CyberFair Project ID: 1314

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: People of Paterson
Category: 1. Local Leaders
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Silk City 2000 Academy
    Paterson, New Jersey, United States

20 students, ages from 15 to 18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2001. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2000, 2001

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Susan Ronga and Mr. Donald West

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Paterson is represented by a diverse multicultural community which has shown significant growth in recent years. A unique blend of ethnic cultures helps create our present day city. This is exemplified by the multiple dialects which can be heard everywhere, taking it's place within our traditional American culture. Connections between the past and present are made through a proud downtown Great Falls Historic District. The area chronicles local history and pays tribute to the contributions the city of Paterson has made to the Industrial Revolution. This creates a great source of pride for our residents, visitors, and especially our students who research and study the rich history of Paterson. Our city's history is included in their education as a means of learning throughout the city

2. Summary of Our Project

Students from the Business/Technology Department of Silk City 2000 Academy have been exploring past and present people of Paterson who have made an impact upon the community, state, or nation as a whole. The project began by brainstorming a list of names from a variety of categories including politicians, entertainers, educators, writers, artists, athletes, and other community leaders who have influenced Paterson in some way. After extensive research on the Internet, in person and/or by telephone, students were able to compile relevant and interesting facts about the people of Paterson. Finally, the students designed and developed web pages and published their findings on the World Wide Web.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3

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

CyberFair 2001 was a great learning experience for my classes. At times we ran into problems including lack of Internet access, a faulty server, and the loss of student work, the time constraints, and the frustration occurring due to these problems. Although this sounds terrible, this actually helped promote creativity and teamwork, which resulted in a sense of pride in each creation. Sharing ideas and overcoming obstacles through collaboration helped the process and success of the CyberFair 2001 Project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The CyberFair 2001 Project has given our students a great sense of accomplishment. They have learned an immense amount about their community’s history and about the many individuals who have contributed to the city of Paterson and beyond. The scope of this project has not only given them a better sense of awareness and pride in their community, but has also brought together an abundance of information to share with their local and global community.

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

Silk City 2000 Academy believes that technology is extremely important and that the more technology the students have the better opportunities they will have in the future. This project allowed them to experience a multitude of technologies and integrate curriculum reading, writing and research skills. Students learned how to incorporate an abundance of information into their writing and organize, edit, revise and ultimately publish their findings on the Web. The students recognized the role of community members in responding to political and social changes. Since a vast array of people of different disciplines and backgrounds were researched, students were given the opportunity to learn across the curriculum including the arts, science, mathematics, language arts, and technology.

Project Elements

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

A vast collection of informational tools and technologies were used to complete this project including personal interviews, telephone conversations, the Internet, digital cameras, scanners, computers, and a variety of software programs.

We utilized the telephone to contact community members and set up appointments to visit and interview them at their convenience Students learned how to create meaningful and relevant interview questions and incorporate the information into their writing.. To accomplish this task, students used Microsoft Word, Microsoft FrontPage, digital cameras, Adobe Photoshop, e-mail, scanners, and the Internet.

In Quark Xpress, a brochure was also developed to promote the CyberFair 2001 Project. This was then distributed to the Paterson Board of Education, to each school in the district, and to the local community. For our global community, the project is published on the World Wide Web at:

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

The Silk City 2000 Academy students worked together to decide what category would be most beneficial for the CyberFair 2001 Project. They came to the conclusion that the people of Paterson would be a wonderful way of learning about the individuals who made an impact on the Paterson community.

They researched and interviewed various individuals in a vast array of positions in person, by telephone, fax, e-mail and on the Internet. By speaking with community members the “word got out” to many local citizens. The students also designed, developed, and distributed a brochure of the CybeFair 2001 Project to promote the project and a sense of pride in the community.

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

We received an abundance of positive feedback about our CyberFair 2000 Project last year. We promoted it in various ways including a virtual tour of the site at a Board of Education meeting. The students involved presented the project from a laptop linked to a projector to a large screen. It was a great success and the word spread. They are already eagerly awaiting this year’s project, which is sure to be a complete success. Many individuals have found it to inspire them and look at the city of Paterson in a whole new light. This year’s CyberFair 2001 Project will again develop an even deeper sense of pride in our community. Most importantly, it has given our students the encouragement to reach their potentials and become successful citizens from the city of Paterson.

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

The students and teachers participating the CyberFair 2001 Project received help from many sources. We received ideas from other teachers in the Paterson Adult School and in our Silk City 2000 Academy. Students also volunteered information that was of assistance. Other community members and educators in the district were a valuable asset. Without their help, CyberFair 2001 would not have been a great success. A special thanks goes to Donald West, Kim Festa, and Kathleen Joyce who were instrumental in helping organize and upload our pages. We would like to thank everyone for their support!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

There were many surprises, discoveries and lessons learned in this project. The vast number of people who made an impact on Paterson surprised students. They were amazed by some of the names that they knew were from Paterson. It startled them at first, but they learned some very valuable lessons throughout this project. Many students did not previously have the knowledge regarding the vast array of individuals who have come from and made an impact on Paterson. They now feel a deeper sense of being from the community. They learned precious lessons about how they can become contributing members of their community and what they can look forward to in the future.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1314)

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