Houston Independent School District JROTC Hybrid STEM Camp at Texas A&M

Story and Photos by: MAJ (R) Michah Ray

Over 300 local Houston area and San Antonio cadets traveled to Texas A&M for a weeklong Hybrid-STEM Camp.  Cadets experienced watercraft sports, rock wall climbing and repelling, built robots for ground and water for competition, outdoor sports, orienteering, drill and ceremony, and experienced working with students they have never met before.  Texas A&M were gracious hosts even allowing cadets to visit President George HW Bush’s library to learn more about his time as a public figure. 

Cadets earned arcs and ribbons for their uniforms, and they were motivated each day.  Several cadets asked if they were allowed to come back next year because they had so much fun.  It was hot outside and instructors enforce strict hydration and cooling techniques.  The physician’s assistant on hand advised cadets on a newer method to stay cool, and that was putting both elbows deep in ice.  It worked to cool down cadets. 

Cadets worked in teams to build their own robots for competitions.  They really enjoyed the water robotics race as it was something most of them have never seen.  Some cadets became “Homesick” but no cadet went home as their teammates motivated them to carry on. 

Lastly, a young lady from Kashmere High School attended the camp and she is a below the knee amputee.  She received an award for her courage to not only attend camp, but she also was the best cadence caller for her company.  She did not allow her disability to slow her down and her company supported her all the way through.  She was an award for being one of the best leaders in her company.