Three Niles West students will represent their school and the United States at the Fifth annual International Youth Environmental Conference in Bremen, Germany during May 10 through 12. Niles West was selected by the Goethe-Institut Washington, DC to be the sole school to represent the U.S. at the conference. The students, in Josef Neumayer’s German 2 honors classes, were involved in the STEM Sauerkraut Projekt, a three semester agriculture project in conjunction with Skokie’s Talking Farm, which began with planting cabbage seeds in the classroom, to students volunteering at the farm over the summer, to harvesting cabbage and preparing sauerkraut out of the locally grown, organic cabbage.
Alma Osmankic, Evan Arvizu and Trevor Bell are the Niles West German students who will present the project, from the angle of health and nutrition of locally sourced, organic fermented foods and the outcomes of such foods in the diet, to school groups from around the world, while collaborating and learning about global environmental issues. Previous schools attending the conference were from China, Russian, Kyrgyzastan, Argentina, and Kazakhstan, to list a few. All expenses for this international trip will be covered through PASCH, a network which promotes the teaching of the German language and aims to build active and long-term links to Germany. The Goethe-Institut selected Niles West to be the 12th PASCH school in the United States.
“I am beyond excited for this wonderful opportunity taking place in Bremen, Germany,” said Alma Osmankic. “When I learned I was one of the participants chosen, I was so amazed and grateful that I will be part of something this remarkable. I hope to gain more knowledge about environmental topics and have a great time.”
Niles West German teacher Josef Neumayer will also be attending the conference. He said, “I am authoring learning modules with the following topics for my students to study up on conference topics to not only understand content in the workshops and presentations but also contribute productively: waste/waste management, energy, water/land/air, plants and animals, health and nutrition.”
“I am grateful for PASCH to support the Niles West German Department and financing this amazing international trip and learning opportunity for our students. This experience will remain with our students for their whole lives, not to mention open up many potential doors for them in the future,” said Neumayer.
To learn more about Projekt Sauerkraut: https://sites.google.com/d219.org/projektsauerkraut/home
PASCH is an initiative of the Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the Central Agency for Schools Abroad, the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Educational Exchange Service of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (PAD).