CyberFair Project ID: 1868

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Hermannstadt - A Mirror Of The Past
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Colegiul National "Gheorghe Lazar"
    Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania

5 students, ages from 17 to 18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 31, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: Johannis Carmen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The county located "in the heart" of the country is called Sibiu, named after its capital, the town of Sibiu. Founded upon a neolithic settlement, near the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Caedonia, whose traces are still preserved, the place was mentioned in documents as far back as the 12th century. When the German colonists ("Transylvanian Saxons") came to Transylvania, in the 12th century, they found the Romanian population organized in specific political forms. The "Transylvanian Saxons" called the settlement Hermannsdorf, then Hermannstadt, and the Romanians called it later Sibiu. Enjoying the economic power of its guilds, Sibiu played an important part in Transylvania's culture. Sibiu became the political center of the Transylvanian Saxons, where the "Academia Saxorum", the parliament of the 7 Saxon fortresses was elected. The town with brick walls, red with blood, was actually never conquered. In time it became the aristocratic town of Romania and later a thorn in the side of the Communist Ruler. They forced it gradually into decadence. Together this two forces, the Saxons in the towns and the Romanians in the villages withheld the repeated attempts of the Communists to extinguish a culture which had resisted over centuries. Sibiu continued to be the host of many cultural events, renowned for the yearly Jazz Festival, The International Photography exhibition, The National Pottery Fair etc. The museums constitute an important national patrimony, the most famous being the Brukenthal Museum which opened in 1790 (3 years earlier than the Louvre). The Museum of Romanian Rural Technology is the second in size in the world. The old town which was built between 1200 and 1400 and still preserves a medieval atmosphere. It is a place were the youth of Old Europe mingles with the exuberance of a University town.

2. Summary of Our Project

At first we had a lot of problems on choosing a topic for our CyberFair Project. Each of us had her own ideas, but it was very difficult to make up our minds. In the end we decided upon building a link between the rich medieval and historical background of our town, mainly the unique arhitectural style in which some of the buildings were created, and the nowadays Sibiu, a modern city. We also included a brief introduction on Hermann Oberth, one of the most famous residents of our town (more details within the dedicated link) and, since the Project is supposed to be completed during March, we thought it would be a good ideda to add some information about the "Martisor", a very old, preserved tradition, known only in our country, which is celabrated on the 1st of March every year. Of course, there are so many other things to be said about our town and about the numerous customs in our region, so we considered important mentioning that our page is still "under construction", so to speak.

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:dedicated connection

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Probably the biggest problem we had to face was working as a group. We just couldn't see "eye to eye" in anything at first, but gradually, we learned that team work is vital for the completion of our project. So we learned to compromise, to listen to each other's ideas, to consult and try to understand each other's point of view. Another problem was the dead line. Of course we had enough time to do the research, but we couldn't put them together - having an order and mobilizing were probably two of the most important factors that influences the delay in the project completion. Gathering the material, searching for the exact piece of information - other obstacles that came between us and the finishing of the project on time. We had to go to people with high influence in our society, such as our English teacher, the mayor's wife, who helped and counceled us in many difficult moments throughout the making of the project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The Project had a great impact on both us, the students, and our community - we learnt what responsibility and standing up for our ideas really mean, and we hope that the people who found out,from the local "Tribuna" newspaper,about our project,stopped and meditated, even if only for a few minutes, about the unique highly preserved traditions and values of the town they live in.

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

Our project addresses all members of our community, including those who, distracted by the daily routine, forgot all about the medieval background of our town and want to rediscover it. Of course we weren't quite the first who had this idea, but probably the fact that we are still students made it more interesting. We learned so many interesting things about ourselves, in the first place, and secondly, about the town we live in. All of this wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Mrs. Carmen Johannis, who opened many doors to the fully realization of our project. We thus had a lot of research sources and we mobilized other members of our community to help us. Of course the Internet played a vital part in the accomplishment of our project - it is many times faster, clearer, richer in documentaion.The fact that we could use our own computers at home was also important.

Project Elements

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

Information tools: computers, mobile telephones, TV, newspapers, libraries, bookshop, archives from museums, personal artefacts, tape recorders, oral interviews, and many more. We have to admit that the most important informational tool we used was the computer - especially the Internet.

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

At the begginning it was very difficult for us to manage to get an interview from the mayor himself, but having the helping hand of his wife, everything turned out just fine. It is a wonderful experience to go and take interviews, to get to know so many people. Mr. Stefan Orth was also very kind to offer us his time, an interview and some samples of his work. While we were taking the interview to Mr. Stefan Orth, our recorder borke, so we had to write everything down, which was a vey difficult job for the interviewer.

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

Although our page hasn't been visited yet, our work has been known of long before the completion of the project. A reporter from the local "Tribuna" newspaper took us an interview regarding our CyberFair project and that is how many members of our community found out about it. We hope that it will make a difference for the future of our town, but mostly for the present. We wanted people to be aware of their treasure called Sibiu, a town that we are so proud of.

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

The main person "behind the scene" was of course, our helper and English teacher, Mrs. Carmen Johannis. We didn't want to stir things up , so we thought it would be a nice experience to manage on our own, and not ask for help from all around - our work has certainly been well repayed when we saw the page well and finished.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We thought it would be better not to repeat ourselves, so we just hope that you will enjoy our site and discover the things that make our city - Sibiu and country - Romania - so special.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1868)

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