After serving all school year as tutors at Nolan Middle School, 418th Transportation Company soldiers decided to bring a few items to school for show-and-tell.
Nolan's Adopt-A-School unit on Tuesday parked two cargo vehicles and a Humvee in the school parking lot and explained to students the life of a transportation soldier.
Tracy Griffith, academic adviser at Nolan, said that in past years the unit has been deployed and a small number of rear detachment soldiers have served the school.
This year, though, soldiers came every Wednesday to work as tutors and assist teachers in any way requested.
The vehicle display was a nice end-of-school-year touch and provided some unique math and history lessons, Griffith said.
The soldiers provided the school with information about the three vehicles in advance and math teachers used it to reinforce lessons on unit conversion, finding area and volume and other concepts.
Social studies teacher Thisha Giddis took photos of the vehicles for her students to use in multimedia presentations about the visit.
History teachers and soldiers tasked students to compare the Operation Desert Storm era M998 Humvee with the current model M1151.
Showing students the older vehicle, Spc. Oscar Garza showed how easily he could remove the doors and explained how soldiers often fired their weapons through the open-door vehicle.
Those days are long gone, he said, pointing out in a picture the new vehicle's heavy armor, the turret at the top for more secure firing and the newer vehicle's greater mobility.
As Garza interacted with the sixth- through eighth-graders, it became apparent many students were well aware of IEDs, knew the abbreviation stood for improvised explosive device, and connected that to the need for armored vehicles in the current combat zones.
From a more mathematical standpoint, students compared the relative cost, size and payload of the various vehicles.
Students learned about the light medium tactical vehicle, a 253-foot-long cargo truck soldiers use to carry all kinds of equipment or as many as 12 soldiers in the back and three in the front.
Sgt. Clarence Stevens said he wanted to explain to the military-wise students the importance of support units like transportation to assist infantry and artillery units.
Lt. Bryan Langley said the day at Nolan was refreshing for soldiers accustomed to vehicle inspections and maintenance and seemed like a good breather for teachers and students.
"We wanted to come out and show them what we do," Langley said. "It's nice to do something at the end of the year that's fun. A lot of them who struggle to pay attention in class are paying attention out here. They are relating what they learn to the real world."