Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Summer Camp Full of Surgery, Piloting Aircraft, Robotics and Solar Tech

San Diego State University's Project Lead the Way -- a program that encourages high school students to continue their education in the engineering field -- hosted a week-long summer camp in August for 50 JROTC cadets.

Called the STEM Camp, the event encouraged the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and creative and innovative reasoning using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Hands-on experiments included building remote controlled robotic devices, studying robotic programming and learning the anatomy of the human heart.

The camp also included lessons on how the circulatory system functions, making a heart pump, laparoscopic surgery, creating a rocket-powered car, flying an airplane through the use of flight simulators, exploring the use of solar panels and experimenting with hydrogen fuel-cell cars.
The week culminated with project presentations to visiting parents and a graduation ceremony.

The program was the result of a collaboration between San Diego Unified's JROTC staff, Command support at Ft. Knox, Ky., and Dr. Bruce Westermo, Assistant Dean in the College of Engineering at San Diego State University. LTC David Guzman, the District JROTC Program Manager, helped secure a $40,000 grant to fund the program. San Diego Unified teachers Ellie Vadiver (University City High) and Omar Garcia (Lincoln High) were also involved.

Not only did the cadets have STEM activities during the week, they had a taste of college life, living in a dorm at the university, taking meals in the dining hall and enjoying a campus tour, and personalized admissions briefing. 

For more information, see an SDSU News Center article or contact LTC Guzman at (858) 496-8203 or