Teach About US
Teach About US invites teachers and students interested in up-to-date teaching content about U.S. culture to participate in two award-winning projects. Check out “Going Green – Education for Sustainability” and / or The Project Week: Renewable Energy in the Community. In addition, every four years, the U.S. Embassy School Election Projects calls German students to predict the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. In 2016, the “U.S. Embassy School Election Project 2016" attracted over 3,000 participants.
The platform is primarily geared towards the English as a foreign language and CLIL classrooms, but we also encourage social science teachers to use our materials on both sides of the Atlantic.
Invite your U.S. or Germany based partner school to participate in a 'transatlantic tandem' or start a partnership via our platform!
U.S. Embassy Election Project
The US Embassy School Election project attracted over 1,500 participants 2012 and more than 3,000 participants in 2016, including students in over 40 courses in the U.S. German students adopted one U.S. state and became its virtual citizens, reviewed local and social media critically and evaluated the political debates in the weeks leading to the presidential elections. Many German students reached out to their U.S. partners to learn first-hand how the election campaign was perceived by U.S. citizens in urbans centers and rural regions alike. They predicted the election outcome in their state. In 2012, these students' predictions were more accurate than many nationally broadcast polls. Four years later, as most pundits and pollsters failed to predict the stunning electoral college win by the Republican party's candidate Donald J. Trump, our German students didn't have a crystal-ball either.
The U.S. Embassy School Election Project was awarded the renowned Hans-Eberhard-Piepho Prize for Ideas in Communicative Language Teaching in 2013.
Going Green—Education for Sustainability
Since the first pilot project was launched in 2014, over 2,000 students and their teachers in Germany as well as partners in the U.S. participated in Going Green - Education for Sustainability. Participants enrolled on a shared learning platform and explored how sustainable development is targeted in both cultures, focusing on best practice examples and local case studies. Learners connected project contents to their own communities, reached out to local policy makers and businesses in an effort to design and initiate their own sustainability action plans. These project ideas were soon put into practice in schools and communities. In 2015, Going Green - Education for Sustainability was awarded as Landmark in the Land of Ideas in the presitgious initiative Germany - Land of Ideas, supported by the German Federal Government and Deutsche Bank.
The goal of Going Green is to foster interest in innovative sustainability research across the curriculum including the humanities, languages and STEM subjects, to encourage civic engagement, and develop job qualifications for young people. In the 2017-18 school year, we launched a project week addressing renewable energies from a science and cultural studies perspective. Students will explore the challenges of energy systems in the 21st century, the science behind renewable energies, and ways to implement them in the local context.
Teach About US Blog
A third component of this platform is the Teach About US Blog. Reflecting new publication and reading trends among our students, this blog is intended to allow for fresh, creative, yet sometimes unexpected insights into U.S. politics and culture specifically to our students. Our bloggers report on current events and developments in the U.S. Their blog posts and reports will accompany both school projects; their perspectives are unique in that they are authentic insights into the views and perceptions of your students' American peers.
With these features, Teach About US is not only a source of exciting and worthwhile teaching materials on English language and U.S. culture—it also offers a systematic introduction of educational technology and blended learning into your classrooms. We hope you enjoy browsing this platform, using teaching materials with your students or classmates, and interacting with learners and partners beyond classroom borders.