Girls and Boys Day
Over the past weeks in Germany, more than a hundred thousand girls spent a day exploring professions dominated by men. They participated in Girls Day 2014 and took on roles such as engineers, surgeons, and IT-experts. Like other ninth graders before us, we got the chance to go to the Bundeswehr in Reston, on March 27,2014.
Our bus left the school at 8:20 am and after half an hour on the beltway we arrived at the German military base at Dulles Airport.
An officer who had served the German army for 20 years introduced us to the diverse jobs at the Bundeswehr with a very informative presentation. We learned about the different careers and financial benefits the Bundeswehr offers and especially the opportunities women have nowadays.
Fortunately, a German carrier plane, which was on its way from Germany to El Paso, had stopped in Dulles and, thanks to the crew, we got to take a look at this impressive aircraft.
The crew introduced us to the cockpit with all of its controls and told us about all the different functions this particular plane has.
Even an ICU can find a place in this humongous machine! This time it was carrying all kinds of cargo and some passengers.
The loadmasters showed us the cargo compartment and how to optimally load the plane. Our physics teacher was mostly fascinated by the calculations made to find the center of gravity, while we were having a lot of fun squeezing ourselves through the piles of boxes with weapons and other items. Apart from 8 tons of munition and turbines, the plane also transported boxes of DIN A 4 paper to Texas.
After taking some group pictures we watched the plane taking off while we were shouting and waving, the “August Euler” We were really glad when we were back in the warm buses and on our way to the Bundeswehr base in Reston.
The second highlight of the day awaited us in the big warehouse: driving forklift trucks!
The goal was to maneuver around three cones, and then pick up or drop of a crate. Some of us were more successful than others...
For lunch we had a truly German meal: “Schnitzel mit Pommes”.
With full bellies we plopped ourselves into incredibly comfortable chairs and turned our attention to a lecture on the management of the Bundeswehr and career or internship possibilities, all the while learning about which tank is probably best suited to hit a distant target three times at the same time.
(That, by the way, would be the “Panzerhaubitze”. It can shoot in different angles, which makes it possible to hit the target multiple times. Comment from our math teacher: “Parabola”!)
After a short Q&A session and an extensive farewell, it was already time to go back to the German School.
God knows if we are actually going to become officers someday. But one thing is certain: It was a very eventful day where we not only learned a lot but also had a lot of fun!
Elisabeth R.and Pauline F. (9a)
Accompanying teachers: Hardy Hinrichs and Christiane Becker