History/STEM Trip to Berlin, 2019
(including students from Years 12, 13 & 14)
Our trip began with a very early start and nearly a 24-hour day, but we were rewarded with bright and sunny Autumnal weather. First on our itinerary, was a comprehensive walking tour of the Historical Points of Interest of the fascinating city, including the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, the ‘Empty Library’ and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
We finished the day with a trip up the famous Berlin TV Tower where we had a 360-degree panoramic view of the city at night from 368 metres high.
Day two was a day of contrasts, the morning was spent at Berlin’s 170-year-old zoo, with more species on display than any other zoo in the world – the hippos were a true highlight! After lunch, we were fascinated by the delights of the Technik Museum, which included a showcase of Germany’s industrial progress and planes, trains and automobiles. After a delicious Italian meal, we visited the iconic Bundestag Dome on top of the Reichstag Building, the heart of German democracy.
On day three we travelled to Wolfsburg (watching the Rugby World Cup final en route) to spend the day exploring the innovative Autostadt at Volkswagen HQ. Some of us measured our carbon footprint whilst others learned about sustainability and water waste during food production. The Autostadt boasts 26 pavilions on campus and centres on the production of the car with demonstrations from Porsche, Lamborghini, Audi and Bugatti. Students were able to trace the development of design in cars from the late 19th century to futuristic concept cars. The whole experience was a master class in German design and efficiency. Wolfsburg is the fifth largest city in Germany but boasts the highest average earnings of €150,000 per head. We ended the day with dinner in the Sony Centre.
No one could really have anticipated the range of emotions we all felt on our final day as we visited Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.
There really are no words to describe the impact of the stories we heard about the myriad of chilling events which took place there, or our heartfelt reactions as we toured the camp. We all appreciated that the world must be reminded of the horrendous events of persecution committed by the Nazis, culminating in the Holocaust; and that they should never be repeated.
Sunday afternoon’s excursion took us to the iconic Olympic Stadium, where we were able to stand in the place where the Olympic Flame was lit, and where Jesse Owens famously won his four gold medals in 1936.
All in all, this was the most poignant day of our trip and we returned to LGS all the richer for it.
“Berlin was one of the best experiences of my life so far. It will really help me picture the places we learn about in GCSE History” Jenna Mullan, Year 12
“I questioned going to Berlin on such short notice, but in hindsight I know it was the Reich choice.” Thomas Harris, Year 13