A group of Hollywood JROTC students work together on building a catapult as a STEM activity.

Daliana Hevia enjoys building model airplanes, learning about their movement and how the wings work.

Hevia realized her gift while participating in the five-day JROTC Cadet Leadership STEM Camp. During the year she is a staff sergeant and a student in the Military Academy program at Hollywood Hills High School.

“I like being at this camp and I enjoy meeting new people,” Hevia said.

JROTC cadets from across the district participated in a weeklong JROTC Cadet Leadership STEM Camp held on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.

Gerardo Ochoa, a member of the Army JROTC program at McArthur High School said he liked working on projects at the camp. “I liked testing the airplane we built. We also working on building a catapult. I really like the fact that I get to meet new people here,” said Ochoa. He is a corporal in the JROTC.

Cadets must be recommended by their senior JROTC instructor to participate in the week. The events and activities focus on STEM, team building, leadership training, critical thinking skills and adventure training (Low Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience course, canoeing, rock climbing and water safety/survival training). Students also participate in a pine box derby.

Evelyn Herzog, a major and battalion executive officer for the Hollywood Hills High School Army JROTC program said, “This has been a good experience. I am learning new leadership skills and getting to meet new people,” she said.

The cadets could earn high school and college credits for completing activities such as rocketry, designing and building CO2 Metric Dragsters and an environmental education and outreach program which showcases the northern Everglades ecology and human influence on the South Florida ecosystem.