Cadets from the Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) attended a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Camp from July 14-20. The camp was held at the St. Johns Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield Wisconsin. Cadets received instruction in the following areas:
Virtualization, Operating Systems in Windows and Linux, Packet Tracer, Cisco, and Robotics. The chief instructor was Mr. Richard Duncan, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. The capstone exercise was a cyber security competition, based on the national Cyber Patriot competition for high school students. Additionally, cadets also conducted physical training every morning before breakfast, and negotiated obstacle courses and participated in rappelling off of a 40 foot tower in the evening, thus working a 15 hour training day. The camp was fully funded by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Michiana Marines, the local chapter of the Marine Corps League. The camp did not cost Michigan City Area Schools (MCAS) or the cadets anything.
“Our cadets represented Michigan City very well among the 10 other schools that sent cadets to this camp,” said Senior Marine Instructor Major Tom McGrath . “The skills that the cadets acquired will be used for our Cyber Patriot team, and can also be used as a foundation for a career in cyber security. Both government and business are actively recruiting individuals with cyber security knowledge,” he said.
Ms. Suzann Marshall, multiple disciplinary teacher at MCHS, who was the female chaperone for the camp, observed how well the MCHS cadets worked with cadets from the other schools in all of their computer projects as well as the physical activities outside of the classroom. “This was a great experience for our cadets to learn skills that are in such high demand in today’s workforce,” she said.
The cadets were addressed by the Acting National Director of the MCJROTC, Mr. Ralph Ingles, who is in charge of the 235 MCJROTC schools throughout the country. He encouraged the cadets to take full advantage of the cyber instruction being provided. “This is really the wave of the future regarding skills being needed by the military,” he said. “I see the Marine Corps JROTC really expanding these STEM Camps to allow more cadets the opportunity to learn these valuable skills.” Michigan City was the only Indiana MCJROTC school to attend the camp.
This was the third summer camp the cadets have attended. They had attended a Basic Leadership Camp at the Ransburg Boy Scout Reservation in Bloomington, IN, and a Senior Leadership Camp, also at the St. Johns Northwestern Military Academy. These camps were also conducted at no cost to MCAS or the cadets.
MCHS MCJROTC is not yet done with summer activities. They will be supporting the Grand Prix Boat Races August 1-3 at Washington Park and helping with the preparation and execution of the MCAS Back-To-School rally at the Elston Building and Grounds on August 14th. This is in addition to the daily military drill practices conducted at the high school in preparation for the MCJROTC Drill Team season. Their first competition will be on November 22nd, also at Elston.