Cambs Cadets attend STEM Camp

Cambs Cadets attend STEM Camp

7 December 2022

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On 23-29th October, 13 Cambridgeshire cadets and 5 adult instructors joined 300 others to take part in the National Army Cadet STEM Camp at Westdown Army Camp, Salisbury Plain.

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Cadets taking part in an engineering challenge.

The National STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) Camp is an annual week-long event which seeks to inspire cadets through applying academic subjects in real military situations. Uniquely, this is run by the Regular Army, and emphasises the necessity of technical skills required by soldiers, whilst also teaching important skills that can be used outside the Armed Forces. Cambridgeshire ACF’s participation was organised by Lt Liddington, with further support provided by Lt Colonel Seaman, Major Kell, Lt Protacio and SSI Ray.

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A Royal Engineers Titan bridge layer.

Classes were taught by serving soldiers with a wide variety of technical trades. The instructors included soldiers of the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC), Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), Royal Corps of Signals and the Army Air Corps.

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Cadets in an armoured vehicle.

Beginning with enthusiastic and informative presentations to explain how science is used in the Army, and including a talk by adventurer Jordan Wylie, the programme of events moved on to many exciting activities including watching an explosives demonstration by the RLC. This explained the immense technical skill, planning and preparation needed to use explosives safely and effectively, and included a practical detonation of plastic explosives and fuses. This was supported by linking the science back to Chemistry taught in school.

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One of the presentations.

Also with the RLC, cadets were shown the basics of vehicle and engine maintenance needed to ensure the Army’s fleet of vehicles is kept in good condition, and with The Royal Artillery, cadets learned about the skills and calculations needed to ensure artillery rounds fall on their targets. With the Royal Engineers, they got a demonstration of equipment and vehicles for laying portable bridges and for combat engineering.

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Vehicle maintenance.

The cadets spent a half-day with the Army Air Corps (AAC), being shown a Helicopter and having a go in an Apache Flight simulator, a highlight of the camp for many cadets.

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Cadets being shown an AAC helicopter.

Other highlights of the camp included instruction on a practice missile launcher, being set technical challenges to build working models from available materials, watching a display by an Army parachute team, and time spent with the REME, being shown some of their impressive vehicles used in recovery operations.

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A Royal Artillery Starstreak missile launcher.

The cadets and adults were thoroughly engaged through the week, with everybody enjoying themselves. SSI Rylan Ray said; ‘It was a brilliant insight into how STEM is applied everywhere, to Explosive Ordnance Disposal, to transport, bridges, aircraft, signals and many other areas. The cadets got to see first hand what the Army gets up to.’

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A Royal Engineers Trojan armoured vehicle.

Deputy Commandant Lt Col John Seaman said; ‘STEM Camps unite two of my great passions, the Army Cadet Force, and science. It’s important to show that the Army is not all about infantry skills, but is increasingly reliant on service-people being able to understand and use increasingly technical equipment. For our cadets to have these opportunities to learn important new skills, and be taught by serving soldiers, is superb.’

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A member of the parachute display team.

If you would like to attend STEM Camp next year, speak to your Detachment Commander.

Text by SI Doug Stuart. With thanks to Lt Col Seaman and SSI Ray.

Pictures by Kate Knight and SSI Ray.