Top Cadets Attend NJROTC Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Seminar

Story Number: NNS090722-31Release Date: 7/22/2009 10:11:00 PM
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By Michael F. Miller, Naval Service Training Command Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets visited San Diego to enhance their science and technology skills July 13-18.

More than 150 NJROTC cadets attended the NJROTC Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) seminar held at the University of San Diego (USD). During the weeklong program, cadets conducted hands-on experiments using math, science and engineering technology concepts.

"The NJROTC STEM seminar is an opportunity for some of our more talented NJROTC cadets to sample and experience undergraduate technical education," said Dr. J.D. Smith, NJROTC program manager, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC). "It is our hope that, due to this camp, cadets will accept the challenge to strive for college and major in science, technology, engineering or math."

NJROTC is a citizenship program that instills service to the United States, personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment in students in United States secondary educational institutions. The NJROTC program teaches cadets self-discipline, self-confidence and leadership skills to help meet life's challenges and helps prepare them for life after high school, regardless of what career path they decide to take. NSTC oversees more than 600 NJROTC units worldwide.

The USD NJROTC STEM seminar was the second of two that took place this year. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hosted 300 cadets at a STEM seminar earlier this summer in Daytona Beach, Fla. These seminars are designed to give NJROTC cadets an idea of what college life is like.

"The goal of the summer program is to promote the cadets' interest in post-secondary education, especially in technical subjects, by acclimating them to a college campus environment and exposing them to scientific coursework," said Mark Watson, NSTC's NJROTC operations manager.

During the STEM seminar at USD, the cadets took classes with college professors and participated in team projects, including the building of a robot, catapult and device to walk on water. The cadets tested the final product in a competition held at the end of the week.

"I loved the idea of being able to walk on water and learning what college life will be like when you are on your own," said Cadet Lindsey Ryan, a senior from Taft High School in Chicago.

"This week's events have been a great way to meet people with the same goals, and I have now been given a basis for the college engineering program," said Cadet Justin Vietinghoff, a senior from David Glasgow Farragut High School in Rota, Spain.

Dr. Rick Olson, associate professor, USD Industrial and Systems Engineering, put together the curriculum for the week and assembled the group of professors and students that would teach and assist the cadets.

"It has been wonderful to see how the cadets are quickly adapting to the college experience," said Olsen. "The great thing about USD for the STEM seminar is that we are undergrad only and love to teach. By not pushing grad students, our faculty is able to work with the younger students that come through the engineering program."

"The week was very successful," said Smith. "The cadets were academically challenged but still able to enjoy themselves."

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Navy Junior ROTC cadet ensigns, from left, Alicia Limas, Jarrod Johnson and Taryn Wilson assemble a wooden catapult during the NJROTC Science, Technology, Engineering and Math seminar.
090716-N-0437M-014 SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 16, 2009) Navy Junior ROTC cadet ensigns, from left, Alicia Limas, Jarrod Johnson and Taryn Wilson assemble a wooden catapult during the NJROTC Science, Technology, Engineering and Math seminar at the University of San Diego. More than 150 cadets participated in the weeklong college engineering environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mike Miller)
July 21, 2009
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