Today we toured Freiburg, Germany. We visited Freiburg University of Education. We learned about teacher requirements in Freiburg. We also had the opportunity to listen to Ms. Franziska Breyer from the Freiburg Department of Ecology. It was amazing how Frieburg preserves its natural resources. They have no nuclear energy. All of their trams run on renewable energy. There is a push in elementary schools for children to learn the importance of renewable energy. Seeing a primary school with all of the bikes and scooters parked out front was awesome! We later toured the neighborhood of Vauban, Germany. Vauban was incredible! 30% of their population is made up of children ages 18 and younger. There were children everywhere! On top of roofs are solar panels to conserve energy. Most of the homes face south for cooling and air circulation. Cars are allowed, but no private parking and driveways are there. There are private solar garages for a price. This reduces car use and increases biking and walking. There are 250 cars per 1000 residents. Their is also a car sharing association if you wish not to buy a car, but use one when needed. The number one thing I noticed about this neighborhood - all children and adults are healthy and not overweight. They are constantly outdoors, playing, biking and walking. I loved seeing this neighborhood. Hopefully it will be our future someday.
I am excited to take my students on this journey with me. I am eager to bring back the German history and culture and connect this with our curriculum. My intent is to learn more about the advancements with Germany's renewable energy and help my students and Willow Springs Elementary imagine different futures and the role that they can play in the world.