TeachAboutUS is an intercultural online learning platform for use in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and science classrooms in Germany. It is the product of an ongoing, multi-year partnership among the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Leuphana University Lüneburg, and the LIFE non-profit organization with support from our U.S.-based partner, the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) in Washington D.C. Local partners include the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Berlin, the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth, and Research; the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK); and the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry for Schools and Further Education.
The TeachAboutUS online platform features two innovative programs: “The U.S. Election Project” (every four years) and “Going Green−Teaching for Sustainability” (annually) as well as a blog written by high school and college students in the U.S. and Germany. Both school projects offer virtual and direct access to experts, hands-on teacher training, a fully developed curriculum-based on web 2.0 innovative teaching tools, and a student project competition.
TeachAboutUS has grown steadily since its inception in 2012. In 2016, more than 3,000 teachers and students participated. 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 to provide professional experience for young people. In addition to offering the regular extended curriculum for the 2017-18 academic year, a project week addressing renewable energy from a science and cultural studies perspective will be introduced. Students will explore the challenges of energy systems in the 21st century, the science behind renewable energy, and ways to implement them in the local context. We especially encourage partnerships between EFL and STEM/MINT classes.
The TeachAboutUS team received the Hans Eberhardt Piepho Prize in 2013 for innovative teaching ideas and the Land of Ideas Award in 2015. Positive feedback from teachers and students has demonstrated that our innovative approach is not only important, but also fun! Check out TeachAboutUS and learn more about how to participate and to subscribe to our monthly newsletter at teachaboutus.org/.