May 13, 2024

Cadets Visiting Industry Partners: A Gateway to STEM Success

STEM Works
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The demand for professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is at an all-time high. STEMWorks educators know that it is crucial to provide students with opportunities that bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world applications. One such opportunity is through organizing visits to industry partners. STEMWorks, in partnership with the JROTC Leadership Academies, has developed a model for including meaningful visits to industry partners that link the STEM challenges for the week to real-world career opportunities.

When students visit industry partners, they have the opportunity to witness how theoretical concepts are used in practical scenarios. Whether it’s observing engineers building a bridge, touring a technology company, or visiting a laboratory, these experiences deepen students’ understanding of how their studies connect to real-life problem-solving. Cadets in the 2023 JROTC Leadership Academies connected with partners such as General Atomics, the Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, the U.S. Coast Guard, Lockheed Martin, KW Container, Rex Lumber, and Columbus Waterworks System.

Visiting industry partners also allows students to interact with professionals already established in their desired fields. Engaging in conversations, asking questions, and seeking advice from these experts can help students gain invaluable insights. Networking with industry professionals allows students to understand the skills, qualities, and qualities sought after in their chosen careers and provides a platform to form mentorship relationships. These connections can be instrumental in students’ future endeavors, such as securing internships, research opportunities, or even job placements.

STEM careers often require individuals to work collaboratively in teams to solve complex problems. This learning goes hand-in-hand with the goals of the JROTC Leadership Academies. Visitations to industry partners can foster collaboration and teamwork among Cadets both on the STEM and JROTC challenges during the Academy week. Participating in hands-on activities, working on projects, or even engaging in group discussions with industry professionals and their peers promotes the development of problem-solving skills, effective communication, and the ability to work in diverse teams—an essential aspect of success in STEM careers both military and civilian.

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May 13, 2024

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