CyberFair Project ID: 1294

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Arizona And The Mighty Mo - Forgive But Don't Forget
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Mokapu Elementary School
    Kailua, Hawaii, United States

27 students, ages from 9 to 11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 10, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001

Classes and Teachers: Gail Van De Verg/Gr. 5, Language Arts Class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Mokapu Elementary school is a public elementary school that is located on the Marine Corps Base in Kailua, Hawaii. Our students are the children of Navy and Marine personnel. Because of this, they are a unique population of students in our Hawaiian community. The students are global in their experiences, and are fairly resilient to change. They live with the uncertainty of the future, with their parents often absent on deployment to places such as the Persian Gulf. Our parents and the military community are highly supportive of our students, with off-duty personnel volunteering as tutors in our classrooms. The Marine Base has been a good neighbor to the surrounding community of Kailua, and are a welcome presence at parades and public events. The military community here in Hawaii is a close-knit, distinct community within our larger island community.

2. Summary of Our Project

Located at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii are two famous battleships; the USS Arizona, and the USS Missouri. We set out to discover what the connection was between these two ships and why they were known for beginning and ending America's involvement in World War II. Our site, titled "The Arizona and the Mighty Mo - Bookends of War," explores the history of these two ships and the events that surrounded their involvement in WW II. Our site provides facts, photos, and virtual tours of the USS Missouri and USS Arizona Memorial. What was it like in the war? Experience the excitement of being a fighter pilot with our interview with a veteran WW II pilot, Col. Lee Grosshuesch. What do you think about the attack on Pearl Harbor? Let us know by taking our on-line survey. Join us as we discover why we should never forget the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri.

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:none

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our school's Internet access is provided by Oceanic Cable. The server is provided by Hawaii State Dept. Of Education. We have a Computer Lab with twenty-five computers available for student use This was almost a one to one ratio. The computers are a mix of iMacs, Power Macs, and Mac 575s. Our class had access to this lab for one 45 - 90 min. period a week. Approximately half of our classrooms have Internet connectivity at this time. Mine doesn't. In my classroom, we have four computers, a Gateway 2000, Mac 575, Power Mac, and an iMac. The Gateway and Power Mac were donated. The Mac 575 and iMac were provided by the school.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We started this project with virtually no technological tools. We didn't have Internet access in our classroom, and still don't. Our tech. coordinator was on leave, and access to the computer lab was limited to one 45 min. period a week. We had only two computers in the classroom, the Gateway 2000, and the Mac 575. The Mac 575 didn't have enough memory to run the graphic programs we wanted to use, and we had compatibility problems with the PC and the Mac formatted programs and disks the kids were using in the lab. All of our planning, story boarding, page design and layout were done on chart paper in the classroom before using the computers. Internet research was done by students with Internet access at home, the papers copied and brought to class. I reviewed and bookmarked sites so that valuable Internet access time in the computer lab was not wasted on useless searches. Our efforts were helped along considerably when we received the Power Mac and iMac in our classroom. We were then able to use the graphic software we wanted, and could fine-tune our pages and images when we returned from computer lab. Students rotated use of the computers in teams, individually, and in pairs on a flexible schedule.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The USS Arizona and USS Missouri are known as the "Bookends of War." Discover why at our web site, and learn why it's important we "Forgive But Don't Forget."

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

Our project met the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards (HCPS II), developed by the State of Hawaii Department of Education (DOE), for the following areas: Career and Life Skills, Educational Technology, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Fine Arts. This project, with its long term group and team collaborative activities proved ideal for the development of a rubric for student and teacher evaluation as the project progressed. The students were involved with the development of this rubric at the onset of the project. Technologically, the students were involved in a variety of skill learning, from digital cameras and scanners to graphic animation and interactive forms. They learned graphic organizational skills with our story boarding and page layout, and time management skills with our task check lists. They learned self-assessment with the development of our project rubric, and also learned the skills of authoring, revising, and editing. Some of the best skills they learned were those of communication, as they experienced both sides of the interview process. A strategy that workedwell was peer tutoring. This helped me as a teacher, and was a great self-esteem and team builder for the students. The development of this web site has been highly effective in challenging my students in essential learning areas. Not only were they motivated by the exciting use of high-end technology, the content of our project had a strong emotional impact on them. Their writing and storytelling became very meaningful to the students, and they were eager to have their "voice" heard. Our classroom on project days bore little resemblance to the regular classroom as small groups of students worked on different aspects of their pages while rotating through computer use or mural painting. Textbooks and worksheets were left behind for international authorship.

Project Elements

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

The graphic software and interactive programs we used helped make our web site dynamic and exciting, both to make and to view. Communication was purposeful and timely, providing the students with skills they will definitely need in the future. We had four computers in the classroom: a Gateway 2000, iMac, Mac Performa, and Mac 575. We didn't have Internet access in the classroom, but did in the computer room. The two digital cameras, scanner, one printer, and panoramic tripod attachment that we used were provided by me (the teacher). One of the digital cameras, the scanner, printer, and Alphasmart were awarded for my team's entry in Cyberfair 2000. The software programs, Claris Home Page, GIF Builder, and QuickTime VR, were provided by me. The QuickTime VR software was purchased with grant monies I received in June 2000, from the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation.  The tools we used the most were the digital cameras. The cameras were used to document the progress of our project, the historical evidence for our topic, and the authors themselves. We also used them to experiment with interactive graphic programs such as QuickTime VR. Without the panoramic tripod attachment, we wouldn't have been able to achieve the quality we needed for our panoramic view of the USS Missouri. The web authoring software was the most practical of the technologies we used, as it allowed the students to concentrate on content and design of their web pages without having to understand complicated HTML codes.

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

My students were great "ambassadors" for this project, particularly when it came to the oral interviews. Since our students are military dependents, the visits by Col. Lee Grosshuesch had special significance for them. They readily made connections to their own life experiences. Our interview questions quickly changed from our intended script, and the children were awed by the answers they received. Later, Col. Grosshuesch expressed how impressed he was with our class and how bright and engaging the students had been. He'd been left with the feeling that he'd made a significant contribution since the students he'd talked to were the leaders of tomorrow. We received similar praise from the team from the University of Hawaii, Dept. of Educational Technology, who came to interview us. The students were quite professional and articulate when explaining our project in front of a camera. Rather than being impatient, they were pleased with the numerous retakes that were necessary. The students have been very eager to work with our parent-artist on our school mural and struggle with being patient for their turn. They've worked actively with the artist in designing the mural and getting our message "just right." Even my normally playful students have been respectful, focused and productive when given their portion to paint. This was art with a purpose, and it was their art. The students' pride in their work has been reflected in their cooperation and eagerness to contribute. Our school administration and parents are excited about our web site and mural, and a dedication ceremony is being planned for the completion of the mural. The students will be sending invitations to our school, parents, officials from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (our school community), and to the USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri Associations. At the ceremony, our students will have the chance to tell them about our project , what it's meant to them,m and what they've learned.

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

As we approach the 60th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, our web site makes a timely and compelling tribute and reminder of the events, both locally and globally. Our web site gives everyone the opportunity to "visit" Pearl Harbor and the two historic battleships. We've received a lot of positive feedback about this project, for the process, and for the outcome. People have told us they're impressed with the information we've provided about the Arizona and the Mighty Mo, and with our "virtual tour." Our participation in the educational web site and video produced by the UH Ed. Tech. team will give other educators a chance to see how our class managed a standards-based project that integrated a high degree of technology. Our web site will be highlighted during a presentation on interactive web authoring at an E-School Conference in March, 2001, and will also be available for parent and student viewing during our school Curriculum Fair. As a featured link from UH Ed. Tech. Dept.'s Connections web site, our site will be viewed by a large audience of educators and interested individuals. Our class is very excited about the mural we're painting, as we feel it's a creative, artistic way to promote our message of world peace to our community. We have the URL for our web site painted on the mural as an eye-catching, permanent form of advertising.  

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

We are very grateful for the generous amount of time and interest that our art director, Mrs. Carlson, has donated to our mural project. Under her patient guidance, our students were able to design and create a mural that effectively communicated their ideas. It is eye-catching, colorful, and filled with their "voice." We are very proud of it. We are also very grateful for the opportunity to interview Col. Lee Grosshuesch and hear his fascinating account of his days as a fighter pilot. It gave us a unique chance to record "living history," before the people who experienced the events of WW II firsthand are gone. Col. Grosshuesch's visits helped the students realize how much they can learn from the older generations. We were glad to have the chance to be interviewed by the UH Ed. Tech. Dept. It was exciting to be considered as a progressive classroom, and it validated our efforts to integrate technology into our curriculum. It allowed the students to experience both sides of the interview process. We'd like to thank our Principal, Mrs. Amy Arakaki, for her generous support of our mural project and her great idea to have a dedication ceremony. A supportive administration is critical to the success of nontraditional projects such as these. We're thankful for assistance with the QuickTime VR program and for the loan of equipment from Ms. Lauren Apiki of the LET Academy. Such open sharing of knowledge helps all of us progress. We would also like to thank the US National Park Service, USS Arizona Memorial and USS Missouri Museum Associations, and other individuals for their permission to visit and photograph the ships, and for permission to use photographs from their web sites.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We discovered that there were ways to do a technology-based project without much in the way of technology. The kids were very creative in using the tools and time that we did have to their best advantage. Peer tutoring, time-sharing, and a cooperative "team" spirit are what carried us through.   We were surprised at how long it took us to figure out how to take the 360 panoramic pictures. We kept marching outside to stand in a circle and take pictures of ourselves. After a while, things got a bit silly, and the kids had fun posing as goofy statues. Later, several teachers and students asked us what we were doing. When we told them we were making a web page about the USS Arizona and USS Missouri, they gave us a some rather strange looks. We were also surprised at how meaningful and relevant our topic became to us. Prior to this project, the students had only minimal knowledge or interest in Pearl Harbor and the events of WW II. It was their grandparents' war, and they considered it ancient history. As we interviewed veterans and heard their stories, as we visited the memorial and saw the wall of names, WW II and the people who'd experienced it became real to us. We saw the reasons for America's involvement, and we saw the reasons that we should never forget what happened. I'm sure these lessons will stay with our students for the rest of their lives.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1294)

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