Employees serving as MobileKids Ambassadors

In the MobileKids "Train the Trainer" workshop, members of staff learn how to convey to children in a fun way how to keep safe on the roads. The employees can then become involved as ambassadors at schools, or pass their knowledge on to friends and family.

First theory, then practice

Katharina Rinck, who runs the workshop, is an elementary school teacher and former police officer. She begins the workshop by telling participants, “I’m going to activate you today”, since the focus here is to get participants to try things out for themselves — which is exactly what they’re going to get children to do later on. After all, today’s participants are already familiar with traffic regulations — that’s why the workshop focuses on teaching methodology. The idea is for participants to play a lot of games and perform practical exercises that enable them to take on the role of the schoolchildren they will later teach, and in this manner identify the best ways to pass on their knowledge.

However, just like the process for obtaining a driver’s license, you need to understand the theory before you can put your methodology into practice. That’s where the MobileKids curriculum modules come in. These modules more or less correspond to elementary school grades and thus get more complex as participants work through them.

Arts and crafts, followed by driving Bobby Cars

Module 1 is meant for the youngest schoolchildren and focuses on the topic “See and be seen”. Bright clothing is very important, especially after dark. Participants realize this at the latest when they take a look into the “Dunkelkammer" (dark room). After that, they are asked to color sketches of T-shirts using colors that are easily visible, as well as those that are difficult to see.

Module 2 — “Crossing the street” — is designed to teach children how to stay safe on the way to/from school when unaccompanied. Here, a game known as "Verkehrsraupe" (traffic caterpillar) is played with orange cones and crosswalks that simulate a street scene. Those who wish to can put their Bobby Car driving skills to the test here as well. Participants take on the role of vehicles and pedestrians and maintain eye contact with one another, and in this manner decide together on who has the right of way etc.

Impressive personal commitment on the part of employees

Two “pedestrians” talk about why they participated in the workshop: Elke Dolinsky and Bianca Balling dedicate a great deal of their free time to the issue of traffic safety, particularly as it pertains to safe travel to and from school. “There are two ways for kids to go to school in the area where we live, and neither of them are really safe,” says Elke Dolinsky, whose son will soon be starting school. “That’s why I’m now planning to launch a petition to make the route to school safer for children.” Bianca Balling’s children have already finished school, but this has done nothing to diminish her commitment to safety. “I was on the parents’ board for a long time,” she says, “and it wasn’t that long ago that our school moved to a new location. People thought about all kinds of more or less important things before the move, but safety on the route to and from school wasn’t one of them.” Balling therefore plans to continue working on safety issues at the school her children used to attend — and the workshop seems like an effective way to prepare for this. “I’d like to assist teachers in addressing this issue,” she says. “I’ll soon be examining the area around the school with the principal in order to identify the safest routes — and the mayor will also be joining us.”

Crayons instead of keyboards, colouring books instead of number-crunching: whether the participants in the MobileKids workshops for employees normally spend their time "metal-bashing" big trucks or sitting in important meetings – in the "Train the Trainer" workshop they all drive Bobby cars. And if 30 members of staff are pulling their knees in instead of putting their feet up after work, you can be sure it's all part of Daimler's MobileKids initiative. MobileKids workshops for employees have so far taken place in Sindelfingen and Wörth.

MobileKids Family Day at the Customer Centre in Sindelfingen

The MobileKids Family Day at the Customer Centre in Sindelfingen in September 2019 had something for the whole family. While the parents could make the most of the opportunity to take a factory tour, the children were busy learning all about road safety.

Theory first, then the practical part: the children had fun learning the meaning of a wide range of road signs and about traffic light colours, as well as how drivers and pedestrians should behave at pedestrian crossings. For the kids, of course, the most exciting element of the workshop was the practical session: in the mobile driving school, the children were able to drive round a special course in small Mercedes-Benz SLK electric cars. As the highlight of the day, they were then able to proudly show their parents a certificate for having taken part in the workshop and their children's driving licence. Three young participants were particularly lucky, winning tickets for the Ravensburger Kinderwelt (a children's activity park) in Kornwestheim, not far from Stuttgart. An exciting day drew to close for the MobileKids participants with everyone joining a special children's guided tour through the plant's production facilities.

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