KAISERSLAUTERN, RP, GERMANY
VOGELWEH MILITARY BASE, Germany— Eighteen soldiers from the 7th Civil Support Command’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear unit, the 773rd Civil Support Team and more than a dozen freshman students participated in a 21st Theater Sustainment Command mentorship program at Kaiserslautern High School on Jan. 28, Jan. 29 and Jan. 31.
Jackson said she created the mentorship program five years ago and the mentorship program was reestablished in 2010 with the 21st TSC, who has had several units participate in the program over the years.
“This is the first time that the 773rd CST has been involved in the mentorship program,” Lt. Col. Leslie Dillard, the 773rd CST commander and Huntsville, Ala., native said. “Mentorship programs are important to the development of not only the students but also to the soldier. Sharing your life’s experiences with our future keeps them engaged.”
This program is an opportunity for the students to talk to the soldiers about career opportunities in the CBRN field, said Jackson, a Houston, Texas native, who holds a doctorate in education. “It gives them an outlook of what the future can be.”
Jackson said her students ask, “’Why do we need to learn how to balance equations and mix chemicals?’”
“Well, there’s a job in the real world that relates to this,” Jackson said. “We get to mentor each other.”
Going forward in the future, Jackson said she will try to expand the partnership program for the entire school district.
“It was a great opportunity for us to get out in the local community and interact with the high school students and for them to ask us questions about how chemistry relates to our job in the military,” Sgt. Brandon Taylor, 773rd CST, said. “It was a good learning experience for them and now they know what they learn in chemistry class can help them achieve future career goals and opportunities.”
The soldiers and students worked on chemical equations during the first two days in the classroom.
On the third day, they conducted a flame test. During the experiment, teams of two soldiers and three students each identified elements (compounds) by their color using a blue flame in the KHS chemistry lab.
“It was fun working with the Soldiers, getting to know them,” Robert Brown, freshman student, Kaiserslautern High School, and Chicago native, said. “It was fun to try to teach them balanced equations. I want to teach math and science in the future.”
“I think the experience was very fun and interesting,” Zarrian Fields, freshman student, KHS, whose hometown is Killeen, Texas, said. “I learned that different elements can turn; change into different colors when burned by propane.”
“As a CBRN unit, there is always a need for my personnel to refresh and hone their skills,” Dillard said. “We are learning from each other. If the students can teach us how to do the work, then Dr. Jackson knows that they understand the concepts.”
“Dr. Jackson and I have already scheduled a ‘field’ trip out to ROB [Rhine Ordnance Barracks] in April, where the students will spend the day with the Soldiers of the 773rd,” Dillard said. “We will allow them to experience what it is to be a CBRN soldier and HAZMAT technician.”
“The field trip will give them an experience of what we actually do and how what they’re learning in their chemistry can be applied to what we do in our job here,” Taylor, a Chicago native, added.
“It’s nice to have people around me that know what they’re doing,” Abbi Charpentier, freshman student, KHS, and Houma, La., native said. “We’d like them to come back.”
||KAISERSLAUTERN, RP, DE
||CHICAGO, IL, US
||HOUMA, LA, US
||HOUSTON, TX, US
||HUNTSVILLE, AL, US
||KILLEEN, TX, US
This work, 7th CSC’s 773rd CST goes 'Back to School', by SFC Matthew Chlosta, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.