CyberFair Project ID: 4393

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Discover Bucharest
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: School No. 191, Department of English
    Bucharest, N/A, Romania

100 students, ages 12-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 17, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005

Classes and Teachers: Project coordinator: Andreea Silter; 6th, 7th, 8th grades and their teachers

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Romania is a country of outstanding natural beauty. It is world-famous for: its wide variety of scenery (plains, hills, majestic mountains and fine beaches), its rich flora and fauna in the Danube Delta, its Northern Moldavia with the well-known painted monasteries, the beauty, originality and variety of its regional folk costumes, music and dances. The Romanians are also famous for their hospitality and friendliness. Since the revolutionary movement of 1989 many things have changed in our country. The most important of all is that we have become a democratic state.

Bucharest, the capital of Romania and our hometown is the major centre of culture, industry and trade. It is located in southern Romania on the Dambovita River. Many of its buildings which are reminiscent of Paris and other Western capitals have maintained till today the seduction of a long and rich history. Since its foundation (in the 14th century) Bucharest has gone through many unhappy events, such as earthquakes, great fires, bomb attacks and a revolutionary movement (in 1989). Although it was badly damaged, there are still many old and nice buildings which are worth visiting indeed.

Built in 1965, our school has about 500 pupils aged 7 to 15 and 27 teachers who are well-qualified and very committed to their job. Since January 2003, thanks to our parents’ financial efforts we have had an IT Lab with 20 computers, a printer and a digital camera. Every year we do our best to get good results at the contests organised at different school subjects. All our achievements have brought us a very good reputation among the schools in Bucharest and not only. Besides, we regularly take part in charity activities such as gathering clothes and toys for the poor children or visiting old and sick people.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project Discover Bucharest focuses on providing information about the natural and man made attractions in our hometown. Bucharest has so much history and culture to share that we wanted to showcase it as completely as possible. We have created this travel guide which is both child and adult friendly in order to promote our city and persuade people to visit it and discover its beauty and rich culture. Old churches and monasteries, art galleries, parks and gardens, heritage attractions, entertainment places, shopping centres, traditional restaurants and quality hotels are all waiting to be discovered! Apart from photos and information about the sights in Bucharest, we have also included some tips for tourists, a language section (where you can hear the Romanian pronunciation), an interactive quiz about Bucharest and some interviews. There are also the results of a poll. For more information about our poll, see the Interview section of our web site.

Thanks to this web-based project we had the opportunity to enrich our cultural knowledge, get to know our community better and improve our communication skills. It also gave us self-confidence in our computer and writing skills as well as meaningful practice. Besides, this project provided opportunities for us to use the knowledge we gained in other school subjects. Moreover, by working together (students, teachers, parents, grandparents and local members) we all improved our social skills: sharing, learning etc. Groups of children from each class have collected information about natural and man made attractions (in their local or wider community) by: visiting different places (together with their teachers and parents), interviewing many people, sending and receiving e-mails, reading brochures, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, books. We have also searched the Internet or different CD-Roms for relevant information about our hometown. For more information, see the Bibliography section of our project.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

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

Since January 2003, thanks to our parents’ financial efforts and our teachers’ involvement we have had an IT Lab with 20 computers, a printer and a digital camera. We really love working on our computers and getting involved in web-based collaborative projects.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Our slow dial-up Internet connection was one of our problems. However, some of us have worked on the project from our own home Internet connection (which is quite fast).

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Learning by doing.

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

We have chosen to work on this International Schools CyberFair project as it is very much in tune with modern views about the purpose and nature of education. Our recent school curricula require all subjects to encourage the development of useful research skills, initiative, co-operation, communicative skills, creativity, imagination and self-discipline. We do think that the International Schools CyberFair project helped us to turn such general aims into practical classroom activity. Cross-curricular approaches are also encouraged by the Romanian curricula for different subjects and the International Schools CyberFair project required us knowledge of History, Geography, Social Studies, English, Romanian, Computer Science and even Maths (see our poll). By creating this web-based project we also contributed to achieving two of our institution's policy objectives, namely implementing New Technologies in the teaching-learning process in order to prepare our students for their future careers and collaborating with our local and wider community. Besides, our school also promotes group projects and projects involving IT. We mainly worked on our project during the optional English course. Its curriculum has been drawn up (by the Department of English in collaboration with the other departments from our school) according to our school's demands and approved by our school's advisory board and the Ministry of Education. While working on this project we learned how to collaborate with fellow students and our community, to conduct research, to create a web project, to be ambassadors to showcase our work and to evaluate our own work and the work of others. We also learned about other communities around the world. We found the International Schools CyberFair project a very rich and rewarding learning activity.

Project Elements

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

We used telephones and tape recorders to conduct interviews, scanners to scan images, our school’s digital camera (unfortunately it created us some problems), our own classical cameras, a microphone and our computer’s sound recorder to record Romanian words. Computer software programs included FrontPage, to create and publish our web pages, Artec AM12E Plus to scan photos, Irfan to resize the photos.We also used PaintShop Pro-Animation Shop to create the animation on the front page, Photo Impression to make flower-shaped photos and Hot Potatoes to produce exercises in standard formats, such as multiple choice. Much of the above-mentioned software can be easily downloaded from the Internet. We sourced our information locally in our school’s and district’s library, in texts produced locally, in interviews, books and on the Internet. You can see more in the Bibliography section of our web-based project. We also used Longman Interactive English Dictionary (CD-Rom) which was borrowed from the British Council and a Romanian-English dictionary which was borrowed from our school’s library.They were of great help to us as we had to translate all the information in English. All the above-mentioned tools and computer software programs were valuable and extremely helpful to us. Thanks to them we could create a project we are very proud of!

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

We contacted and talked to many people in our community through e-mail, phone calls or in person in order to accomplish our project. They proved to be very helpful to us and showed great interest in our International Schools CyberFair project. We sent an e-mail to our local radio station (Romania-Tineret) and informed them about our web-based project Discover Bucharest and our participation in the International Schools CyberFair. They offered to promote it within the programme. It was also promoted among the schools in our sector (Bucharest is divided into 6 sectors) by two students (in the 7th and 8th grade A) who presented it at the 'Europe 2005' and “Brilliant Ideas” workshops. Representatives of the students and teachers from each school within our sector participated in the above-mentioned meetings. Our project was also highly appreciated and awarded a special prize at the @D_ECO contest, organized by the City Hall (sector 6) and held on 11th March 2005. Moreover, in December 2004 our project was awarded the Netd@ys 2004 label, an innitiative of the European Commission. For your information, we all promoted it among our parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and acquaintances.

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

We believe that our web-based project which is both child and adult friendly will inspire other Romanian students and teachers to become 'ambassadors' for their own local communities by working collaboratively with community members and using the Internet to publish a web site that showcases what they have learned. Apart from the great feedback we have received from our parents, grandparents, relatives and acquaintances who saw our project and encouraged us, we have also been praised by some students and teachers from other schools. Here is what Mrs. Mihalcea (teacher) said: ' Your project is excellent!This is the first time my students and I have seen such a complex web site created by students helped by their teachers. It's amazing to see what these school children were able to do by working collaboratively with the community members and using the Internet to publish what they have learned. Thanks to your project my students discovered our hometown's beauty and rich history and culture. Good for you!' . Our project has also been highly appreciated by Mrs. Stan (counsellor at The City Hall and member of the Democratic Party). Here is what she said: 'Congratulations! Your web project will successfully promote the image of our country all over the world. Sometimes children know better than some of our politicians how to promote our community worldwide.' Another teacher, dr. Pratscher from Austria said: ”Congratulations! Petru informed us about it, and I think it is a wonderful contribution to helping students from western Europe learn more about the east. I hope you like that fact that I immediately added information about this project to our 'tour des capitales'.

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

Apart from our teachers we also had lots of our parents' and grandparents' help. In their own time many of them took us to the subject of our investigation in order to get the necessary information and take photos. We were also helped by some of our friends or acquaintances who shared their knowledge and expertise. Special thanks to Mr. Cezar who offered to host us at Blue Internet Cafe where we had free access to the Internet (1-hour/day). As you already know our school has a slow dial-up connection that we can't afford using it too much because of its high expenses. For more information, see the Acknowledgement section of our web site.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Our teachers and parents were surprised to see how much of our own time we gladly devoted to doing the International Schools CyberFair project. We found it a rich and rewarding experience! This web based project gave us opportunities for realistic translation work. A lot of the source material (leaflets, brochures, texts from reference books etc.) was in Romanian. Besides, we interviewed some of the people in our native language but reported our findings in English. Learning grammar and vocabulary appeared more relevant to us because we needed these things for our project. We also practised the most difficult of skills - writing and we did not complain about that! We all learned from one another during the project and discovered many interesting facts about our local and wider community.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4393)

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