The tours of the port that Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) offers to pupils remained very popular even under the conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. In the past year, 36 school classes – under observance of hygiene measures – discovered the port museum and the HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder (CTA). Since the beginning of the project in 2015, 6,500 pupils have used the opportunity to learn about the history of the port and its operational processes. As part of its sustainability strategy, HHLA will again actively oversee the project this year together with the Hamburg Port Museum and the State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development.
Many pupils only have a limited understanding of the importance of the port for keeping the economy running. This is why Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), the Port Museum and the State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development launched the Port Scouts project six years ago in order to bring the port closer to Hamburg’s pupils. During one-day excursions, the pupils can take a look behind the scenes at Germany’s largest seaport. They learn about the historic development of the port and how the day-to-day work has changed. Fun knowledge tests and exciting stories told by trained guides turn the excursion into a unique experience.
The young explorers begin their expedition at the Port Museum in Shed 50, where they learn about the Port of Hamburg. How has the work here changed over time? Why do container ships keep getting bigger? How many pairs of trainers fit inside a container? These and many other questions and topics are included in the educational journey. The highlight of the tour is a look at one of the containers modified by HHLA, which showcases the diverse range and volume of goods that are transported around the world in these standardised boxes. Inside the box, pupils learn that in fact they come into contact with products that are brought to Germany by container every day.
The Port Scouts then continue the tour at the highly automated Container Terminal Altenwerder. After finding out in the museum which stations in a terminal a container passes through, they discover up close at CTA what container handling on a large scale means today. Every year, millions of containers loaded with many everyday items are handled at the HHLA container terminals. The port is the economic heart, the biggest commercial hub in Germany and the principal employer in the region.
The tours will again take place as planned this year after the summer holidays – of course under strict hygiene measures and in a somewhat unusual way, but nevertheless with approximately 500 little explorers who will soon become Port Scouts.
Hans-Jörg Heims, Head of HHLA Corporate Communications, explains the commitment of the company, “This year, it is particularly important for us that the Port Scouts programme takes place. After the weeks-long closure of schools and isolation, the pupils should experience a highlight in their school year. We will continue the project under strict hygiene measures and while maintaining social distancing. The children will be divided into small groups and will wear masks. The programme takes place mostly outdoors, with plenty of room to observe social distancing. We are delighted to continue supporting this project. The enthusiasm that we see the children return home with is the biggest reward for our efforts.”
Martin Kelpe, Trainer at the Hamburg State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development, said that, “The State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development is committed to supporting this project. The Port Scouts project is very important to us because we place a lot of value on on-site learning. The Port Scouts project offers the children insights into the historic and current developments at the Port of Hamburg. We are delighted that such projects are possible, particularly in these times. The pupils really benefited from the first school trip after so many months.”
The Port Scouts project is aimed at primary school children in Hamburg. The content of the excursion forms part of the syllabus for the participating classes. They work intensively with the material in the classroom before and after the visit. The teachers who sign up their classes for the day trip complete an introductory course beforehand. During the visit to the museum, the pupils are accompanied by a specially qualified educator. At the terminal, experienced and trained guides explain the processes.
The registration process for the Port Scouts tours is organised by the general studies department at the State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development.Interested Hamburg teachers of year four classes can get more information via email at Martin.Kelpe@li-hamburg.de. Registration for the Port Scouts tours next spring will open in February 2022.