CyberFair Project ID: 1304

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Waters of Kawai Nui Marsh
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Lanikai Elementary School
    Kailua, Hawaii, United States

34 students, ages from 10 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1999, 2000

Classes and Teachers: Wanda Harris and Lauren Apiki

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

In our classroom community we posed the essential question, “How do we impact the waters of Kawai Nui Marsh?”, and thus began the journey of our research which expanded our community beyond the wetlands to the borders of our Kailua watershed. Kawai Nui Marsh is Hawaii’s largest wetland and a flood basin to the numerous waterways both natural and manmade. The location of the marsh in the midst of the watershed has made it vulnerable to all surrounding activity.

2. Summary of Our Project

Human impact on the environment is often studied as a global concept, however in our own backyard we can see the outcomes of our behavior. Influences on the marsh are felt daily, from run-off through communities to decisions on it’s future. Looking back at the exponential growth of our community allows students to understand the impact of our actions and by sharing this knowledge can help themselves and others make a difference.

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:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Early Hawaiian inhabitants of our community were stewards of the land for centuries. The waves of foreigners seeking new opportunities throughout the 1900’s so drastically altered the landscape with the influx of each economic boom. So many cultures, languages, and ideologies made for the lack of a written history of our changing community. Documentation had to be gleaned from a variety of resources and was often limited. Studies in the field had to be well planned in order to execute precise measurement and successful documentation.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“If I was asked to do it again--I would. I would because it was fun and exciting but it did take a lot of hard work. I really like being a part of something that is big and this was a real big thing.” Katie age 11

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

Our service learning project encompassed all the general learner outcomes of the Hawaii State Standards which includes taking responsibility for one’s own learning, recognizing the value of collaboration while engaged in complex thinking and problem solving; and the ability to raise the quality of their performance and products. Student activities such as water quality testing required science and math skills; interviewing and correspondence provided the background for synthesizing information for publication; and graphic development for multimedia involved further extrapolation of data to communicate clearly. Researching the history of our community brought social studies to life and students could recognize the value of social responsibility.

Project Elements

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

The Lanikai Media Center houses a state of the art lab that provides a flex schedule in support of project based learning using technology as a tool to impact student learning.

Hardware: iMac, G4 Tower, G3 Server, Digital Camera, AlphaSmart, Phone/Fax, Palm Pilot Probeware, Smart Spectrophotometer

Software: ClarisHomePage, Appleworks, HyperStudio, Adobe Photoshop, GifBuilder, Graphic Converter, Inspiration, SimpleSound, Quicktime Pro

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

Students took an active role in soliciting information from the community and it’s members. For example, they collaborated with professionals at the university to learn how to use cutting edge chemical analysis equipment, met with government field scientists to learn about stream assessment and attended public hearings about community issues involving the marsh. Community organizations, as a result, are looking forward to linking to our website.

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

The excitement of our discoveries has overflowed into our school community and beyond. We have found that the threads of environmental consciousness must extend further than we have all traditionally accepted. Students have made connections that had to be put into a historical perspective. Past behaviors become our future legacy, and ultimately the future of their Kailua watershed begins stewardship today.

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

Members of various community organizations shared their goals and visions about environmental awareness and our need to move towards social consciousness. Students recognized that despite their varied interests and abilities that there is a need to work together for a common goal.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

“I think the best part of the project was learning to work together rather than trying to do something you know you can’t do. I learned it takes different people who are better at different things to do something like what we did, for instance some people are good at art and animation, others are good at researching and typing. I think people need to work together at about everything to make quality work.” Cara age 11


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