31 October 2017
The second Exercise Science in Action camp, to teach cadets about how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are used in the Army, took place on 22-27 October with nearly 160 ACF and CCF cadets taking part.
Thanks to the success of the first Science in Action camp in 2016, the number of places available was doubled this year, but with over 300 applications the competition for places was fierce. In total 45 female and 112 male cadets from around the UK took part, with some travelling up to 10 hours in order to attend.
The camp consisted of a series of activities and short lessons, showing how the Army uses a wide array of technology. Tuition was provided by Army experts and by ACF/CCF adults with STEM subject expertise. To ensure they could provide suitable activities for all ages the cadets were divided into two main groupings: Junior Company (GCSE level – up to school year 10) and Senior Company (A level – for school years 11-13).
Over the week the cadets visited:
Royal Signals – demonstrating a range of state of the art military communications equipment and the latest cybersecurity initiatives.
Royal Artillery – discussing the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for battlefield surveillance and information gathering, along with a practical session operating drones.
Royal Logistics Corps – showing how the Army is sustained in the field, including munitions, fuels and an explosives demonstration.
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) – showing how modern equipment is recovered and repaired.
Army Air Corps – discussing rotary wing (helicopter) flight.
Royal Engineers – providing insights into how military engineering can keep an army mobile, including the use of bridging equipment.
Throughout the week the cadets took part in a range of hands-on activities including: learning about how a drone works then flying one; designing and constructing a bridge to span a 14-inch gap using limited resources; designing a water filtration system and building a Yagi Antenna.
Optional evening activities, well-attended by most cadets, included briefings on internet surveillance (covering understanding internet footprints and staying safe online), tech surveillance (bugging) counter measures, and cyber technology; a networking event on leadership (including a female-only discussion); and a movie night.
Cadet Kaitlyn Heywood from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire ACF said she learned about careers she’d never thought of previously: “We were able to participate in many activities from landing a helicopter to pulling a truck out of a swamp.This week has shown me the jobs in STEM aspects of the Army, and we were able to visit the Royal Signals, Royal Logistic Corps, Royal Engineers, Army Air Corps, Royal Artillery and REME.”
Col Anthony Lamb (Royal Signals), who was in overall charge of the camp, commented: "Exercise Science in Action is all about bringing those kids together and showcasing some of the opportunities that exist in the army today. We've been overwhelmed by the level of interest in this movement. Watch this space, I think it will only grow."
On this year's event he said the two things he most admired were: "The enthusiasm of these young people – we have 160 impressive young men and women who have given up their time to see what the Army can bring; and how enthusiastically all of the Army, the cap badges, have responded to support this initiative."
To learn more about the camp visit the Ex Science in Action Facebook page.