CyberFair Project ID: 1372

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Mardi Gras: A South Louisiana Cultural Experience
Category: 4. Local Specialties
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Maplewood
    Sulphur, Louisiana, United States

6 students, ages from 11 to 14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001

Classes and Teachers: Lisa S. Monteith

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is made up of cities and towns in the southern portion of the State of Louisiana that observe the Mardi Gras holiday. In colloquial terms this area is referred to as "South Louisiana".

2. Summary of Our Project

Mardi Gras: A South Louisiana Cultural Experience explores the history and religious significance of the time-honored observance of "Fat Tuesday" throughout South Louisiana. Students researched the holiday and attended many of the associated festival activities, reporting what they learned.

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest obstacle we had to overcome was the fact that the 6 - 8 grade gifted students from Our Lady's School attend class at Maplewood SPARK Center only one day per week for approximately four hours of class. We had to employ effective time management strategies to get the project completed. The other obstacle we faced was the fact that we chose Dreamweaver, a very sophisticated web publishing software that was very time consuming to learn. We did master it well enough to complete the web site and design our own navigation buttons using the accompanying Freehand and Flash software.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Participating in CyberFair has been a valuable learning experience. We made new acquaintances in our community as well as improvements in our writing and research skills.

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

Our CyberFair project addressed the following National Educational Technology Standards:

- Students will learn to use the computer in real world applications. - Students will use peer editing in writing assignments. - Activities will be developed for teaching the use of searching for specific information on the web. - Internet research

This project also included the following Language Arts Content Standards from the State of Louisiana Curriculum Guide:

- A writing response to a social issue or problem - Language Arts Content Standards 1-2-3-5-7

- A persuasive writing piece dealing with a local issue - Language Arts Content Standards 1-2-3-5-7 - An original work - Language Arts Content Standards 2-3

Through participation in Cyber Fair we learned a number of new skills. We learned web design and publishing, digital photography, interviewing skills and Internet research skills. As an enrichment class for academically gifted, this project was an excellent activity.

Project Elements

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

In completing our Mardi Gras website we used a variety of tools and technologies. We used our classroom computer as well as six of the computers in the school's multi-media lab. We also used the public and school libraries, the Internet and the local newspaper as resources. We used the telephone and Internet for interviews. Our images were produced with digital cameras and scanners. We have a complete bibliography listed on the Project Narrative page of our website.

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

Participating students acted as ambassadors in this project through their contact with members of our community. Students effectively explained the project to all of the individuals that they interviewed. The response to the project was overwhelmingly positive.

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

Our Mardi Gras CyberFair project has created impact on our community through the contacts students have made and the information that they have gathered on Mardi Gras. Although Mardi Gras has been celebrated for centuries in Louisiana, many people do not know the full story behind it. Our web site is a compilation of data on Mardi Gras that members of our community will find both interesting and useful. They will also enjoy seeing images of themselves published on the site.

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

We involved a significant number of community members in our project. We interviewed members of Sulphur's Krewe of Cosmos - Kathy Clark, Kathy Phillips, Christine Bourgeois and Sharon Stephenson. We also called the mayoral offices of the cities of Sulphur and Lake Charles. We spoke to representatives from the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Southwest. Robin Abshire of the Lake Charles American Press provided invaluable assistance in sending us digital images of local Mardi Gras celebrations. One of our school staff members is from the city of Mamou and has participated in the Mamou Mardi Gras run. He gave us detailed accounts of the event and festivities. Students participated in the Krewe of Krewes parade, Twelfth Night (Epiphany pageant), and the Krewe of Cosmos parade, pageant and royal gala. Students also covered school Mardi Gras events such as the Kindergarten Mardi Gras parade, the miniature float contest and 2nd grade pageant. Mrs. Kathy Clark (pictured on our home page), second grade teacher at Maplewood Middle School, served as the 2000 Krewe of Cosmos Queen and graciously made an appearance in her costume.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The biggest discoveries we made were in the origins of the Mardi Gras celebration. Many students were surprised to learn of its paganistic roots. We also were pleased with the overwhelming support the project received in our community.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1372)

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