Grüne Kinderakademie

 Grüne Kinderakademie © Goethe-Institut

Grüne Kinderakademie- a new digital offer for your German class

Are you a German teacher looking for digital offers for your German class?
Are you a German learner looking for ways to improve your German at home?
Are you interested in sustainability?

All over the world, schools have closed as a result of the Corona crisis. In the US, teachers, students, and parents have adjusted quickly to the new digital learning and teaching environment. The Goethe-Institut in the USA provides teachers, students, and parents access to high-quality digital learning opportunities free of charge, such as the Digital Kinderuni, Junioruni, Step Into German, and Deutsch für Dich.

The first semester of the Grüne Kinderakademie, our virtual sustainability lecture series, started in April 2020. Now, it is time for summer vacation…

The Grüne Kinderakademie thanks all our participants and professors for their wonderful contributions!

Although we will be on break, our work will continue. The Grüne Kinderakademie will be back in for fall semester 2020 with a new program, interesting lecturers and professors, as well as exciting topics all about sustainability. In the meantime, take a look at our past lectures below.

Your Grüne Kinderakademie Team


About the Grüne Kinderakademie

Grüne Kinderakademie is suited for German teachers for digital implementation in their German courses. The content of the lectures is particularly suited for A1 through A2 German learners.

​The Grüne Kinderakademie will take place in the fall semester. The link to the lecture will be posted on this page for easy access. Take part with your class live or use the recording and materials afterwards!  

Approx. 45-minute virtual lectures with sustainability education experts. The Goethe-Institut will prepare materials to accompany each lecture for students. Each lecture will be recorded and posted to this website for later use.

From your own home or virtually from your classroom!

Past Lectures

Below you will find the lectures that took place in the Spring Semester. Feel free to take a look!

Language: German
Target Audience: German 3,4 and AP

Anja Schmitt, subject specialist for German and for development at the State Institute for Pedagogy and Media of Saarland, Germany. Subjects: German and French; expertise in the area of teacher professional develop, education for sustainable development, and project-based learning.

"Sustainable Consumption and Virtual Water" - In this one-hour webinar, students learn how sustainable consumption and virtual water are connected. After assessing personal consumption, students are introduced to the concept of virtual water and gain background information about the virtual water footprint. Through motivating and interactive tasks in small groups, students exchange ideas about the topic. A final quiz at the end tests their knowledge.

Exercises here: Virtual Water

Language: English with German for beginners
Target Audience: Elementary-Middle School students

"Science is Fun (German, too)!" - Why do astronauts wear diapers? Does a cup have a memory? Jo Hecker will deal with these interesting questions among others in his engaging lecture. Jo Hecker has presented his exciting experiments in 15 countries, which prove to be fun for the entire family!

Jo Hecker is an engineer and works as a scientific journalist. His books with experiments have been translated into ten languages. He has taken his science shows all over the world, from Thailand to Alaska. His motto is, “I don’t like science. I love science!” Learn more on his website

Language: English with German for beginners
Target Audience: Middle School and High School 

"Children's Rights and the Coronavirus: The Essential Work of UNICEF"- What is the Convention of the Right of the Child, how has it improved the situation of youths all over the planet, and why does the current crisis challenge all that has been achieved? Writer and journalist Martin Verg interviews Christian Schneider, Executive Director of UNICEF Germany.

Martin Verg, 1971, is a journalist, author and moderator. He studied history and English. For over ten year, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of GEOlino, the largest science magazine for children in German. Martin Verg lives in Hamburg, Germany, with his family.

Christian Schneider (54) has served as the Executive Director of UNICEF Germany since 2010. He has worked for UNICEF since 1998 and previously led the department for communication and children’s rights. Christian Schneider studied ethnography, political science and communication studies (MA) in Münster and worked as editor for daily papers. Christian Schneider is married, has two daughters and lives in Essen, Germany, with his family.

Language: English with German for beginners
Target Audience: Middle School to High School

"What is Fair?"- Imagine a (very, very tasty!) chocolate cake. Dividing it in a fair way is not so easy. There are several possibilities: Does everyone get exactly the same amount? Or does the one who has worked the hardest get the most? Or should, maybe, the person who is the most hungry be allowed to eat the biggest piece? We will look at different suggestions and consider together what is fair. 

Dr. Ana Laura Edelhoff is a philosopher at Oxford University. She is concerned with making philosophy accessible to children. She has given lectures for children in Hamburg, Oxford, Washington and Boston, especially in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut. Her lectures for children on the topic of justice have been attended by up to 1200 children and have been discussed in the children's magazine Dein Spiegel as well as on the radio channel NDR. For more information about her work see:

Language: German
Target Audience: Advanced German. Approx. B2 language level

“What does Chocolate have do to with Sustainability?” Chocolate is one of the most beloved indulgences in the world. In fact, in Germany alone, each person eats an average of 9,74 kg per year! But what is it made of? What ingredients are contained in chocolate? It is made of cocoa beans and different types of sugars and fats. And what does this whole thing have to do with the rainforest? What role does sustainability play in all of this? Join the lecture to learn the answers to these and many more questions! 

Dr. Doris Sövegjarto-Wigbers, Chemist, has worked at the University of Bremen in the areas of environmental sciences and applied toxicology since 1996. Dr. Sövegjarto-Wibgers is a member of the Committee on Hazardous Materials at the Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs and has been recognized for her countless achievements, for occupational mobility management (2010) and as a recipient of the Climate Protection Award in Bremen (2014). She has worked closely with the Goethe-Institut worldwide in the area of sustainability, including in Russia, India, and the United States.


Language: German
Target Audience: Advanced German. Approx. B2 language level 

“What is Sustainability?” - This will be the last lecture for the spring semester! Our Professor, Willi Linder, will guide us through the topic of sustainability, where it came from and what it is. We hope to see you there.

Willi Linder teaches at the University College for Agrarian and Environmental Pedagogy in Vienna, Austria. His areas of expertise are in ecology and nature conservation as well as education for sustainable development. He enjoys conducting research in nature, especially with youth groups and summer camps. For example, he likes to show then what beautiful eyes frogs have or that some bumblebees lay their eggs in strangers’ nests. Willi Linder is 62 years old and lives in Vienna with his family and pet tarantula.

Language: English and German for beginners
Target Audience: Elementary Schoolers 

Math Magic- How can you do magic with numbers? Jo Hecker will show us how in his science show!

Jo Hecker is an engineer and works as a scientific journalist. His books with experiments have been translated into ten languages. He has taken his science shows all over the world, from Thailand to Alaska. His motto is, “I don’t like science. I love science!” Learn more on his website

Magic Cards: Magic Cards