We’re in the midst of an election campaign like no other before, it seems. Here at Teach About US, we are thrilled to see that we have already exceeded our most optimistic expectations for the U.S. Embassy School Election Project: Right now, about 1,600 teachers and students in Germany and the U.S. are enrolled online in the project. All German states, except Saarland, are represented. We are especially happy that, so far, we have been able to match about a dozen transatlantic tandems in which German and U.S. classes cooperate on the project.
This would not be possible without your and your students’ enthusiasm. In this newsletter, we are informing you about what’s next in the project and how you might incorporate Teach About US into your lessons when teaching the elections.
on behalf of the Teach About US Team and Partners
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This newsletter’s topics at a glance:
Registration Continues Until September 30, 2016
If you are planning to participate in the U.S. Embassy School Election Project 2016 and have not yet registered, then please do so as soon as possible. Late registration will be possible until September 30, 2016.
All project materials will be openly accessible through our platform beyond this deadline, but we ask you to formally register should you intend to order a private Moodle course for your class and participate in the mock election and competition.
To register, please log in to the platform and click on the blue button ‘order a course’ on the start page.
U.S. Election Project Competition and Mock Election: How to Participate?
All registered classes are called to participate in the mock election and student competition for the U.S. Election Project. The deadline for both is October 30, 2016 (at midnight). In your Moodle course you will find more details on this in section 4 “Our state”. For mock election / competition, only one contribution per course (or transatlantic tandem) is possible.
To submit your course’s contribution, one course representative must upload your results in the Virtual Town Hall in the Database ‘Ballot Box & Competition’. Entries can be edited until the deadline and only by the course representative.
For the prediction of the election outcome (mock election), you must simply indicate how you think your adopted state will vote and provide a very brief rationale of not more than 100 words.
For the competition, you can chose one of the following formats:
These creative products must follow specific criteria. They should:
- political cartoon or comic
- film (do not exceed 60 seconds)
- jingle, song, or poem (do not exceed 60 seconds)
- website or blog
- newspaper page
- a set of three to five campaign materials, e.g. for an election party for your candidate (items may include flyer, button, poster, bumper sticker etc.)
Please contact the Teach About US team should you have any questions.
- be in English or bilingual (German and English);
- focus on your adopted state (for example, its culture, socioeconomic factors, demographics, local media, etc.) or ideally apply the unique perspective of the citizens in your state;
- reference your research findings;
- be submitted on behalf of your whole course (multiple entries per course are not possible)
- be submitted by Sunday, October 30, 2016, midnight, via Moodle (see DATABASE: Ballot box & competition in the Virtual Town Hall).
'Explainers-in-Chief': Reach Out to Our Experts on U.S. Politics and Elections
Our team of U.S. election experts: David Goldfield, Amanda Thoet, David McCuan, Jason Johnson, Christianna Stavroudis, Matt Riley, Christina Sickinger, Crister Garrett.
Have you been wondering recently what demographic will decide the election (hint: keep an eye on single women voters in swing state suburbs on Election Day), what the 2016 trends in political cartoons are, or how social media have become such an important aspect of political campaigning? Our distinguished team of U.S. experts on elections and politics is here to answer your students’ questions!
Your students can look up our experts in the database ‘U.S. Election Experts’ in the Virtual Town Hall and post their questions directly under the experts’ profiles. The Teach About US team will bundle these questions and forward them to our experts. Their answers will be posted here on our blog.
Here’s the first of these exchanges with our expert on social media and political campaigning, Dr. Jason Johnson.
Cooperate with a Transatlantic Partner
As we’ve described in our August newsletter, a great option to enhance your project participation is to enter a transatlantic partnership in which German and U.S. students work together of issues related to the election. We have now updated our FAQ section to include more detailed information and tips on working in a transatlantic partnership, for example:
If you have a U.S. partner school and would like to focus on that state for the project, let us know through the registration form. We will happily assign you that state.
Are you a U.S. teacher and want to reach out to a German partner? Contact our colleague Jan-Marie Steele at the Goethe Institut’s TOP program in Washington D.C. Together, we will try to match you with a German partner.
Make the Teach About U.S. Blog Part of Your Lesson
The Teach About US Blogger Team: Liz Subrin, Janina Schmidt, Brandon Greenblatt, Tobias Luthe, Edgar Barrios, Emily Young; not pictured: Felix Wortmann.
The Teach About US Blog is our window on what’s happening in the U.S. and it is resuming now after the summer break with a diverse team of bloggers and contributors. Our senior blogger, Brandon Greenblatt, is on board again and recently introduced our new blogger team.
The blog is run by a team of U.S. and German university and high school students who take us along exploring issues of transatlantic relations. Reporting on current events on their campuses and their communities, they provide a peer perspective on transatlantic issues to project participants in both countries.
Why not make the blog part of your lessons? Last week, Tobias Luthe reported on Minnesota and the upcoming elections; Emily Young blogged about ‘Falling into order for the November Election: Political Advocacy in Ann Arbor, Michigan’; and Edgar Barrios investigated 'The Question Driving Floridians Mad: Who Will Win the Senate?' And there are many more blog posts coming up!
Final Events in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Berlin
The U.S. Embassy Berlin and the U.S. Consulates in Düsseldorf will invite representatives of participating schools to their final events on Monday, November 7. The U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt will invite a delegation of students to their election night event on November 8. In Berlin, our host, once again, will be the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Nov. 7, 14:30). In Düsseldorf, the Ministry of Education is cooperating with us (details to follow).
Contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in participating:
Please note that we cannot cover travel costs. You should plan on attending with no more than four students. More details will follow.