Earlier this fall, Dr. Eelka Lampe and her German III students experienced the interdisciplinary exhibit Umdenken-Von der Natur lernen (Rethinking-Learning from Nature), co-sponsored by the Goethe Institute New York and NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering.
The exhibit provided insights and education on the devastating effects of human-made pollution as exemplified by the elements water, air, fire, and earth. It also suggested how the use of alternative energies and new technologies could correct the negative effects over time. Germany is regarded as a leading country in promoting these initiatives.
The Regians in attendance were given a guided tour in German, followed by interactive tasks with the exhibit displays—all presented in German. The students also participated in an engineering workshop led by Ph.D. students from the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering.
"The students truly enjoyed bringing their German skills to a real issue context," said Dr. Lampe.
Following the field trip, Dr. Lampe's students continued to engage with additional materials online—all in German—including a survey to determine their carbon footprint and an elaborate game where they collaborated and competed with others to make environmentally conscious decisions to make life possible and sustainable on a hypothetical planet.
"When Pope Francis addressed Congress in September, he reminded all of us that we humans are part of God's Creation and that, if we don’t learn how to protect our environment and specifically do something to counteract climate change, we will destroy ourselves," added Dr. Lampe.