Far East District engineers share their experiences with JROTC cadets
By Steve Satkowski
Far East District
A team of military and civilian engineers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District set upon Seoul American High School Nov. 21 and 22 to tell Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) cadets all about what life is like as an engineer.
Armed with stories, engineer games and a slideshow, deputy commander Lt. Col. Julie D'Annunzio, executive officer Maj. Sarah A. Solli, civil engineer CJ Lee, and Department of the Army intern Will Sheehan explained how engineers affect our lives and what they have done and are doing to impact our world.
"The students were enthusiastic to learn about engineering, and they were surprised to see that examples of engineering constantly surround them. After the presentation, some students told me that they are considering engineering as a major and wanted to learn more from my experiences," said Sheehan.
Solli, who helped organize the presentation, hoped it would give the students interested in an Army career a sense of what engineers do every day and how they can further their education.
"[For those interested in applying for Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarships], I wanted to showcase examples of technical niches available to U.S. Army Officers with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math backgrounds. We wanted to broaden the students' perspectives and spark their interests in STEM-related career fields," said Solli.
Celeste Calderon, a JROTC cadet and ninth-grade student, was impressed with the way the Far East District engineers grabbed the students' attention.
"I thought it was really interactive compared to the other recruiters. This group especially took in to the audience's interest by playing games and all this audience interaction definitely got me more invigorated to learn more about engineering," said Calderon.
Ronald Midomaru, a JROTC cadet and 12th-grade student, thought the way the presentation was conducted was a learning tool for the cadets.
"This presentation was perfect for JROTC because it taught teamwork, time management skills, planning and integrity," said Midomaru.
Retired Lt. Col. Robert F. Mateer, III, Seoul American High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Course senior army instructor, said the presentation allowed students to see engineering as something more than math and science, which a lot of them shy away from.
"It gave them something to think about in a positive and fun way. Had I heard a presentation like this I would have seriously considered looking into becoming some kind of engineer. Several students I talked to afterward said it was fun and eye opening," said Mateer.
This is just one of several presentations to elementary and high school students that the Far East District schedules each year.