While training to win a national championship, the Smith Cotton JROTC program is also fighting world hunger. This year, the Smith Cotton JROTC Academic team, commanded by Cadet Derek Patton, is trying to qualify for the national championship competition in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.
The team consists of all sophomores, something that has never happened in the history of the program. The five cadets, Haleigh Carson, Megan Wilbanks, Maddy Ash, Kylar McNeal, and Derek Patton arrive bright and early two days each week in hopes of one day achieving a national title.
Schools from across America compete in academics, trying to outscore each other on various tests. In order to reach nationals, the team must score well in the first two rounds of competition. In the first phase, every team competes and the top schools advance. During round two, the advancing schools compete, and teams with the top scores advance to national finals in Washington, D.C. Cadets are tested on their knowledge of Mathematics, English, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Science and Current Events.
During practice before school, the team uses textbooks and internet resources to learn new topics and review others. Cadet Patton has recently implemented a new studying technique that allows the team to help stop world hunger. For at least fifteen minutes during practice the team studies from the website www.freerice.com. This organization donates ten grains of rice through the United Nations World Food Program for every question the cadets answer correctly. This website tests various subjects at different levels. The vocabulary section has a range of elementary all the way up to college-level vocabulary.
On Feb. 6, 2013 the website donated 10,979,080 grains of rice. Since inception, the site has donated 98 billion grains of rice to help stop world hunger. Other subjects available for study are: Foreign Language, Art, English, History, Math, Chemistry, Geography, Science and Test Preparation.
The team continues to challenge themselves to learn and improve every day! HOOAH!
Pictured left to right: Cadets Kylar McNeal, Derek Patton, Megan Wilbanks, Maddy Ash and Haleigh Carson.
Submitted by Cadet Master Sergeant Chancey Johnson.