CyberFair Project ID: 1889

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Trinidad and Tobago Country of Beauty
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Curepe Presbyterian School
    Curepe, wi, Trinidad and Tobago

100 students, ages from 7 to 9 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 30, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001

Classes and Teachers: Basdeo Sooknanan, Suzzette Persad, Lynette Mohammed, Promilla Kalloo

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

“Our community” is the twin island state of Trinidad and Tobago, located at the southernmost end of the Caribbean archipelago. Trinidad and Tobago is a Republic has gone through a rich cultural evolution from Amerindians tribal warfare and lifestyle, to rediscovery by the Spaniards, a British colony, slavery, Independence, and today is a Republic State. The cosmopolitan population of our community has resulted in a rich blend of cultures. People of various races and origins coexist in a blend of cultural and social harmony. From a plantation economy, Trinidad and Tobago is now an emerging upper Third World country with a petroleum and a natural gas based economy. Manufacturing and foreign investments sectors are also increasing. Being a tropical island, we are fortunate to be blessed with sea, sand, mountains, green lush flora, variety of fauna, warm climate and many other natural resources so loved by tourists. Unlike cities and towns in the more developed countries, we have many "natural" options for leisure and enjoyment.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project serves to highlight and increase the awareness to some of the natural resources and the beauty of our country, Trinidad and Tobago, to both a local and an international audience. Many residents are not aware of some of the natural beauty that lends for enjoyment and leisure. People are either too busy or do not have the means or the information to access and appreciate these enjoyable gifts. Tourism is an important source of revenue. Many foreigners from all corner of the globe visit our beautiful tropical islands. Hence we expect to increase awareness of our country to all those who are experience our web site. The project involved different activities. Research, making map models, field trips, interviews, lectures, media coverage, discussions and designing a web site to reflect our efforts. It was no simple tasks and in many cases assistance was offered by many other students, parents and well wishers. A lot of the research material came from ecotourism brochures obtained from TIDCO, our Social Studies Text Book, Maps, and others supplied by individuals about their organisations. Some written details was purposely left out of the webpages to avoid students becoming bored with so much reading. Photos and simple graphics were used to keep the interest alive. Older students and teachers helped with the Map Models and Wall Paintings. Some interviews were carried out over the phone, email and in person. A few field trips took place. The material was finally pulled together by the project coordinator and designed on our website. The project is ongoing and continues long after the deadline. Students are looking forward to future field trips. Follow up activities and more public awareness are to be encouraged as it opens an area which encourages future learning and skills development for all.

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: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:1

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The major problem was really time. It was a last minute decision to register for Cyberfair2002. The intention was always to start early, but classes were so involved in their curriculum work and planned activities that much time was not available. Carnival and Calypso celebrations in schools which were held in February had classes occupied. After that there was the preparation for End of Term Test. It was decided to squeeze in some time to attempt Cyberfair2002. It was tough to get the project running in about three weeks, making it difficult to reach all the people and organisatons who wanted to make inputs. To top it off, school closed for Easter Vacation on the 22nd March ,2002. Some of the work had to be completed during the vacation The project itself will not terminate but continues long after judging is done. The project is an active ongoing one and there are many more follow-up activities to take place. Everything else was not too difficult; everyone was helpful and willing to get involved. Hopefully, next time we can start earlier.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The project is generating ongoing interest from members of the community as they visit our site, view our wall paintings and talk about it, so leading to further movement and development of the project. The excitement and learning possibilities that open up for the young kids involved, the entire school, including other schools as well, are positive ones since this is a topic on the Social Studies Syllabus

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

Our government is developing plans for getting all the nation's schools upgraded to use new and assistive technologies ( computers and multimedia ) integrated into the teaching/learning process. New modules are being drafted, while tendering for equipment and software is ongoing. There has been discussions concerning broadband internet connections between schools. The idea is to upgrade our system to global educational practices and standards. Curepe Presbyterian School is one of the few elementary schools who are ahead in this area. Most of the headway made has been through the resourcefulness, efforts and the vision of the staff and parents. Cyberfair allows us the opportunity to explore and further our efforts to upgrade our teaching/learning experiences. The exposure encouraged through media coverage highlights us to the national community, to the point where others look up to us at as role models in this type of venture. The content of our project is contained in the Social Studies syllabus from Infants right up to Secondary School. It therefore blends into the curriculum naturally enhancing and adding some excitement and challenge to pupils. The making of the models was an integration into the Art syllabus whilst the writing incorporated in Creative Writing. Overall all the activities was integrated across all the subject areas. Even though our internet connection is slow, teachers are now experimenting into using the resources of the internet as a teaching resource. Cyberfair2002, and the follow up activities will lend to much development and student's interest in this direction so enhancing the present curriculum

Project Elements

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

HP and IBM computers. Pentiums 111 450 and 750 Kodak digital camera Opti Pro scanner Dial up internet connection. Microsoft Word for typing documents. Power Point for creating graphics files for inserting into web page Front Page 98 for creating and publishing web design. Image Composer for editing and creating images Brochures with pictures from TIDCO Text Books from School Library. Oral interviews and lectures.

The above proved adequate in getting the job done. A Digital Camcorder would have been great to record the short lectures and to capture live images of field trips. We are looking at the specifications in order to purchase one for future projects, and for classroom activities. The camera proved to be a valuable tool, since the decision was taken to use more photos to tell our story in an attractive manner, rather than too much text which bore students. We provided URL links for more in depth information. Email proved to be so valuable in obtaining photos from organisations. The camera was very hard to resist in that anywhere the Project Coordinator, Mr. Basdeo Soooknanan went, he wanted to take a " million" shots of many things to show. Of course the amount of photos had to be limited on the site. This however opens a realm of further web design projects to highlight so many other aspects of our country, and our school. The newspapers did a great article covering our project and television coverage is scheduled as soon as school reopens on April 8th .

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

Simply by doing this project, the pupils became "ambassadors" in many ways. They have represented this project which is already reaching out to the professional interest and the curiosity of a great part of out community such as other schools, the business community, parents, well wishers both local and international. They are indeed pioneers in this type of project and will develop and share their experiences with others. Pupild were ambassadors to the people who assisted on their behalf. These persons were pleasantly surprised that an elementary school would get involved in such a project, something new to our nation's school population. The kids were able to source the assistance of many people who gave so willingly. Just a phone call was enough. The media was eager to showcase these "little" ambassadors. To really evaluate how well the kids did serve would be an ongoing issue since there are so many follow up activities and projects as a result of Cyberfair2002. The project continues long after the competition ends. Mr. Patrick Hosein, President and CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Network Information Centre (TTNIC) was impressed with the efforts of the "ambassadors" that he on behalf in his company donated $20, 000 TT to the school IT programme , does say a lot about the kids being ambassadors! He has been so patient and helpful in hosting and in giving technical assistance. Mr. Vinod Bridgelalsingh , a parent , has given so much of his time, finances and technical expertise towards the developing our IT programme and Cyberfair does say a lot of our " ambassadors". It is true to say that their jobs as ambassadors has only just started off on a good foot

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

Overall the impact on the community is positive, and still growing with respect and appreciation for the efforts. Full impact on our community is still to be gauged since the project was rushed into the Easter Vacation and finished just on the deadline date. The follow up activities are sure to generate much community interest. The responses so far have been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. It is worth mentioning the fact that the CEO of one company donated $20, 000 TT towards our efforts. Although that company's headquarters is in Trinidad , it operates from California. He followed our media coverage from our local newspaper available there. It was through Cyberfair we contacted him and realised that he is a past student of our school. Tourism and Industrial Development Cooperation ( TIDCO), responsible for tourism, has congratulated us and supplied information and photos. The UWI ( University of the West Indies) Biological Society has commended us and provided us with photos and information. The Nature Seekers Club, responsible for preservation of the environment and wildlife ( turtles) has also expressed interest in our project and supplied photos and information. The Wildlife Department of the Forestry Division has supplied lectures, slideshows, handouts and information . Parents willinly offered assistance, more than could be harnessed in the short time available. Our wall paintings and map model will generate so much interest, discussion, and criticism when school reopens on the 8th April 2002 from parents, past students and anyone viewing the colourful displays. These displays are packed with information and are sure to be a learning resource for all who view them. We hope to encourage other schools to use it as a teaching/learning resource.

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

Out topic content did not require much assistance as most of the information is easily available. The technical work was done by our teacher the Project Coordinator. Members of the community, however were willing to offer advice and assistance as soon as they realised the nature of the project. The intention is that as soon as school reopens, to organise more field trips and to expand the project into the community further than was achieved till the Cyberfair deadline date. We may have started late but we are going to expand this project . Talks had already taken place with "Edu TreK" , a tour guide operator company for school tours, which was most willing to assist. Imagine how many photos we will acquire to post on an future planned web sites. We will have a wealth of information to share with the world.

Special mention is Patrick Hosein, President and CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Network Information Centre (TTNIC) who was willing to give technical advice when emailed at anytime. Even after hosting the site he was willing to offer technical assistance through email from California. Mrs Nadra Gyan . Head of Wildlife, Forestry Division, was so willing to share her experience with the kids. She manipulated her busy schedule present slideshow and hold discussions . Mr. Dennis Sammy was so eager to talk to the kids about the Nature Seekers Effort. The University of the West Indies Biological Society provided photos Kalidescope Paints supplied the paints for our wall projects. Thanks to many others who assisted.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1889)

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