CyberFair Project ID: 5016

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Water Supply Services in Lódz
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: 13 high school
    Lodz, lodzkie, Poland

6 students, ages 16-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006

Classes and Teachers: Wojciech Kolasinski, Ewa Karolewska, Stephanie Bouchou,

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Lódz - today one of the largest and more significant cities situated in cental Poland. For hundreds of years an unknown village, eventually discovered in XIX century and due to its specific conditions quickly changed into the large industrial centre, famous in whole Europe. Unexpected, intensive development of the city influenced on its later character. The working class consisting mainly of immigrants used to constitute most of the population till the second half of XX century.

But Lódz was not just a grey city of workers. The intellectuals contributed to a neat modern appearance of the city, whose greatness could charm everyone. That is the reason, why nowadays we can admire magnificent complexes containing giant plants, whole industrial estates and ingenious eclectic palaces of Poznanski, Scheibler, Kindermann. Huge influx of people from nearby and distant regions of Europe caused Lódz to become a multicultural city where Catholicism, Evangelisms, Judaism and the Orthodox Church have been constantly in touch.

Although nowadays the textile industry declined, Lódz still remains to be an important Polish economic region - factories from new branches of production are set up in the area what encourage well-educated people, who come to the city in order to find a job. Another factor which determines the young to stay here is the fact that Lódz can ensures high level of education. Numerous public universities with international reputation make the city a popular centre of youth full of initiative and plans for the future. It is worth saying that famous figures such as Julian Tuwim, Artur Rubinstein, Kiejstut Bacewicz, Stefan Jaracz were strongly associated with Lódz. Still an appreciable artistic community is concentrated here. The locals can choose from a wide offer of theatres, opera, philharmonic, music and art events, cinemas. Lódz is often called 'HollyLódz' mainly thanks to such celebrities as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski or Krzysztof Kieslowski, who graduated from the well-known, international Academy of Drama, Film and Television in Lódz. People living in the vincity, those who commute to work or have families here also belong to Lódz local society.

Taking everything into consideration: Society of Lódz is manifold. It contains various groups of people diverse due to: religion, education, financial and social status. This multiplicity creates the unique character of the region.

2. Summary of Our Project

The first waterwork in Lódz appeared in 1941. It was only 44 miles long, although it gave the citizens of Lódz the first possiblility to drink good quality water. The demand for it was rising, so the government decided to built a new pipeline connecting the Pilica River in Tomaszów Mazowiecki with Lódz. This project was finished in 1955. Together with the collapse of the textile industry in the 1970s, the demand for water decreased. In 2004, Lódz started to get water from deep wells in the city instead of Sulejów. Today the water flowing in the waterworks in Lódz is one of the best and the cheapest in Poland. The estimated daily water expenditure is about 140-150 thousands m3. In the future waterworks will be still in a good condition, thanks to the members of the government and The Water Supply and Sewage Company Ltd. in Lódz.

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:dial-up modem

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

When you compose your own text, you should expect that you would meet with some difficulties. Creating our site within the framework of the “Cyberfair” competition we also had to overcome such difficulties. The main problem, which appeared from the very beginning of our collaboration, was limit access to the proper information. The topic, we had chosen for our presentation, required from us getting at really precise information, whereas available sources of information, containing inter alia articles and publications were supposed to be insufficient or out-of-date. But thanks to the kindness of ZWiK’s employees, who render accessible to lots of useful books, texts and brochures, our problem has been solved.

Another stumbling block, which stood in the way, resulted from our fault. Namely, we decided to create two extra versions the of site: one in English and one in French to popularize our website. However, we hit on the idea relatively late that is why some problems with the translation turned up. Fortunately, cooperating with students and teachers from our school we managed to deal with that nuisance.

The last thing, that bothered us, was partly connected with the previous one. During placing the text on the website it turned out that it is impossible to put French letters in the typical way. We decided to use special signs, what allowed us to reach our aim. Although some of the problems, we had to face up, were rather surprising, we made efforts with all our might to create an attractive, useful website.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Participation in the „Cyberfair” is of great importance for us. Students, who took part in the competition stood a chance to develop their skills, broaden their knowledge to the set task, gain new experiences or cooperate with people from various communities. All of the above mentioned will facilitate the young better start in their adult life, will help them to deal with many problems and may let them spread their wings.

The school, which participated in the competition, could enhance its prestige, what will surely encourage junior high school students to apply for a place in our school. It is also a great opportunity to ensure our students a chance to spend their spare time in an original, catching way, and propagate such values as: diligence, creativity or ability to cooperation. Besides, we got the possibility to promote our water supply system, which is not only a part of the infrastructure but also an uncommon, unknown and underestimated attraction.

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

Because of the requirements our project fulfills we decided to include into the category: “local attractions”. The project is strongly bound up with the compulsory educational system, what influenced our decision to participate in the “Cyberfair” competition. In order to prepare an attractive but also an effective website it was essential to broaden the student’s knowledge about such subject as: History, Geography, History of Art (section-architecture), IT, Social Sciences – it is worth noting that all these subjects are compulsory.

During our collaboration, students were able to develop many of their skills, e.g.: language skills, cooperation skills, an ability to work with source documents. Moreover, they could work in the field and they were introduced how to share responsibility. In most cases students were working independently and no extra exercises were planned. However, we would meet from time to time to compare and contrast our results and to share our observations. Learning, how to work as a group, helping each other and deriving benefits from experiences of others became main establishment of the project. Using the Internet in relation to some situations should be strongly recommended, because it gives students a chance to retrieval various information from different sources in a really fast way. This teaches the young how to select the most essential pieces of news and compose it into the entirety.

Furthermore, access to the Internet allowed us to make an appointment with appropriate people and exchange some important pieces of information very quickly - we can just facilitate our work. On the other hand, it limits the opportunity to meet people “live”, what may hamper communication with the others and straighten diversity of types of sources we use.

Project Elements

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

In the course of preparing the presentation we made use of various implements and technologies, so that the final result would be sufficiently satisfying. Personal computers seemed to be essential for working efficiently and they became our “basic appliance”. Not only were they served for editing texts or graphics, but also for communicating between each other, thanks to programes such as: skype or gadu-gadu. Pen-drives and CDs became really useful equipment mainly due to the fact that we could easily save lots of information or graphics and then exchange them between us. Also mobile phones constituted a comfortable way of contact. Since most of the appliance belonged to us, there was no difficulty in reaching the access to them.

Apart from the Internet there were other sources of information we took the advantage of. We received a lot of useful books, brochures, notes and photos from the Water Supply and Sewage System Plant’s (in Polish: ZWiK) Press Officer, Mr. Marek Wilczak, who also gave us many practical pieces of advice.

All the graphic was created in Adobe PhotoShop 9; to write articles we used mainly MS Word 2003 and/or Open Office. The website has come into being by means of technologies such as: HTML, CSS and PHP, which became the most serviceable. Thanks to PHP we managed to create a convenient system of the website’s navigation. Files were transferred to a server by the Total Commander programme. The most common web browser was Mozilla Firefox.

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

The ambassador is known to establish relations between society and the institution, whose representative he is. Our students also needed to enter into such relations. For this purpose we used various types of communication. At the beginning we took the advantage of the Internet, through which we made an appointment with the Water Supply and Sewage System Plant's Press Officer. Later, we met him personally and received much practical advice. It provided us with information essential to establish contact with the inhabitants.

We made a decision to communicate directly with the society, because we are convinced that this kind of relation brings much higher benefit than an indirect contact. In order to collaborate with city dwellers efficiently, we prepared a special survey and asked accidental citizens from diverse groups of society to answer for the set queries, so that we could find out how extensive their knowledge about the local water supply system was. Surprisingly, they usually have no idea about the city, in which they lived, they used to muddle up the water supply system with the sewage system and many of them confessed that previously they hadn't been concerned with Lódz.

After completing the survey we invited our interlocutors to a short interview to become acquainted with their level of interest (or reasons for lack of interest) about the city and alternatively reply for their doubts and questions. Moreover we tried to encourage them to widen their knowledge about Lódz. We left them our e-mail addresses in case, they would like to get some extra information and in fact a few people responded to our encouragement.

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

Although our website has existed for a very short period of time, we strongly believe that soon it will become really popular. We placed there much practical, surprising news to encourage the internaut to visit our website again. An uncommon and maybe a bit outstanding glance on citizens will surely distinguish our presentation of local society from the others.

Both city dwellers and inhabitants from all over the world can learn a lot while visiting the website (e.g. a little bit about the history of the city’s infrastructure, principles of operation of the water supply system, ideas of the management of the vicinity). Our conviction is substantiated by the results of a survey, which we carried out within the confines of the project. The results, you can analyse in the section “curiosity”, confirm the fact, that our website will contribute to the increase of interests in local attractions.

Thanks to the survey we were able to come into direct contact with the inhabitants from local society, what has brought benefits to both sides: we managed to estimate the level of city dwellers’ consciousness and adapt our website to satisfy their needs as well as they could ask some queries and broaden their knowledge about the surroundings. It is worth adding that very often our project sprang a surprise on our interviewees, mainly because of the unusual subject. However, almost every time we met a warm reception.

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

Similarly to other groups preparing their project for the competition we also needed some help from the outside. Without contacting with the local society our project would be totally unreliable. That is why now we would like to thank all people, who agreed to be interviewed, for their sincerity, involvement and kindness.

This project would never come into being without assistance of Mr. Marek Wilczak - the Water Supply and Sewage System Plant's Press Officer, whose counsels and hints were essential for us to create the website, which will be surely credible as well as attractive. We are really grateful for all books, brochures and photos we received from Mr. Wilczak. We would like to render much thanks to our teaching Staff, who were supporting our students during their work, especially to Mrs. Ewa Karolewska and Mrs. Stephanie Bouchou, who made an effort to amend our texts and Mr. Wojciech Kolasinski, who was the tutor of the project.

At the end I would like to thank all students who took much trouble so that the page could be created. Because of their ingenuity and assiduity now you may have the opportunity to watch our website.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5016)

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