News and Updates


NEW: Changes and updates for 2025


Houstonfest Scholarships: Winners Announced


Scholarships at State


NEW: Houstonfest history


Contest promo video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest promo video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


State promo video contest


Teacher-to-teacher tips


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Kingwood High School


Lunch options

Photo gallery


Daily log of changes to State-qualifier list


Important Dates


on a rolling basis but no later than Wed., Apr. 30, 2025 for payment during the 2024-2025 school year: submit Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications.


Mon. Jan. 13, 2025, 4:00 p.m.: (IF THEY ARE OFFERED AT ALL) Application for transportation grants from the Houston Saengerbund opens (teachers will be sent a link to a Google Form).


Tue., Jan. 21, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/27).


Mon., Jan. 27, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Sat., Feb. 1, 2025, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual Houstonfest events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher).


Tue., Feb. 4, 2025, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual Houstonfest events ends.


Wed., Feb. 5, 2025, 10:00 p.m.Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 8, 2025 Houstonfest, Kingwood High School, Houston.


Fri., Feb. 14, 2025, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for "early bird" price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/19).


Wed., Feb. 19, 2025, 11:59 p.m.State online registration due for regular price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark your State payment.


Sat., Feb. 22, 2025, 9:00 a.m.: Submission of entries in the 7 virtual State events due (get the link to a Google Form from your teacher). Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship and Sandra Dieckman GTHS Memorial Scholarship applications due (to submit the application, get the link to a Google Form from your teacher).


Mon., Feb. 24, 2025, 8:00 p.m.: Entries in State promotional video contest due to State director.


Tue., Feb. 25, 2025, 11:59 p.m.: Remote judging of the 7 virtual State events ends.


Sat., Mar. 1, 2025 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 8, 2025, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


x., Mar. x, 2025Gail Cope State Scholarship applications due.



Tips for Pair Discussion


First, the official rules:

Entry Limit:  2 entries (pairs) per school (Level 3 only).

Discussion time:  3 minutes (not including a 30-second reflection time).

A pair of contestants draws a topic instructing them to plan something (trip, purchase, celebration, etc.). Both are expected to make suggestions and voice opinions, to agree or disagree, and to make alternative suggestions. At the end of the discussion, they must come to an agreement. The topics will pertain to the daily life of teenagers. No contestant pairs will have the same topic. From the time the topic is drawn, the contestants may take up to 30 seconds to read the topic and gather their thoughts, but they may not speak to each other during this time. At the end of the 30 seconds, the contestants have 3 minutes to role-play the situation. The two team members will be scored independently of one another, but both scores will be added together to obtain the team score, i.e., contestants will be ranked and potentially advance to State as a team.

Download critique sheet.


Now, some tips to the contestants:

  • Make good use of the 30-second reflection time to brainstorm ideas, but remember that you can't consult with your partner during this time. The time is meant purely for you to read the prompt and gather your own thoughts.

  • Start the conversation by taking a few seconds to establish the scenario from the prompt card rather than launching immediately into debating the solution. Although the judges will know what is on your prompt card, it will create a more natural conversational flow if you restate the situation (in your own words) and THEN start exchanging ideas. For instance, if the prompt tells you to discuss ideas for a wedding gift...

    Good beginning:

    A: Hey, Thomas and Wiebke are getting married next weekend. Are you invited?

    B: Yes, I am, and I haven't bought them a gift yet. Do you have any ideas?

    A: I haven't bought them anything, either. Maybe some nice towels?


    Bad beginning:

    A: Towels would be nice.

    B: Or a lamp for their living room.

    In the first example, the contestants have begun the conversation in the way that such a conversation would start in the real world. In the second example, there is no context; it's as if we've been plopped into the middle of the conversation and we don't know what it's about.

  • Be assured that the prompts are realistic situations that teenagers would encounter in daily life. You will not be asked to pretend that you are someone you aren't, such as a doctor or a police officer. Both contestants will be "playing" teenagers.

  • Don't panic if the conversation starts off slowly. Just keep plugging away, and in most cases, the words will start coming faster as you get deeper into the 3 minutes.

  • The judges will give you a signal when there are 30 seconds left. At this point, wrap up the conversation, perhaps restating some of the things you have agreed on.

Finally, some video samples:


In Sample 1, Sindhu and Danita of Clements High School are playing out this scenario (which is NOT one of the prompts that will be in the deck at contest):  "Your friend Lothar in Germany is working on a project about Texas in his English class. He asks you why -- if at all -- someone should visit Houston. Discuss what advice to give him."


In Sample 2, Sindhu and Danita are playing this scenario (which is also NOT one of the 30 prompts in the deck of prompt cards):  "It has been a tradition in your German class to celebrate Nikolaustag on December 6. The principal of your school suggests that you end this tradition because it has a Christian origin. Discuss counterarguments."


In Sample 3, Dakota and Alex of the Westchester Academy of International Studies are discussing the same prompt from Sample 1 (Lothar wanting to know what's interesting about Houston). Thanks to their teacher Jürgen Müller for making the recording and for writing the two sample prompts.

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 8, 2025


Where is Houstonfest?


Kingwood High School

2701 Kingwood Dr.

Kingwood, TX 77339

(new location in 2025!)


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group