CyberFair Project ID: 4821

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Delaware Historic Landmarks
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Howard High School of Technology
    Wilmington, DE, USA

12 students, ages 15-17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Helen Browne/Technical Software Specialist 2008

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our local community is the State of Delaware. Our school is in Wilmington DE but our project encompasses two counties in the State of Delaware—New Castle County and Kent County. There are 12 official National Historic Landmarks in Delaware. Our school, Howard High School of Technology was named the 12th landmark in the Spring of 2006. When we joined this community of historic landmarks and discovered the CyberFair project topic of landmarks, we decided to enter the competition.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our Cyberfair project started because Howard High School was declared a National Historic Landmark in the Spring of 2006. We thought it would be interesting to research Delaware’s history. Most of the class studied Delaware history in the fourth grade—we are now high school juniors. Our instructor told us about the opportunities this project would provide: class trips to many of the landmarks, interviews with key players throughout the state, research opportunities in the Delaware archives, local library and the Internet, and opportunity to meet new people in Delaware.

Each of the students selected a landmark to create webpages about. We took a camera and our notebooks and visited many of the landmarks as a class and a few in small groups. Then each student created the pages.

We hope our project will be expanded after the project deadline to use this website as a tool for younger students to learn Delaware history.

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:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Students in our career area have national certification requirements that must be completed each year. We entered this competition with the knowledge that we had to fulfill these requirements and also build our webpages. We became agressive in our classwork and put aside a day a week (sometimes more) to get our information together and create the pages. We were constantly using time management and available people resources in our school to meet our deadlines.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our class participation in International School CyberFair has provided us chances to learn new things, meet new people, and to go to exciting places that a lot of other students have not had the chance to do. We were introduced to new people who welcomed us and showed us all around the historic building as we worked on the project. For example when we went to Old New Castle some of the historic home owners took the time to talk to us about their homes. Also, the local newspaper met us in Old New Castle and we featured in the newspaper for the project. Working on this project has really been a wonderful experience.

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

Our career area focuses on Microsoft certification in the five major Microsoft Office application programs. Each of these programs has the ability to save the files as web pages. Each of the students chose his/her own choice of application to create his/her site.

Some students used an additional Microsoft product, Microsoft Publisher that is not part of the certification programs to build their pages. In addition we explored a new software program called Photoshop. The students were also introduced to Dreamweaver, a website management program.

Though we used the Internet as a first-line resource for our pages, the students realized that its not all about the Internet. The fieldtrips, research in the library and archives, the personal interviews, and the guest speakers brought real life to the project.

Time management was also a big topic. Many of our jobs needed to be finished for the next person to take over. Meeting deadlines and goals became a priority.

Project Elements

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

20 classroom computers Each student had a computer for Internet research, photo management and web page creation.

Digital cameras There were usually three to four cameras on every field trip, interview and guest speaker.

Computer software We used our Microsoft Office, Publisher, Dreamweaver and PhotoShop to create our pages.

Libraries We visited the Delaware Archives and the Wilmington Public Library.

Museums and field trips We visited as a class or in small groups all but the Jacob Broom House, Stonum and Aspendale.

Interviews Ms. Flavia Rutkowsky, who led the process to make Howard an official Delaware Historic Landmark, and Robin Bodo, Delaware Historian, visited our class to help begin our research for the Landmark project.

To decide which tools were most helpful is very difficult. Each of our resources offered a piece to the puzzle. We found many of the tools by research, telephone calls, and emails. Our service learning coordinator Mr. Stanley Levine was instrumental is getting our buses and admissions to some of the sites funded.

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

The students were ambassadors to the project and to Howard by showing their enthusiasm to the project and its success. We welcomed our visitors to the school and listened to the information offered and asked appropriate questions. Of course we followed up with thank you letters.

We were complimented by the people in the community by our interest in the project and how easily we talked to the people in those communities. We made new friends in Dover, Odessa and Old New Castle.

Our biggest contact was when the local newspaper photographer and reporter talked to our students about the project they were doing. It ended up with a two-page spread in the publication. This article inspired people throughout the state to call, email, and offer assistance to making our project a success.

Our service learning coordinator is seeking funds to do the next step in this long-range project. The evaluators that came, saw the pages and talked to the students were very impressed.

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

Our website has already had an effect on our community. Our instructor is getting emails from all over our school district and the state about how wonderful our idea for a website on the 12 National Historic Landmarks is. Much of this message stemmed from a two-page spread in our local newspaper highlighting our trip to Historic New Castle. We were photographed taking pictures throughout New Castle.

As a class we were introduced to the Delaware Archives in Dover and reintroduced to our local public library. Though many of us have visited the library for casual library we have used the Internet much too extensively and lost sight of the volume of information that is in print.

People in the communities throughout the state have met us and our enthusiasm in this project has been contagious. In Old New Castle we met a man who is not an owner of a National Historic Landmark but owns a house with history in the town. He was very interested in our project and how high school students have taken an interest in Delaware and New Castle history.

The staff at our school and through our district has volunteered efforts to proofread, analyze and make suggestions about our individual pages. They are impressed at the wealth of information we have accumulated.

We don’t want our project to stop with the competition. We plan to use our website to create opportunities for younger students to go to one place to find out about Delaware history and more specifically the 12 National Historic Landmarks of Delaware.

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

Dr. Hartschuh, the director of the Delaware Center for Educational Technology. He offered us training in Photoshop to work with our pictures and last minute troubleshooting the WebPages.

Ms. Flavia Rutkowsky the woman who started the process and the research of to make our school a National Historic Landmark came to our class to explain what happens to name a national landmark.

Ms. Robin Bodo, the official Delaware historian, provided us with copies of the original application forms for each of the Delaware landmarks. The Delaware Archive Historians, Librarians and Staff. We visited the Archives down in Dover and they were a great help! They aided in us finding primary resources dating back to the early simple beginnings of these now Historic Landmarks.

The Corbit-Sharp House tour guides. We visited the Corbit-Sharp house in Odessa which the Tour Guides there gave us an overview of both the life back then and the Corbit and Sharp families!

Rebecca Wilson, Old New Castle tour guide showed us two more sites that have been nominated as National Historic Landmarks.

Gloria Henry, Site Supervisor, John Dickinson Plantation, gave a personal tour just prior to the 75th anniversary. We were actually the first group to ever see the refurbished basement that is now open.

Mr. Stanley Levine, Howard's Service Learning Coordinator, has driven us places, such as Fort Christina, Old Swedes and Eleutherian Mills (Hagley Museum). He has also found us funding for our trips, taken pictures at the sites, and given us encouragement to continue to make the project better.

The Wilmington Public Library staff. We walked to the library and were offered books and documents from the archives so we could use our limited time in the library well.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Perhaps the biggest surprise was when a small group of students went to Hagley Museum. Our newspaper story had just published that morning and our students were recognized as being the same as the newspaper article.

Our long range plan for building on the website is rolling it our to younger students. We hope to use this expanded project to compete in a national student organization's award program.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4821)

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