Brecht Schule Report – by Catherine Wu and Violet Killy
Hello! My name is Violet, and I am originally from New York City. I am currently in my third year at MIT where I study mechanical engineering with a concentration in robotics. After I graduate next year, I plan to work in the robotics industry, with a focus on applications to either medicine or disaster response efforts. Outside of classes, I enjoy playing ukulele, reading a good book, and fencing with the MIT fencing team.
My grandparents both grew up in Germany before moving to Canada after World War II, so I have always wanted to visit and explore the culture and history here. I was of course very excited by the opportunity to come to Hamburg and teach at the Brecht Schule. During my three weeks here, I taught a variety of lessons and worked with students in math, physics, computer science, and English classes. Some of my lessons included teaching students the basics of programming in Python, and exploring how to program a Minesweeper game in Java. I also did a hands-on workshop with 5th graders where we made a giant Rube Goldberg machine that could turn off the lights in the classroom!
When I was not at the Brecht Schule, I was staying with a wonderful host family in the Bergedorf area who’s son attends the school. I got to join in on their daily lives, go with them on some fun adventures in Hamburg and Lübeck, and learn a bit of German (including how to pronounce Eichhörnchen!) along the way. In the time I spent exploring Hamburg, I got to visit Miniatur Wunderland, eat lots of chocolate at Chocoversum, and see a play at The English Theater of Hamburg, just to name a few!
I truly enjoyed getting to know my host family, the students, and the teachers these past few weeks. It’s been a fantastic adventure and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet everyone. Thank you Brecht Schule!
Guten Tag! For those of you who do not know me, my name is Catherine Wu. Originally from Houston, TX, I am in my fourth and final year of undergraduate at MIT. Aside from studying biology and foreign languages, I enjoy swimming, yoga, boxing, reading novels and watching movies.
Through a partnership with Brecht Schule Gymnasium, I helped teach Biology, English, Spanish, and Chinese for three weeks. In my classes, we discussed a variety of topics, from my own cancer research to the differences between American and German high school and university systems. I learned to coordinate with the teachers on developing appropriate lesson plans, and befriended many wonderful, intelligent, young students. I picked up some fun and useful German phrases, and was welcomed into the warmest home of my amazing host mother, Frau Kruse.
While in Hamburg, I attended a school excursion to the University of Hamburg, where the students performed a really cool experiment investigating different properties of enzyme kinetics. On another school excursion, I went bouldering with an enthusiastic and talented group of 8th grade physics students. In addition to exploring the beautiful port city of Hamburg, I visited Lübeck, Lüneburg, and Berlin. Overall, I have had the most amazing experience here in Germany, and especially at Brecht-Schule. Thank you very much for having me and for taking the time to read my post!
After graduating this June, I will continue teaching, this time, in Brazil, through the Fulbright Fellowship program. After two gap years, I will return to the US to hopefully attend medical school in California. Please reach out and come visit, tschüss!