Newsletter // August 11, 2016

Newsletter // August 11, 2016

by Joannis Kaliampos -
Number of replies: 0

Teach About US Update | August 2016

We're officially launching the U.S. Election Project 2016 with our state lottery and our best Moodle course yet. Read on in the newsletter.

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Teach About US Update // Aug. 11, 2016


Dear Subscriber,

With this newsletter, we are officially launching the U.S. Election Project 2016!

The last months have been busy for us, but I’m sure, the result is well worth it. In this newsletter, you’ll read about the ‘state lottery’, the launch of the online Moodle course for the U.S. Election Project, and much more.

Of course, the Going Green project is also on our agenda this upcoming school year. Why not participate in both projects – cover the elections in the fall and Going Green in the second semester?

With these two exciting school projects and the election of the next President of the U.S. ahead, we are looking forward an eventful school year with you and your students!



Joannis Kaliampos
on behalf of the Teach About US Team and Partners


   Joannis Kaliampos
   Leuphana Universität | Scharnhorststr. 1 | 21335 Lüneburg

   Fon +49 (0)4131.677-1662 | E-Mail | Web




This newsletter’s topics at a glance:

U.S. Embassy School Election Project – You can still register!  

Although we are officially launching the project with this newsletter, it is certainly not too late to register for the project. The project curriculum can be easily adjusted to your time budget and can be carried out in a few lessons or even fill several weeks.

Of course, you can also register and use the materials with your students without participating in the competition.

Here are the important project dates at a glance:

  • Early August 2016: active project phase begins

  • Sept. 26/Oct. 4/Oct. 9/Oct. 19, 2016: (Vice) Presidential debates

  • Oct. 30, 2016: Deadline for submitting your prediction and competition entry

  • Nov. 7, 2016: Final events in Berlin and other parts of Germany

  • Nov. 8, 2016: Election Day 2016

Which one is your state? The results of the state lottery

Last week, our wonderful interns at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin put together a short video starring Jeremy Fowler, Deputy Cultural Attaché. Jeremy drew schools that have registered for the project already and matched them with a U.S. state. Watch the state lottery here:

It’s been fun! We’ve posted all results here. Don’t worry if you registered after the state lottery. We will assign U.S. states to all incoming registrations.

What’s in it for you? Check out the Moodle course

We are thrilled about our new Moodle course for the Election Project. Take a look at the preview version here. Those of you who have participated in one of our projects before will notice that we have made an effort to render the design of the course more intuitive. We’ve included a great variety of classroom activities and resources in this course. Pick and choose from this pool those that best fit your students, school curriculum, and time budget.

We will create password-protected copies for each participant course and forward the password to you. Your students will then have to register on the platform and enter your course (more instructions can be found online).

We will begin by creating course copies for schools in those states where the summer break is already over and then continue creating the other copies throughout August.

Also, this project will feature a “Virtual Town Hall” to which all project participants have access, where classrooms can reach out to each other and where you can post questions to our team of election experts.

New kids on the blog: Welcome our fresh team of bloggers

We are ver happy that our Teach About US blog will continue soon with a fresh team of bloggers! We welcome to the team:

Emily Young, student in International Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Emily loves photography and will contribute a photo series.

Liz Subrin, student majoring in Chemistry at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. Liz’ focus will be on green issues in the campaigns.

Edgar Barrios, student at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Edgar will give us great insights into State politics (e.g. close Senate races) in an important swing state, among other things.

Brandon Greenblatt, student in Political Science at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and our 'senior blogger' now entering his second year in the Teach About US team.
This year, we will also have two German students who will be studying in the U.S. this fall/winter as exchange students:

Tobias Luthe, Free University Berlin, who will study in Minneapolis and is an American history/politics student. He interned with the U.S. Embassy in Berlin this summer.

Felix Wortmann, a high school student from Berlin who will be in Michigan exploring high school life there. Felix participated in Going Green together with his school class (and won an award).

Both will provide the “one step removed” perspective on the elections.

We are excited to welcome all of you to the team and are looking forward to your posts!

Collaborating with a transatlantic partner

Do you have a partner school in the U.S./Germany? Then why not participate together as team in the U.S. Election Project? Your German students could, for example, create a questionnaire or prepare a Skype interview about your U.S. partner students’ home state. Students from both courses could discuss election issues together in forums.

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.

If you are looking for an informal exchange with another school in the U.S. or Germany, visit the Virtual Town Hall. We have created the database “Connect and Discuss” where participating classes can post a group profile and reach out to other classes seeking project partners.

Going Green –  Join us for round three!

Although our main focus this fall will be on the elections, this upcoming school year will also include another round of Going Green. The project materials and online course are already available and participation is possible throughout the school year. We will enter the active project phase with the conclusion of our Going Green student competition in the second semester (after the holiday break).

If you wish to participate with your transatlantic partner, send your colleagues overseas a message and begin thinking about the possible project time frame and potential modes of exchange.

From our Teach About US Blog

Recent posts

Welcome our fresh team of bloggers: Edgar Barrios, Liz Subrin, Emily Young, Brandon Greenblatt, Tobias Luthe, Felix Wortmann. Previous blog posts include:

Just Eat It: A Discussion of Food Waste and Our Environment
by Julianne Troiano

Some Exciting Developments in the Solar Industry
by Brandon Greenblatt

The Ocean Cleanup: An Exciting Project to Remove Plastic from our Oceans
by Brandon Greenblatt

Thanks for Subscribing

The team at Teach About US wants to extend a hearty 'thank you' to all of our wonderful teachers, students, and readers. You've made the Teach About US community shine, and we want to keep that going! If you're not a regular just yet visit the Teach About US website for some exciting student projects, fun and interactive teaching resources on politics and sustainability in the U.S., and much more!

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