Rebecca sees Science in Action

November 2, 2016

Cadet Lance Corporal Rebecca McConnachie (16) from the Inverness Detachment of 1st Battalion the Highlanders ACF took part in a week-long ‘Science in Action’ Camp run by the Army.

The course was designed to show how Rebecca’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects from school are applied in the real world and in the various aspects of the military. Rebecca shared her experiences with HRFCA.

“I took part in the very first cadet STEM course Science in Action camp run by the Royal Artillery, held at Rollestone Camp, Salisbury. It was a national course open to both the Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force and was attended by 80 cadets.

The first day of training involved the cadets going to Warminster to try out the Combined Arms Trainer simulation. For this activity we were inside a simulator and divided into two-man teams (one person to drive the vehicle and the other to fire at the enemy and navigate), although we were separated, each simulator was connected by radio/headset so we could communicate as a team. The objective was to make your way across the ground, without getting your vehicle damaged, and claim or defend the flag that was placed between the two teams.

On our second day we spent the morning with the Royal Artillery learning about the ballistic angles for predicted fire, the recoil system and live firing on the range. We witnessed live artillery rounds firing demonstration and had the chance to experience the artillery’s most relied-on weapons up close. In the afternoon, the Royal Signals taught us about the importance of their role on the battlefield. We built our own transmitter direction finders, antenna and then conducted a radio transmission from Rollestone Camp to Kinloss Barracks.

On the Wednesday morning we travelled to Perham Down to visit the Royal Engineers. Here we had the opportunity to plan, design and construct model bridges which we tested with various weights. Next we learned how to design and construct a water filtration kit using limited materials. The end of our visit was concluded with a mobile demonstration of the Army’s armoured bridge layer – TITAN. In the afternoon we moved on to Lyneham with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). In our first task we were to work out an ‘estimated pull’ to recover an army vehicle while taking into consideration the material, ground moisture and obstructions. After this we were taken away to learn about the Bloodhound Rocket Car which is currently being built to break the land speed record. In the evening we went to a presentation run by REME personnel.

On our final day we started with a presentation from the Royal Logistic Corps. We were then shown the role of an Ammunition Technician, taught about the physics that affect air-delivered items, such as welfare packages, and then the different chemical properties of fuel and the effect impurities can have upon it. The rest of our day was spent in Middle Wallop with the Army Air Corps. The first exercise was a demonstration of a helicopter’s ability to hover, move three dimensionally and carry a load. We were then shown various helicopter weaponry as well as a guided tour and pilot talk about the Apache Attack Helicopter.

I really enjoyed how hands-on this course was. As well as various lectures we had the chance to get up close to important military equipment and get a more in-depth look into some of the more technical roles of the British Army. I would definitely recommend this course for anyone interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or who plans to pursue one of the included sections of the Army in their future career. I applied for the course with the intention to find out more about the intelligence corps which I plan to join. I was given lots of information and found that all the adults running the course were able to answer my questions, and if not then they could direct me to someone who could.”

Main image (above) shows LCpl McConnachie (2nd right) with some of her fellow cadets on the course.