CyberFair Project ID: 5043

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Old New Steel Mill (Stara Nowa Huta)
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Gimnazjum nr 39 im. J. Dietla
    Cracow, -, Poland

20 students, ages 14-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 8, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Malgorzata Urbanska

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

What is my 'local community'? They are people who I stay with, who I know and with whom I reach an agreement. Because of that my district is my local community. My grandparents and my parents built it with their hands and they fought for it. My friends live here, I have spent all my life here. I am attached just to this place. A school where I go every day is neither big nor small. It is situated on the hill, on the brink of the housing estate, and you can see the old part of Krakow with historic towers of churches as well as its youngest district – Nowa Huta with chimneys always shrouded in smoke. It is like the borderland of two different but united worlds. My milieu is people. Gaudy people and just the people in the street. Here many people take the bit in their hands, distinguish themselves and they have a chance to do something important. Some of them are the human beings who hardly exist. They have no purpose of life, they just think about next few days or months. Fortunately here are also those who try to change something and they organize sports trainings, art workshops, scholar’s workshops and other interesting activities for youth. Thanks to their help a lot of young people find a passion, break themselves of a bad habits. For many people Nowa Huta is just the eighth district of Krakow – old, historic city. Beyond Poland probably no one has heard of it. It’s not the ideal place, however in some way it is unique. For me it is the one – I was brought up here and I have lived here since I was born. I can’t imagine to forget things happened here. It became the part of my life and it will be remembered. Pawel Garncarz, 15 age.

2. Summary of Our Project

This is a stay about an unusual district of a huge city. Nowadays Nowa Huta is a legend. The youngest district of Krakow supposed to be a representative model of ideal socialist city. It was built from fundamentals after the Second World War on the ground of pre historical past, it created the newest history itself. The history of Nowa Huta is hardly known. For the young, who live here, it is the natural environment which is rather underestimated. Everybody else, those who live far from here, they know stereotypes, which aren’t worth to talk about. Whereas traces of first people who stay here were discovered by archeologists not long ago, they are 20 thousand years old. Primeval objects dug out while Nowa Huta was built fill hundreds of boxes in our Archeological Museum now, and they are covered with dust. We would like to bring them to day light. We have also shown the heritage of middle ages: historic temples and manor houses, places of national relics. Finally, the newest history: how the city and a huge metallurgical combine came into existence, since that time always inscribed in Nowa Huta’s scenery. And then, how people of this district were fighting with communists for independence, how the first independent trade union – Solidarity – came into being. Witnesses of those events are still alive. Before they will pass away, we desire to preserve their story. The project is illustrated with many, unique and not published pictures of places and people who create this history. They contain of authentic fragments of newsreel, shot when Nowa Huta was built and during the first Solidarity’s strikes.

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:4-6

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

School has got two computer labs with 10 pupils’ positions each. The first one we got 6 years ago from Ministry of Education. The second one, modern, was bought half a year ago from means of European Social Found. We are still very pleased with it.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest difficulties were with the copyright of materials – mainly photos which we wanted to publish. In Internet, books, albums, which we looked up, we have found many interesting photos which we couldn’t use because we didn’t have a permission from the author or we couldn’t find him/her. Decisions to part with these materials were painful… That’s why we were looking for them intensively through e-mails, requests of our headmaster, private visits and private contacts. We also meet with language difficulties. Many pages of text which we placed here were translated by pupils or teachers who spare no efforts. A technical problem was the fact that our school doesn’t have a digital camera. That’s why we couldn’t record our own film materials though we wanted very much.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Look deeper, see more – it is the motto of our project. It express commitment all of those who worked on this project, their creative activity and desire to discover something what no one sees before. We also wanted to encourage those who will read our project to try to break the stereotypes in thinking of Nowa Huta. We wanted to prove, that this city conceals a fascinating secret, and its true beauty reveals to those who can look deeper.

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

Our project fulfils category number 6 – Historic Places. We decided on this category although Nowa Huta is a young city – it is hardly 60 years old. But the history of the place where the city was built, date back thousand years B.C. For all participants the choice of topic was the opportunity to observe the changes which our strip of earth experienced from the beginning till the newest days. The project highly exceeded demands of school syllabus in many subjects. It contributed to integration of different disciplines knowledge: history, culture, journalism, English and Information Technology. Pupils have acquired and developed skills like information retrieval and selection gained from different sources, interviewing, forming reports and other information texts, presentation of seeking results using different information technics. The role of teacher was to be a guide of discovered areas rather than a person who conveys ready solutions. Thanks to this, pupils' participation in the project was a fascinating adventure.

Project Elements

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

Preparing the project, the students used both school computers from the library and their own wich have the access to the Internet. We contacted by communicatory and e-mails. It made our work easier and faster. We also used digital cameras, a scanner, a printer and a laptop with a micropfone to record the interviews. To prepare the project's texts we surfed the Net, we used books, tourguides and magazines. We visited a lot of exhibitions and museums. We were in contact with their workers by e-mail. We used MSWord to correct the texts, like interviews and reports. The graphic art of the webside was made in Adobe Photoshop and to prepare photos we used Ifran View and Microsoft Photo Editor. The sourse code of the page was written in the simpliest graphic editor - Notebook. To diversity graphic's effects we used Java scripts which were found in special Internet portals. The page was tested on Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.

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

The students looked for information and materials to the projects in their nearest environment. They talked about their ideals to parents and grandparents. They wrote down their memories and saw photographs and souvenirs. They searched for interesting people and made interviews. Our school was visited by the leader of Nowa Huta's Solidarity - Mieczyslaw Gil. He talked about the beginnings of Solidarity, the martial law in 1981, the fight with communist's regime, those who were arrested and everyday life in those times. The young people visited museums and exhibitions, did a lot of sightseeing connected with historical places and events. But the greatest satisfaction gave us the possibility of reaching the places which were hidden. The project allowed us to doscover them. Thanks to making personal relationships and the promotion of this project, we had the chance to see and touch the precides archeological intems from the area of Nowa Huta which were the thousands years old. These intems were placed at the outback of the local division of The Archeological Museum of which existance we were unaware. We had the exceptional opportunity of entering (Huta) the metalurgical complex. Previously it was opened for visitors but today it is heavily guarded, just like a stronghold. It took long before we were checked similarly to crassing the border. We were not allowed to take photos. But we were there! We saw hundreds of buildings and strange objects, open - hearth furnaces, huge leaps of coal, kilometres of tangled pipes and tracks which were running in different directions. We wisited an enormous production hall where huge multi - tonnes, red - hot bloks of steel are shaped by machines. We also met common, rough people, who like ants worked very hard day and night, in the frost and in the heat of hot metal. We also visited The Memory Chamber and an exhibition The Builders of Nowa Huta which are situated within the are of the complex.

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

The project integrated the major part of our local society. Young people and adults, parents and grandparents, people and institutions not connected with school took part in it. The project positively influenced the interpersonal relationship and allowed to make new friendship. We met a lot of great people who like taking new challenges. Our cooperation will not end when the project is finished. Now we have new great ideas in our heads. We would like our projec have another influence on the society. We want the people to be proud of living in Nowa Huta, to know more about it and discover its unique charm. All these thank to our webside. We also want the people to see the true face of Nowa Huta without the false stereotypes.

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

Our project could not be realised without help of many great and disinterested people. We would like to thank: -Mr Mieczyslaw Gil who gave us the interview about the origin of Nowa Huta's Solidarity and the fight with the communist's regime. -Mr Jacek Górski - a custodian of Archeological Museum in Cracow, Nowa Huta department - for interesting history lesson, for putting exhibits, photos and information from prehistoric time of Nowa Huta and items taken from Nowa Huta exhibition within our reach. -Mr Leszek Sybila - a custodian of Nowa Huta department The City of Cracow Historical Museum, for archival photos and great help in seeking information which we needed. -Mr Henryk Kazimierski from Nowa Huta Development Society, for involving in saving historical tokens of metallurgical complex, for making it possible for us to see the steel plant and many unique materials. Finally we would like to express our gratitude to all those who are listed above, parents, grandparents, teachers, school management and to all those who supported us and gave us their time, knowledge and enthusiasm.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5043)

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