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Students and Teachers Gather in Chicago to Find Sustainable Solutions for the Future

June 5, 2019

This May, 300 students and teachers from across the US gathered at Loyola University in Chicago for the Sustainability Summit to learn about sustainability and find solutions for climate change and other environmental topics.

Students and teachers participated in hands-on workshops to develop projects they can implement at their school, such as planting urban gardens or starting composting initiatives. They joined experts from Germany and the US at panel discussions to talk about topics like mobility and the climate crisis, and they collaborated in future labs to develop realistic sustainable solutions for their communities: reducing waste at their school cafeteria, saving water in their everyday life, and campaigning for clean energy.

The summit focused on the global implications of climate change and how students and teachers from both the US and Germany can work together in their own local communities to tackle big-picture issues.

Anja Schmitt, a teacher at the State Institute for Education and Media in Saarbrücken, Germany, traveled to Chicago to speak with students about sustainability. “Sustainability is a topic for the whole world and it brings people together,” she said, “It brings cultures together and it’s a problem that we can only solve together.”

Participating schools were eager for the opportunity to bring the knowledge and skills learned during the conference back to their local communities.

Nashua High School North and South in Nashua, New Hampshire wrote that “It was a fantastic summit and I am sure we all got something to bring back home and implement in our lives to make the world a better place.”

Tom C. Clark High School in San Antonio, Texas, agreed that the sustainable solutions found during the summit would improve their own school environment, reporting that “We are already working today on our wonderful plans and impact our students will have on a more sustainable school campus.”

Find out more about the Sustainability Summit, solutions discussed, and further opportunities for engagement at the Goethe-Institut website!

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