STEM - Discuss

Key messages for the CFAV recruitment programme…


Well, they all sound good!
Perhaps we ought to position ourselves at the forefront of STEM though, before we publicly claim it.
Or at the very least, hide the MTA kits before any more real engineers see them…


Meanwhile, in a Cadet Force not far away and even during lockdown they managed to run…


Perhaps if we want any decent STEM we should just get friendly with the SCC :upside_down_face:

Time to go purple…?


Or actually do stem?



There is soooooo much scope for doing some actual engineering in the wide field we have available to us.
The first step, in my mind, would be to stop thinking of STEM as a filler “activity” we offer and start putting proper training and practical elements into our existing classification subjects.

Advanced Radio & Radar, Propulsion, Airframes, Military Aircraft Systems… They’re crying out to be more than powerpoint study sessions.

If the SCC can teach elements of marine engineering then why aren’t we offering an aerospace equivalent? Especially in the advanced subjects for our older cadets! We could give them something interesting which might actually be useful in their lives.


Easy; ££s.


It doesn’t all require expensive kit… Have a look at the lessons in that SCC course. That’s already more applicable than most of the “STEM” we provide and it could be taught by anyone knowledgeable with limited equipment.

Of course, we would have more ££ for proper engineering kit if we hadn’t wasted £1000s on those crappy MTa kits… :confused:


I think we need to tear up the current syllabus and start from scratch, yes we lose the BTEC in the short term but very few of my Cadets have ever had much interest in it anyway. (Keep 1st Class as it is for now as it’s different to the others).

Link progression through the Classifications to a mixture of a STEM based practical syllabus and PTS.

Give each PTS badge a points value (1-3 Bronze-Gold don’t count blue), give each Syllabus subject a points value and you need 1 Syllabus subject plus X number of points to progress to the next classification. If you have done extra syllabus lessons you need less PTS points.


I totally agree.
I’ve long felt that the biggest obstacle to properly improving ALL our training - classification, cadet courses, staff courses - is that whenever something is “updated” it’s just a bunch of people changing a word here and there, tweaking a subject, or bolting-on something barely related.
Rarely does anyone seem to bin-off the old carp entirely, carry out a proper TNA, and create an actual, new, interesting, fit-for-purpose course.

There was evidently talk some years ago about introducing something half-decent… Two guys approached me over lunch at Cosford to ask for help. They’d be tasked with creating a course for pneumatics and hydraulics for “the Air Cadets” but had been given no boundaries to work within.
They had no idea what to include, what level it was supposed to be aimed at, what prior knowledge they could expect…
No wonder we never really saw anything from it.


Yes it is.

The changes are needed 10 years ago are still 10 years away.

The durge of sest warming lay abouts continues.

The entire syllabus on offer is poor and unfit.

Our electronic ways of working might be coming, but isnt here yet and completion is well off.

The promised admin reduction hasnt happened. And any promise of a ‘bonfire of red tape’ is just that a promise. Vacuous words.

No real flying opportunities even as we open up. Certainly not even enoifht to fly each cadet once per year in something. Anything.

So yeah. Orgs in a bad way.

Have had success with companies wanting to help out Rolls Royce, General Electric and Airbus.

The problem came when escalated up and lost in the system.

We did a great STEM project a little while back.

Weather balloon into ‘space’

Cadets designed and built the payload, researched the required legislation etc.

Buttttt then COVID ruined it, now most of the cadets involved have timed out or left…time to restart!

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Could you share the info in files maybe?


Will did out the planning / intro PowerPoint etc when I’m next at unit. There’s also a costing sheet for civ com too.


Thank you. Will keep an eye out for it.