Teachers who took part in the training seminar in Germany, present their projects and materials here. We have archived past Webinars, so you may view them anytime and use the created materials. Participation in the Webinars is free.
“Back to the Future with STEAM”
The webinar, hosted by Karen Ruecker and Bennett Ahearn, begins with a discussion on how their experience at the European Academy Otzenhausen helped inspire and shape their plans to implement a cross-curricular course meant to fortify the bridge between German language studies and science at the North Andover High School in Massachusetts. The presenters share some of the specific coursework that was developed while at the European Academy Otzenhausen, and how they are implementing it in both their German language and the science classrooms. The segment of the course that occurs within the German language class covers a wide array of topics focusing on Germany’s efforts to lead Europe in the use of renewable/alternative energy resources, follow stricter organic agriculture practices, and rally as a culture around recycling and reusing products previously discarded as trash. The section of this course that occurs within the science classroom looks at the science behind the themes discussed in the German classes, like the economics of using alternative energy sources, where fossil fuels come from and the effect that burning them has on our planet, how alternative energy sources actually generate their energy, what the science and regulations are behind organic agriculture in America, and the science and practice behind green chemistry. The focus of this course is to use Germany as an example of good sustainable practices that Americans can emulate in order to create a better future for our country and our planet.
Karen Ruecker,Foreign Language Curriculum Coordinator at North Andover High School in North Andover, Massachusetts, is about to begin her tenth year of teaching German. An American by birth, Karen has adopted Germany in her heart and mind, and seeks to share her passion for the German language and culture with her students. Her latest endeavor, generously supported by the Goethe Institut in Chicago, revolves around the ideas of Sustainability and helping students understand the importance of combating global warming in order to reduce human impact on the planet. Karen plans to create a “green atmosphere” in her classroom this year inspired by her time at the Europäische Akademie in Otzenhausen.
Bennett Ahearn is currently a Biology and Forensic Sciences teacher at North Andover High School. He studied Fish & Wildlife Biology and Environmental Science at Montana State University and received his bachelor’s in Environmental Science with a minor in French. He is currently completing his master’s in Education from Gordon College in Massachusetts. Bennett has worked for the Fish & Wildlife Department at the Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Ennis, Montana where he bred rainbow trout for release in to the wild and conducted genetic studies on native fish populations. In addition, he worked under Dr. Cathy Whitlock of Montana State University in her paleoecology lab where glacial lake sediment cores from areas within Yellowstone National Park were collected to determine climate changes since the last ice age using pollen and microfossils within the sediment.
Sustainability 101: German and Biology Lessons
This webinar, which was hosted by Beth Burau, Kristie Wainwright and the Goethe-Institut Chicago, explored a German lesson and an interdisciplinary German/Biology lesson, created as a result of the 2015 Goethe Sustainability Seminar in Saarland. Highlights included materials and resources to implement in one’s own class and a QR Code Sustainability Scavenger Hunt lesson, which helps students learn about similarities and differences between Germany and America, as well as examine areas of strength and places of improvement on one’s own campus.
Kristie Wainwright holds a B.A. in Biology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Currently she is the freshman Biology instructor at Bishop Lynch High School at both the regulars and honors levels. In addition to teaching, Kristie is the moderator of the S.A.D.D. (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Club and partners with neighboring Dallas Independent School District School Truett as the campus liaison for the Adopt-A-Classroom program, in which teachers and students of Bishop Lynch work to support the teachers and students of Truett through service, sponsorship and supply donations. Kristie is a recipient of the Catholic Foundation Work of Heart Award in October 2014 and was a finalist for Teacher of the Year during the 2014-2015 school year.
Beth Burau holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University Notre Dame and was a member of the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. Currently she is the German instructor and Instructional Technology Coordinator at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, TX. At Bishop Lynch High School, Beth moderates the Texas Eta Iota chapter of Delta Epsilon Phi and is the Membership Chair of the North Texas AATG. Beth is a recipient of Humanities Texas’ 2010 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award and was selected as a 2014 Atlantik Brücke Teacher Fellow.
Plastics and the Environment
In this webinar, teachers Pam Roberts and Susan Carson present their joint interdisciplinary unit on plastics, environment and recycling. The plastic problem is growing worldwide. This unit offers starting points for the topic of sustainability, leaves the students room to rethink their own consumption of plastic and to act sustainably.
Susan Carson is a very dedicated German teacher at John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown, KY. There she teaches German 1-3 and AP/Dual Credit German.
Pamela Roberts is a very dedicated chemistry teacher at John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown, KY. She teaches Chemistry 1 and 2 as well as AP Chemistry.