CyberFair Project ID: 4136

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Muir Students Helping San Diego
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: John Muir School
    San Diego, California, USA

161 students, ages 5-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 11, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006

Classes and Teachers: Anne, Lusia, Joan, Vince, Rob, John, Nancy, Deborah, Patti, Kerry, Stacey, Marcia, Hope, Lindsay, Rainee, Susan

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

We are a magnet K-12 school in San Diego. Our student are bussed from all areas of the city. Our focus is humanistic studies. We have honored John Muir by studying the environment since our school was founded in the 1970's.

2. Summary of Our Project

We asked these questions from GlobalSchoolhouse in September: How can we think globally and act locally? How can we make the best use of our limited resources? What projects are addressing local issues in San Diego today? What more needs to be done? What are the futures of our environment--possible, probable, preventable, and preferred?

Then each class kept the questions in mind as we did assignments and planned field trips. We collected our answers all year, and various students participated as possible in the environmental activities of our area.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

5. Our Project Sound Bite

CyberFair gave us a school-wide focus as we moved into our new campus this year. We created organic gardens, participated in water monitoring, learned about local animals, and visited many parts of our county. We also participated in science fair and the iEARN International Daffodil and Tulip Project.

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

CyberFair helped us reach standards in science and in reading and writing. This year we also made new gains in visual literacy, as students noticed the importance of their graphics and images. Much of the written work was completed in English, science, AVID, library, and elementary classes as part of lessons to meet standards.

This year many more students are practicing scanning and website posting. We also did more interviews than we had done in the past. Our students now routinely consult print and nonprint resources. Our parents and students definitely became activists during this projects, contributing to and lobbying for animal diversity, recycling, and responsible food production.

Project Elements

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

This year we had 70 computers available to our students on campus. Sixteen new faster computers arrived in January in time to post our information. Our students used the telephone for interviews many times. We bought diposable cameras for individual students to take into the community. We owe a particular thanks to the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, where Marissa instructed our elementary students in photographic techniques. The Museum of Natural History Educational Loan Library provided exhibits of many San Diego animals for study including a hawk, an octopus, a coyote, an osprey, a skunk, a bat, a tarantula, butterflies, and many others. Global School House made CU Cme, Front Page, and WebBlender available to us, for which we are very grateful.

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

Our students were thanked for their participation in the local beach clean-up, water monitoring, and other events. Our level of awareness about environmental concerns and citizen responses really increased as 'everything' became a topic for CyberFair.

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

It seems that everybody wants to join us in the outdoors. Specific groups that now support our students include Viva Gardens, Ocean Bowl at Scripps Institution, Aquatic Adventures, and our partner, Global Schoolhouse.

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

Our inspiration during the last weeks of CyberFair were the students of Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, Ghana, who completed their Doors to Diplomacy projects by sending information from a computer at their local Internet cafe. Their scholarship and persistence made us do our best work. Having had only three computers ourselves just a few years ago, Muir students are well able to appreciate the determination of our partners in Africa and also the many technological advances at our own school. See for details of our collaboration with Ghanaian students.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Our gardening and recycling projects continue, and our level of environmental awareness remains high. We are grateful to be participants in CyberFair, and we look forward to reading projects from other countries.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4136)

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