CyberFair Project ID: 1407

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Oxnard - The City of Strawberries
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Rio Lindo School
    Oxnard, California, United States

6 students, ages from 9 to 10 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 12, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001

Classes and Teachers: Clara Alvear's Fourth Grade

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The City of Oxnard is located along the California coastline between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. It is a seaside community of 160,035 people. Oxnard takes it name from the 1890's sugar beet business own by the four Oxnard brothers. It is an agricultural community, and its climate is excellent for producing fresh fruits and vegetables all year long. Portuguese sailor Juan Cabrillo called it "the land of endless summers." During the spring and summer seasons, you can smell the scent of strawberries all over Oxnard. One of the major events in our city is the Annual Strawberry Festival that takes place in May. Another major event is the Celebration of the Whales Festival. This is an eight-week schedule of activities to celebrate the migration of the Pacific Gray Whale.

2. Summary of Our Project

Students researched three big companies, one school district, and the only hospital in the city. They conducted personal interviews either in person or by email.

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:2-3

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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):

Our class is located in the only building in our school that has internet access through a local LAN. We have three main stations networked and connected to the internet. There are also 21 Pentium II laptops for schoolwide use, but they are mostly used by the 4th grades.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The major problem we had was time. We entered the CyberFair in February. This gave us only seven weeks to work on our project. For that reason we met almost every day after school. In addition we held online sessions during some weekends using Tapped In, a virtual community of teachers and students. It was also complicated to narrow down the topic and organize the interviews. Students finally decided to investigate the five places they considered most relevant to the life of the city. Parents were very helpful by supporting their children in this project. Community members interviewed were very cooperative as well.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Participating in the CyberFair has given these a girls a great sense of accomplishment and pride through their successful use of technological tools. They feel representing their school is a great honor, and want to continue doing it in the future.

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

Students conducting this research used skills contained in the Rio School District Technology Plan. The following are some of the expected technology goals for 4th grade that were accomplished by the students that worked on this project: - Navigate the World Wide Web to perform search for specific information - Create publication quality documents - Import graphics within a program - Import graphics from other programs - Incorporate information from the Internet and CD-Roms This project also addressed California English/Language Arts Content Standard # 2.1: Write Narratives: " a. Relate ideas, observation, or recollections of an event or experience. b. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience " Finally, students in this project were able to accomplish our own classroom standards for knowledge construction. They were able to create meaningful questions and used a variety of resources to find the answers. They incorporated past experiences into their research and worked cooperatively towards a common goal.

Project Elements

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

Internet WWW pages PC Laptops (Pentium II) PC Desktops (Pentium III) Digital Still Cameras (Mavica F83 and F95) Photo Editor (Photo Suite III) Digital Video Camera (Sony Digital 8) Scanner HTML editor (Netscape Composer and Microsoft Publisher) Word Processor (MS Word) Web Browsers: MS Explorer and Netscape 4.5 These resources were available in our school - most of them in our own classroom. The laptops were very helpful for organizational purposes. One of our most valuable tools was the internet, because it saved us time and trips. One of the companies was very quick and helpful responding to student emails. That was very gratifying for the students.

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

Students took on this assignment with a great sense of responsibility and professionalism. On their own initiative they wrote emails to companies asking what they wanted to know. They established personal contact with key employees of the companies and organizations they investigated. They took care of the interviews and photo sessions. They wrote letters and made phone calls to ask for interviews. Teachers and administrators have shown their support for the work of these students. They were recognized at our school daily morning assembly for being our community representatives in this international competition.

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

We believe our project will make a difference in many ways. For instance, our community businesses will be aware of our efforts for integrating technology in our schools and hopefully will be willing to cooperate with grants or donations. We also think that our participation will help to put our small community "on the map," so the people might be encouraged to visit it when traveling in the United States. This would be our small contribution to local tourism. Since only girls volunteered for this project, this can be used as model to increase the participation of girls in technology projects in other schools. One very positive outcome has been the active participation of parents. They have been involved in the Tapped In discussions and have taken this as seriously as their daughters. Their support has really been fundamental in this process.

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

In order for the students to finish their project, they counted on the cooperation of many people. We would like to thank the following members of our community for their kindness and time:

Yolanda M. Benitez - Superintendent - Rio School District Dorothy Penney - Director of Special Projects - Rio School District Rosario M. Villalpando - Principal - Rio Lindo School Kathy Vargeson - Teacher - Rio Lindo School Lynne Blackwell - Saint John's Hospital Tammy Tripp - Wal*Mart Office Manager - Oxnard, California Linda Torres - Sign Language Interpreter - Rio Mesa High School ( Chianne's Mom) Albert and Alicia Rivera - Sunkist Growers MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER Public Websites

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We discovered the importance of setting deadlines. We had to make a big effort to focus on the content and to leave the aesthetic aspects of our page for the end. Another lesson we learned was that there is no impossible task if we really want to do the job. We also learned how important it is for us to break big tasks into small pieces. Most importantly we discovered how good it feels to be able to trust your teammates.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1407)

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