During the week of 22nd to 27th October 2023 (October half-term for a lot of our cadets), HQ Royal Engineers hosted Exercise CADET STEM CHALLENGE 2023, an exciting, action and technology packed week of various STEM related activities and excursions. STEM (standing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is a key component to the Army Cadets Experience, highlighting the value, importance, and enjoyment that STEM can bring to not just individual life, but society as a whole.
250 cadets attended Chickerell Camp, Weymouth, bringing together cadets from both the Army Cadet Force, and Combined Cadet Force. Travelling from various locations in the UK, cadets enjoyed a whole host of activities, from technology-based; Robotic-Canine’s, Virtual Reality, Cyber Detective Tasks and Digital Close Combat Ranges, to more adventurous tasks such as Climbing Walls, Command Tasks, Airsoft Range, Watermanship, Power Boating, Ariel Ropeway and much more!
The cadets also had the opportunity to receive presentations, displays and talks from various groups and corps within the Army (including the Royal Engineers Esports Team). This included armoured vehicle show & tell, visit to the Tank Museum in Bovington, activities hosted by the Corps Ladies Football Team, and a special show from one of the Army Parachute Display Teams, the REME Lightning Bolts!
It was an opportunity that no cadet, or even adult instructor, should miss out on. Cadet Mansfield, who attended STEM camp, said ‘I’ve really enjoyed STEM camp overall, it has been such a great experience. My favourite activities were doing power boating and bridge building’.
However, as with any camp or activity, cadets will only take away what they put into it, and that’s what Sergeant Instructor Pearce of Dorset ACF had to say about the week. ‘The cadets really gave it their all during STEM camp, taking part in a huge variety of activities and events, from winching a land rover and driving speed boats – their confidence really has soared as a result of this camp!’