CyberFair Project ID: 1893

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Be a Consumer Hero!
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: St. Elizabeth Catholic School
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

90 students, ages from 9 to 11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2

Classes and Teachers: Dalia Naujokaitis and 5 classes of students from the Program of Gifted Learners

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community includes students, teachers and members of the general public who care for the Earth, its environment and all life and who are interested in promoting positive action in helping to find solutions to real-world problems issues. This community is both global and local.

2. Summary of Our Project

"Be a Consumer Hero!" is a student-created project on consumerism. Built around the celebration of the International Buy Nothing Day, the theme of our project is expressed in our slogan : "Be a Consumer Hero, not a Consumer Zero! Stand up against the pressure to BUY! BUY! BUY!"

In our project you can learn about the impact of advertising on consumer spending and how over-consumption has become a huge environmental problem in the world today. Created and illustrated entirely by students (9-11 year olds) the site challenges students especially in well-developed countries to reflect on the difference between wants and needs and to understand and begin to practice the 6 R's of environmental and global citizenship locally.

The project questions the "shop-till-you-drop" life style and its effects on the world. This is done through student research, student-created "chose-your-own-adventure" stories ("Didi's Dilemma" and "FUZ Gets Frazzled"), our art gallery, action plans, survey and multi-media presentations.

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:1

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):

We have access to a lab 20 computers once a week.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Our greatest obstacle in completing the project were the constraints of time and getting everyone organized. The students involved in the project attend an enrichment program that meets for one day per week at St. Elizabeth School. This demands very tight planning and organization so that enough time was available for all aspects of the project. There has been a lot of juggling of schedules and activities to make sure that the project was finished on time. We also spent a lot of time in deciding what the website should look like.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“We are the future. Working together we can make a difference. We can create a healthy world by practicing the 6 R's of environmental and global citizenship. The best things in life aren't things. Buy less and enjoy more and help the environment and the planet too. The landfill begins with you!

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

One of the mandated requirements of the Ontario Curriculum is the integration of computer and information technology across all subjects areas. Our project in particular helped to develop and apply students' skills in information technology, research and writing, through the medium of Internet communications and publishing on a contemporary, real-world topic: advertising and its effects on consumer spending and the environment. We were totally amazed to discover the immense influence media has on what we think, buy or do.

Throughout the project we learned and applied many skills. Since our research was being published for a

Project Elements

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

We put the site together using a variety of resources. Internet Search Tools: students used the World Wide Web to find links and evaluate resources.

HTML students were introduced to web page design and construction. A simple HTML editor was used so that students could see the source file and change it appropriately. Many of them became quite expert in using HTML tags. We also learned some Java through online tutorials

Graphics Utilities: students were introduced to Corel Photo Paint and PhotoImpact for illustrating web pages and converting files.

Scanners and Digital camera: most of the photos on the website were taken by the students either using a digital camera or by scanning photos or drawings

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

The project has shown the power of the Internet as a tool for change even in the hands of children. It has has been instrumental in making others think beyond their

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

The website has become a resource both for teachers and students in the study of media literacy, especially the impact of advertising on consumer spending and values. The site is interactive and is appealing to children and has been used by teachers world-wide to introduce children to a serious issue. It is also interesting to note that many parents have reported that their children have become wise consumers, frequently asking parents if what is being bought is really needed or do we just want to acquire more "things". This is powerful stuff... change someone's thinking and you can change the world.

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

We had many helpers across the Internet who were our guides in this adventure...those excellent websites that provided us with awsome information: The Media Awareness Network of Canada, Admusters, Buy Nothing Day UK, National Institute of Family and the Media. The result is a projectthat is unique in that the site is completely created by 9-11 year olds who are passionate in their belief that issues that affect the survival of our planet Earth should be presented to kids as early as possible. They have done this quite admirably especially through their two interactive stories "Didi's Dilemma"and "FUZ gets Frazzled". Students want to use the power of the web to challenge others to examine their need to "buy,buy, buy" and the belief that you need more and more "things" to be happy.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1893)

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