Photo Information

Staff Sgt. Zachary R. Stelke, a scout platoon sergeant for 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, teaches a class on night vision equipment at the Jacksonville Commons Elementary School, N.C., Dec. 9. Stelke was one Marine, of approximately five from 2nd Tank Battalion, who visited the school’s children to teach them about some of the equipment Marines use.

Photo by Cpl. Walter D. Marino II

2nd Tanks show kids at elementary school their technology

15 Dec 2011 | Cpl. Walter D. Marino II

When an elementary school teacher called the Marine Corps for volunteers to show his class some of the military’s technology, members of 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, were pleased to visit Jacksonville Commons Elementary School, Dec.9.

Marines from the battalion visited the kids in their dress uniform, and brought with them various equipment, such as thermal binoculars, tough books, radio gear and a GPS locator. During the visit the children were able to use the equipment and interact with the Marines.

“They’ve had a lot of good questions,” said Lance Cpl. Eric E. Jones, a field radio operator, with the battalion. “They’re pretty good with technology and they’re learning new ways to communicate with this presentation.”

Although each Marine gadget was explained and allowed to be used, it appeared the children had a favorite. After instructions on how to use the night vision goggles, the lights in the classroom were turned off and a series of, ‘ooohs, awwwws, and wows,’ were heard in the darkness.

“My favorite one was the night goggles because you got to see in the dark and I liked doing that,” said a 10 year old student with the school.

During another demonstration, radio equipment was displayed and after explaining how to use the gear, two groups of children about ten feet apart could be seen giggling as they talked to one another through the radio.

Although there were many laughs and smiles, two goals were accomplished. Students were introduced to technology other than their classroom computers and smart phones. Secondly it was also evident the Marines had left a lasting positive impression on the children.

“I thought they were nice guys, and they protect our country,” said the student. “At first I thought they were mean because sometimes I would see TV shows where they yell at guys, but now I understand that they are not mean. That’s just TV.”

In the near future Marcus D. Adams, an elementary school computer teacher, plans to work with the battalion to arrange a class field trip to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to see the battalion’s tanks.

“This is huge, because the kids get to see something outside of where they live and some of the things you guys have used while overseas,” said Adams. “The goal was for them to see different things. The military has a lot of things that we don’t typically get to see – things like these radios. This is something they wouldn’t see on an everyday basis or even possibly even in a lifetime. There’s no doubt about this leaving a good impression on them.”