CyberFair Project ID: 3969

Close this Window

NOTE: Due to URL changes, some links may no longer be valid.

International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Vaccinations for Nations
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Notre Dame Academy
    Toledo, Ohio, United States of America

4 students, ages 14-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 27, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005

Classes and Teachers: Katie, Bridget, Kelly, Meredith, Ms Jacqueline Konwinski, and Mrs. Judith Miller

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our veteran member, Meredith, 16, wants to be either an engineer or a singer. She enjoyed working on last year's project about Kashmir as webmaster, and she wanted to do another one. We invited three freshwomen to join us. While Meredith designed our website and did an interview, Katie, Bridget, and Kelly researched the diseases and organizations, conducted interviews, and helped with the many details on the project. Bridget, 15, who designed the fundraising label, runs cross-country and enjoys listening to Jet and Greenday. Katie, 14, used her love of biology to motivate us; she enjoys swimming and rowing. Kelly, 14, who loves volunteering with kids and wants to be a pediatric nurse, enjoys writing, all kinds of music, and animals. Both coaches were encouraging and helped us brainstorm ideas and solutions. Ms. Jacqueline Konwinski, Social Studies teacher, organized our meetings, worked on publicity, synthesized the project narrative, and assisted with editing. Mrs. Judith Miller, parent volunteer, assisted us in getting permission to use the music, checked out the legal use of photographs, helped us make contacts for interviews, and worked with Meredith while she learned the new software. Mrs. Miller kept us going with snacks, especially her homemade brownies. We all were challenged by the project, and we are glad that we got to know each other better.

2. Summary of Our Project

Millions of children die unnecessarily each year simply because they do not receive vaccinations for common diseases. Vaccinations for Nations examines the causes, transmission, symptoms, treatments, and vaccines for seven childhood diseases around the world. The project concludes by highlighting people and organizations that help the world's children and by inviting students to offer their hands in helping children.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our school has 25 Dell computers with Windows XP in the library, 24 more Dell computers in the lab, 24 computers in the technology classroom, and one computer in each classroom. All have Internet access. A Director of Technology, a Network Technician and Microsoft Professional Trainer, and a business education/computer teacher coordinate the Technology Department. We all have a computer at home with Internet access

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We all had the problem of contacting people, especially doctors, and scheduling interviews with them because they are busy people. We worked around their schedules and made sure the interviews were brief. Katie and Bridget conducted an interview at 7 a.m. because that was the only time available. After numerous attempts to contact some people, we gave up because we only had so much time.

Another problem was gathering all the information and then, making it brief and understandable. We just tried harder, and we helped each other. It took a lot of effort to get the rights to the songs. Mrs. Miller just never gave up. Meredith's biggest problem was learning the Flash software because it took so much concentration and time. The answer was patience, persistence, organization, and preparation. Meredith found completing all of the Flash projects, especially the intro, gave her a tremedous sense of accomplishment.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We are all honored to use our talents and skills to work on Vaccinations for Nations because it forced us to learn about the frustrating and preventable problems of childhood diseases worldwide. We are grateful that we live in a country that has effective programs for vaccinations and that we can help children around the world with our project.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Vaccinations for Nations meets Ohio benchmarks for Life Science Standards for grades 9 through 12. These are for Grades 9 & 10: 'summarize the historical development of scientific theories and ideas and describe emerging issues in the study of life sciences, explain that living cells are different from viruses, and describe advances in life sciences that have important long-lasting effects on science and society.' For Grades 11 & 12, they are 'explain how human choices today will affect the quality and quantity of life on earth, examine the contributing factors of human population growth that impact natural systems . . . , describe advances in life sciences that have important long-lasting effects on science and society.' Our school science curriculum is aligned with these standards.

We practiced brainstorming, planning, and designing our website together; we used research and writing skills along with critical thinking skills. We improved our research skills on the Internet. We encouraged each other and helped each other with problems. As friends, we have had good times together; now, we know that we can work hard together. While we did this on our own time, we know that it will be appreciated at our school.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

These are the information tools and technologies that we used:

computers and laptop computers, telephones and email, video and digital still cameras, tape recorders, libraries and books, and interviews.

We had these in school and/or at our homes. Meredith used the following software:

Microsoft Word and Excel, Flash, Fireworks, Notepad, FTP Program, Photoshop, an Audacity Audio Editor, and PowerPoint

plus the books of instruction. Meredith's family purchased some of this software for this year's project. The word processing program and email together with Internet access were most valuable to all of us. Meredith used Flash and Fireworks for so many parts of our site

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We talk with everyone we know about Vaccinations for Nations, and about how preventable childhood diseases are. We will use school announcements to inform our school, and we will show our site to certain clubs and classes. During the week of April 18-22, there will be a collection for UNICEF at our school; we are writing PA announcements and making posters for that week. When we did our interviews, the people were most interested in our project. In fact, Ms. Eric Kochi of UNICEF has offered to send news of our project and our web address to all UNICEF offices worldwide. In addition, our Public Relations Department will spread the news to parents and friends of our school. We hope that our site will serve as an ambassador with the PowerPoint, which we made for schools, and with our feature entitled 'How to Help.'

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our project will have a profound impact because we will be able to reach teenagers with our website, and they will learn new things about childhood diseases and hopefully pass this information on to others. We hope that the impact will be an increased awareness of the health problems in underdeveloped countries and a development of support for those who try to help create a better health program for these countries such as WHO and UNICEF. Students can become more involved because our website shows them how and why they should try to help this cause of vaccinating children. Our project will help people become more aware of what is happening outside their own country and to expand their minds to other parts of the world. Once we have more people working together to help this cause that will benefit the children of our city, country, and eventually the world.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Thank you to every member of our families for their interest and support.

Thank you to: Mr. Mark Ballard for helping Meredith learn the beginnings of Flash. Sister Delores Gatliff, SND and the members of Global Concerns for supporting our collection for UNICEF. Mrs. Luann Fell for her support and transportation services. Our interviewees: Dr. David Grossman, Ms. Erica Kochi of UNICEF, Mrs. Christine Manzey, Ms. Carol Pandak of Rotary International, and Dr. William Sternfeld for helping our group understand the value of advanced immunizations and good medical care. Mrs. JoEllen Joyce for helping arrange an interview and for transportation. Mr. Ray Kerfaint of Abilene Music/Songwriters' Guild for permission to use Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World.' Ms. Lisa Matthews, Public Relations Director of Notre Dame Academy, for sending out publicity for our website. The Miller Family for opening their home to us on weekends and for their guidance and encouragement. Ms. Gretchen Miller for her help in learning Microsoft Excel Ms. Maureen Miller for teaching Kelly the finer points of PowerPoint. Mr. Steve Scharren and Scharren Multimedia for giving us the rights to use the Sinfonia's original recording of 'Brothers at My Door.' Mr. Scott Stampflmeier for setting up our domain name.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Katie: I began to realize that I am unaware of the problems other nations face today. It was an eye opener reading about how children in other countries die from diseases that the citizens of the United States are vaccinated against.

Bridget: Everything I learned was interesting because I didn't know much at all about disease, but the most interesting things I learned were how controlled diseases are in the US and especially, in comparison to underdeveloped countries.

Kelly: Interesting discoveries to me were just all the information about each disease; each one had a different aspect and was different from the others. The world organizations amazed me; I had no idea how much they do to try to vaccinate children and eradicate diseases. I had no idea what kind of work was being done to help others, and this project helped me to realize that.

Meredith: During this project I learned about how diseases that I never had to worry about were so common in other countries. It made me more aware of the dangers in other countries. Also I learned about building and sustaining a website. It surprised me how quickly our site grew to include our group's many ideas. It also pleasantly surprised me how willingly many officials related to our topic agreed to give interviews. I was extremely thankful to them because they enriched our site greatly.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3969)

Close this Window