CyberFair Project ID: 1464

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Through Our Eyes: A View of Our Community
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Monte Vista Elementary
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

20 students, ages from 8 to 9 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001

Classes and Teachers: Christine Laffler's and Claire Gentry's 3rd Grade Class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our Community is our classroom, our school, our neighborhood, and local businesses. The students in our class come from across Albuquerque. Important parts of our community are the mountains, rivers and facts and history that existed before the school existed. These things helped to build the area, and in the 1930's to build our school. Local businesses sprang up around our school because Historic Route 66 is only a few blocks away. Nob Hill is a local area where there are a lot of fun shops and different restaurants. Our class loves Nob Hill. The University of New Mexico is just two blocks away and provides us a place to explore. There are museums, a discarded pile of cool rocks and other minerals for us to collect, a duck pond to inspect algae and animals, statues and art work galore, and free food and concerts when we're lucky. We love to go on walking field trips to UNM! Our school was built in the 1930's and has a lot of history. There are myths carried down from generation to generation... the haunted bell tower, the missile in the basement, etc, but there is no answer as to why our school mascot is a penguin. We plan on creating our own legend to share with our school! Albuquerque is our town. From the mountains to the valley, it provides us with everything we need.

2. Summary of Our Project

How is our community different for each of us? Are there things that stand out to some of us? All of us? We're gong to explore our community through our eyes, each and every one. Through photography, poetry and short stories, art and research, we'll discover a community "Through Our Eyes."

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:4-6

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 school recently recieved a grant for technology. We are very lucky to have at least three computers in every classroom, as well as a great computer lab. We also have access to digital cameras and scanners (one for every two classrooms to share.) We are very appreciative of the Technology advantage given to our school and wanted to give something back to the community through technology.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Time! We learned about this project only a month before the due date. We have been focusing on community as a part of our curriculum from the first week of school and this was something that sounded right up our alley! We worked very hard taking pictures, writing stories and poetry, doing research, and creating our web site! Another problem that didn't occur until the very last day, at the last second, was that our school network failed. There was no way for us to upload the re-done pages of our web site. We were frantic! A month of work... what could we do? Thankfully, one of the employees from Don Mickey Designs came by to help us out. He was able to provide us with space on his server to host our site. We are so thankful. Thank you Fermin!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This project has allowed us to see that everyone sees things differently. It has helped us to appreciate everyone in our class and our school, as well as the different things and people that surround us everyday.

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

In the third grade, our social studies IS community. We have been exploring the meaning of community (both in our classroom and in context of the city) from the beginning of the year. For us, this was just an extension to a year-long study of community. It fit right into state curriculum guidelines, allowing us a more creative and expressive outlet to guide us. During our time spent on this project we learned that it encompassed a lot more than just social studies. The kids were reading and researching material all the time. They read and wrote daily on the subject. We learned all about photography and how to use a camera. We incorporated art as well. We had a great time exploring our community!

Project Elements

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

*Cameras *Scanners *Computers (Lab and in class) *Oral Interviews *Books, library *Internet research. These tools helped us to see a broader view of our community. By talking with local business owners, the students were able to get a better sense of the role businesses play in our community. The cameras allowed us a chance to "capture" a part of our community that interested us individually. We used the scanners to put all of our work into the computers: this was very helpful. Books really helped us out as well, especially while working on the Albuqeuerque ABC's page when we got stuck. And finally, the internet search engines really helped us out and allowed us to find cool links about New Mexico!

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

To allow our students to gain a personal understanding of our community, we went on several walking fieldtrips. We walked to the University of New Mexico, to Nob Hill (the local shopping area) and around residential neighborhoods. A group of students with cameras do stick out in a crowd. We were met with a lot of inquisitive looks and quesstions. We talked to shoppers, students and merchants about our project and about our school. While on one such field trip we stopped in at Don Mickey Designs, a graphic design and priting shop. They are our Join-a-School partners. We recieved a tour and a look at where "real" graphic/web designers work. The owner, Don Mickey came into our classroom later to give us some tips on our web site as well as some positive feedback on a job well done.

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

Our web site has already made a difference in our classroom. It has brought our students closer together. They bonded a little more while working so hard on this project. They are so proud of their work and hope others will benefit from looking at our site. We hope that the rest of the school will discover that there are a lot of things to do and see around our local community. We hope to bring the ABC's a little closer to home for the kndergardeners. We hope that our "Monte the Penguin" legend makes everyone smile, and we want them all to see that things look different to everyone and that's what makes a community so unique. We hope that by talking with people in our community it will allow them to open their doors and minds to letting students inside more. After all, these students are their future! We hope that this project will foster our students an enriched environment; one that is filled with acceptance and happiness.

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

One of our Join-a-School partners (Don Mickey Designs) really helped us out a lot. The owner, Don came in to talk with the class about their web site and about his job. When we got stuck on the very last day, Fermin came in to help us out. He saved us! Thank you to Don Mickey Designs for all of your help!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We discovered that with hard work and perserverence, anything is possible! Team-work is a lot of work, but it's worth it. We learned that we can do great things and that making a web site is hard, but fun. We discovered a new view of our community "Through Our Eyes."


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1464)

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