter with the pilot talking through various technological aspects of the aircraft and the forces acting on it in different situations. They were introduced to its weapon systems (the Hellfire) and 30mmm cannon, as well as the target finding and fire control radar and other leading-edge technology systems. Sitting in a live cockpit and taking off and landing was a memorable experience for all!

    Royal Engineers –

    Cadets received insights into how military engineering can keep an army mobile, including the use of bridging equipment.

    They were tasked to design and construct a bridge that could span a gap using limited resources, then testing it to failure by applying weights. Designing and making a dirty water filtration system using materials supplied was another challenge. By the end of the session, cadets had a good understanding of what a Geographical Technician does, including methods used to accurately judge distance by using calibration equipment.