A new twist on teaching: Dieffenbacher goes to school

School students on a trip to Nolte in Germersheim

From round timber to coated particleboard in about two hours – how it works and the complex processes behind it amazed around 30 grade 11 students from the Hartmanni Gymnasium at Nolte, a company based in Germersheim that manufactures particleboards and is a customer of Dieffenbacher. The visit to the factory was enabled and organized by Dieffenbacher. Every day, Nolte processes about 80 truck deliveries of round timber into more than 1,500 m³ of coated particleboards with thicknesses ranging from 8 to 49 mm. Among other things, the chipboards are used within the group of companies to manufacture kitchen furniture. Following a brief presentation about the Nolte Holzwerkstoff company, plant engineer Jasper Haunerland guided the group around the 25-hectare factory site and explained the individual production steps involved in creating the particleboards.

Before the trip, Kai Schippmann, Head of Product Management at Dieffenbacher, spoke to the group of students from the courses of economics, social studies and geography concerning market structures and competitive positions at Dieffenbacher in a presentation about "strategic possibilities of heterogeneous markets." Schippmann illustrated the fundamental approaches at Dieffenbacher to diversification and differentiation using the real-world example of developing countries. Schippmann thus provided a clear example of the way in which didactic content from the textbook can be linked to events in the real economy.

This transition from theory to practice gives students valuable insights and prepares them for the transition from school to work. Dieffenbacher is stepping in at this juncture and working with the Selma-Rosenfeld Realschule and the Hartmanni Gymnasium to strengthen the link between school and business. Dieffenbacher meets the students in various grades and different subjects.
Through lectures, company visits, trips and practical projects, students gain a picture of the activities of a world-leading business and get a feel for the real world.

The topics of the cooperation program are designed by representatives from Dieffenbacher in conjunction with school leaders and the teachers responsible for each grade year. The program includes, for example, support for teaching with various technology projects and presentations, company visits and practical projects in Dieffenbacher's training workshop, support for the student company of the Hartmanni Gymnasium and supervising student trainees during their vocational internship. By supervising the student trainees, Dieffenbacher offers special support in the upcoming career selection as well as being a first point of contact for a possible apprenticeship or entry-level job at the Eppingen-based machinery and plant manufacturer.

Schuelergruppe bei Nolte in Germersheim
Figure 1: Group of students from the Hartmanni Gymnasium at the factory visit to Dieffenbacher's customer Nolte in Germersheim.
© Franziska Friese

Kai Schippmann praesentiert am Gymnasium
Figure 2: Kai Schippmann gives a presentation to students from the Hartmanni Gymnasium on "strategic possibilities of heterogeneous markets."
© Konrad Plank

Schuelergruppe mit Kai Schippmann
Figure 3: Group of students from Hartmanni Gymnasium with Kai Schippmann, Head of Product Management at Dieffenbacher.
© Konrad Plank