Teach About U.S. Update // December 19, 2019

Teach About U.S. Update // December 19, 2019

by Joannis Kaliampos -
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UPDATE // Dec 19, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

As this year is coming to an end and many of you are wrapping up the semester, we at Teach About U.S. would like to thank you once again for another year that you’ve accompanied us along the way, greening your classrooms, connecting with peers in the U.S., and trying out new approaches to teaching and learning English.

We’d like to use the opportunity to peek into what’s awaiting us, and you, in 2020 and remind you of some learning and outreach opportunities as part of our school projects.

Most importantly, though, we thank you for your continued support and engagement in furthering the transatlantic dialog. Everyone at Teach About U.S. as well as our partners throughout Germany and the U.S. wish you happy holidays, much anticipated relaxation, and lots of inspiration for 2020!


Joannis Kaliampos
on behalf of the Teach About U.S. Team and Partners 


GOING GREEN 2019/20 

Going Green competition

The Going Green project is running with currently 24 courses across Germany working on the online curriculum and its sister projects, Power to the People and Humboldt 250. Consider making the project part of your curriculum during the second part of the school year, explore creative and hands-on activities on sustainable development in your community, and get in touch with us if you would like to find a transatlantic partner school for your project participation.

This school year’s deadline to participate in the national Going Green school competition is May 31, 2020.

About Going Green


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As announced in our previous newsletter, Going Green is partnering with the Goethe Institute’s competition “Our Sustainable Future” this school year and we want to encourage you to consider participating in both competitions.


Why should you participate? We want to hear your ideas! Sustainable development is diverse and includes ecological, economic, political, and social practices. What else do you think of? Work with your peers, for example fellow students from class or after school clubs or organizations, and ask your German and STEM, philosophy, or social studies teachers for help! Tackle global problems such as climate change, poverty, or pollution together!

What do you need to consider? The competition is for students ages 14-19 and, just like Going Green, seeks to showcase researched approaches to sustainable development in your communities.

  • Form a team of students together with your German and your STEM, philosophy, or social studies teacher.
  • Fill out the project description form together in your native language.
  • Make a short video (3-5 mins.) about your project in German.
  • Send the form and video to nachhaltigkeit-washington@goethe.de by February 15, 2020 (11:59pm EST).

What could you win? The winning teams (max. 2 teachers and 3 students per team) will be invited to participate in the project’s international sustainability conference in Berlin next summer. The award includes round trip fare to Berlin, accommodations and meals at the conference. Teams also have the chance to win tablets and Step into German t-shirts. The best videos will be posted on the Step Into German website.

More information below (or contact us directly): 

Our Sustainable Future


California--Baden-Württemberg partnership

If you are teaching in Baden-Württemberg, we have good news for you. As part of the new state partnership between Baden-Württemberg and California, the German-American Institute (dai) Tübingen has secured funding for additional teacher training sessions, so Going Green will be coming to you in February. Participants in Baden-Württemberg can potentially be connected with classes in California. More details regarding this special offer for teachers in Baden-Württemberg will be announced shortly after the holidays.

dai Tübingen (logo)

This school year’s deadline to participate in the national Going Green school competition is May 31, 2020.

More information on Going Green:

About Going Green


U.S. Embassy School Election Project 2016 final event

We're doing it again! The U.S. Embassy and its Consulates, LIFE e.V. and Leuphana University Lüneburg will conduct another school election project in the election year 2020. The format will be similar to the previous project cycles, adding cutting-edge pedagogical approaches and educational technologies. Our Facebook site and the Teach About U.S. Blog will accompany the Moodle course environment. Based on results from project evaluation surveys and classroom research during the previous cycles, the team at Leuphana University is developing new course materials for all 50 states, update and improve tasks and project activities, and carry out teacher trainings.

The 2020 project and school competition will be prefaced by a mission statement on promoting civic discourse creating understanding on both sides of the political aisle. More so than before, our intention is to draw attention to what’s happening at the state level (classes adopt a state), the process of the elections, the role of the media and institutions, and promote intercultural understanding beyond personal political biases.

We plan to make the project curriculum available before the summer holidays 2020. Until then, please review the 2016 Moodle course and curriculum. Teacher training seminars with experts in American studies and representatives of the Teach About U.S. team are planned for the spring. Please check our upcoming events; more events will be announced shortly. Early project registration is possible and highly encouraged, especially if you wish to be connected with a transatlantic partner, although project participation is not restricted. You can indicate during the registration if you already have a partner school.

Pre-registration is open now!

More information on the project, how to participate, how it works, sample materials, results from 2016, and pre-registration for 2020:

About the U.S. Election Project


More details on these events will follow shortly after the holidays.

Teacher Training Seminar in Berlin
Wed, Mar 11, 2020, 9:00 » 16:00h, Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Haus, Berlin

Organized by the U.S. Embassy Berlin in cooperation with the Berlin Senate.

Workshop and lecture on the U.S. Embassy School Election Project

Teach About the USA: Annual Chemnitz Teacher Training
Wed, Mar. 18, 2020, 9:00 » 15:00 (tbc) at the Sächsische Bildungsagentur Chemnitz

Jointly organized by the U.S. Embassy Berlin, the Sächsische Bildungsagentur Chemnitz, and the U.S. Consulate General Leipzig.

Workshop and lecture on the U.S. Embassy School Election Project

Teach About the USA: Annual Rostock Teacher Seminar
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 9:00 » 16:00 (tbc) at the Internationales Begegnungszentrum Rostock e.V. 

Jointly organized by the University of Rostock, U.S. Embassy Berlin, U.S. Consulate General Hamburg, and the IQMV and ZLB Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Workshop and lecture on the U.S. Embassy School Election Project

Pass on the information and sign up! More events are planned for 2020, so stay tuned.


Upcoming events


Our project assistant, Lea Meimerstorf, has interviewed a family in Pennsylvania, the Morgans, and is reporting about their everyday attempts at 'going green'. This mini-series comes with vocabulary annotations and discussion questions, ready for you to make this part of your lessons.

Meet the Morgans and their most ambitious climate change solutions

Meet the Morgans - What does it mean to live a sustainable life for you?

Meet the Morgans - Amazon vs. Sustainability

Meet the Morgans - The real American diet

Meet the Morgans - The truth about traveling in the U.S.

Meet the Morgans - How to build a sustainable home

Meet the Morgans—How one American family is going green



Joannis Kaliampos
Educational Project Manager
Leuphana Universität 
Universitätsallee 1, 21335 Lüneburg 
Fon +49 (0)4131.677-1662, Email, Web




Teach About US is a joint project of the U.S. Embassy Berlin, the U.S. Consulates in Germany, Leuphana University Lüneburg, and LIFE e.V.

Teach About US is a proud recipient of the Germany – Land of Ideas Award 2015 and the Hans Eberhard Piepho Prize for Ideas in Communicative Language Teaching 2013.