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“Land of Inventors: Germany” Brings German Advancements in STEM to American Schools

July 26, 2019

“Land of Inventors: Germany”  is a hands-on, multimedia exhibit that gives visitors the opportunity to learn about fascinating German STEM-related inventions in a number of different fields – computer science, energy, mobility, communications, medicine, optics, and material. German inventions have had profound influence on technological development across the globe.

From the first telephone to the MP3, the exhibition explored historic achievements and contemporary innovations. The first telephone? Yes, you read correctly.

Before Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in 1876, a German called Johann Philipp Reis invented the telephone. Reis made the first telephone call in 1861, speaking the words “Das Pferd frisst keinen Gurkensalat” (“The horse doesn’t eat cucumber salad.”) into the phone. Reis’ telephone was the forerunner to Bell’s further development and production.

The exhibition was built to be engaging. Each topical section includes an L-shaped partition that displays 3D prints of inventions, a wall with imagery and information, and a table with interactive elements. At the table, visitors were invited to try out all they had learned.

“This exhibit is so interesting! I’ve been learning so many new things about German inventions and inventors. Before beginning this exhibit and looking on the Goethe-Institut website about it, the only German invention I knew was the computer!” said student ambassador Allison Fitzpatrick, one of the German-speaking students who brought the exhibit to life.

“Land of Inventors Germany” is a Goethe-Institut project touring the US over 9 months as a part of Wunderbar Together. It was developed in cooperation with the Frauenhofer Institute and the Max Planck Society. The tour stops primarily at high schools and universities and appeals to students between the ages of 15 and 20.

Find more information about the exhibit and access free teaching materials related to exhibition on the Goethe-Institut website!

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