CyberFair Project ID: 5147

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Join the Movement
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: St. Paul Lutheran School
    Farmington, Missouri, United States

9 students, ages 13-14 years old worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 19, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Classes and Teachers: Eighth Grade class and Leanna Johnson

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our city of Farmington, Missouri, is approximately 60 miles south of St. Louis. Missouri is a midwestern state in the “heartland” of the United States. Farmington has a population of approximately 15,000. We are a rural community. Our school has approximately 150 students, preschool through 8th grade.

2. Summary of Our Project

We had learned about the importance of recycling as part of our school science curriculum, but our school wasn’t recycling anything except a few aluminum cans. A volunteer picked up the cans occasionally and took it to a transfer station several miles away. We didn’t know where it was taken. Some of us remembered there had been a Farmington drop-off site, but it was closed many years ago. The nearest facility is in a city 10 miles away. We felt that we needed to discover more about the recycling process and how we could recycle in our community.

The first goal was learning about recycling: how do communities recycle and why should we recycle? Because schools create about 70% of their solid waste in the form of paper, we knew that recycling paper should be a priority. We sponsored a paper drive at school, talked to all the classrooms about it, and collected our school’s paper waste for one week. We found that we do mainly create paper waste. We took several field trips locally and to St. Louis to learn as much as possible about recycling.

On our journey, we met and were helped by many people who taught us about recycling. We now have a recycling container at our school and we addressed the Farmington City Council to ask them to create a city facility for the citizens by writing a grant to the state. We will participate in the grant by creating a marketing strategy and using our 'Join the Movement' logo for the signage and advertisements to the community. If the grant is approved, our city will have a place for everyone to take their recyclables.

Recycling is now very easy for us. In a short time, we joined the movement of recycling and are saving our planet’s resources.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 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:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had horrible weather this winter, with ice and snow. We missed almost 2 weeks of school and this made building the website very difficult because it happened so close to the deadline. We had to agree as a group on the logo and marketing slogans. Dreamweaver was new to us, so we learned how to build a website as we went along. There were an enormous amount of resources on the Internet; we had to sort through and choose what we thought was the best. Then they all had to be organized. We had also never made a webquest before and that was time-consuming. We had only used wikis one time before this year. We used them because groups were assigned a webpage to write and the wikis allowed us to do that online and not just at school. A lot was learned for our project! We needed transportation for field trips and depended on our parents, teachers and the school secretary to take us. We were disappointed that sometimes our requests weren’t answered soon enough. It is hard to be patient when you are excited about something you are working on, but we learned that answers are sometimes better appreciated when the unexpected happens!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Learning is exciting when you can take what you learn and make something wonderful happen. We love that we changed our habits in disposing of things we don’t want or need anymore.

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

Our CyberFair entry meets several standards of the State of Missouri (Show Me Standards at in public education, as well as our Lutheran Synod standards in communication arts and social studies. The Show Me Standards for communication arts include: 1. speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization) 3. reading and evaluating nonfiction works and material (such as biographies, newspapers, technical manuals) 4. writing formally (such as reports, narratives, essays) and informally (such as outlines, notes) 5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions) 6. participating in formal and informal presentations and discussions of issues and ideas.

For our classroom computer curriculum, we met standards for using programs such as Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Hot Potatoes (quiz applications), Moodle (online classroom; wikis), navigating the Internet, web design and construction, keyboarding, transcription and public relations in emailing, phone calls, and interviews. For our science curriculum, we learned in depth about landfills, recycling, and reducing our waste.

Project Elements

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

We have 2005 Dell PCs in our computer lab with a dedicated DSL connection. We used the Internet and Moodle for online collaboration (messaging, file sharing, wikis), a camcorder for oral interviews, scanner, cell phones, digital camera, Dreamweaver, Flash MX, MS Word, Power Point, Excel, Hot Potatoes quiz builders, and jump/flash drives and computer networking to share documents.

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

After we learned online with our recycling resources, we shared what we learned by writing a script and performing a play for our younger classrooms. We taught them how important recycling is. We made contact with so many people, especially at the St. Louis Recycling Exposition booths. The volunteers there made learning fun because they were excited to share with us. They told our teacher it was refreshing to see young people at the exposition. We represented our school and our project when we spoke to our Southeast District planner, sent our survey forms out, and when we had meetings with the SFCEC manager and the Farmington city administrator. We shared our hopes with the city council at their meeting. With the support of the city, the grant will not cost but half as much compared to the full cost of a drop-off facility. If the grant isn’t approved, maybe the city will still put in the facility. We want to be the face of a better tomorrow for our community.

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

We think our impact will be tremendous. How easy recycling will be if it is only a few blocks from a house, a business, or a school! Our school impact will be that all of us know about recycling and we will take that knowledge home to our families. We will also have a website online and connect it to our city's website, hopefully. They can support us by sharing with their friends and people they work with. Together all of us can spread the word so that everyone in Farmington in the near future can recycle easily and at little cost.

Because we have a school recycling container now, we can teach the younger students and their families how to recycle. We can even teach our school teachers how to do it! Hundreds of people will be impacted just at our school and church alone. When we create the marketing for this facility, we will be telling many people by advertising through the newspapers. We will be visiting schools and organizations to tell them about the facility. Maybe someone who has never recycled will give it a try because it is nearby to them. Maybe another town will read about what we did in the newspaper and try to develop more recycling. It can have a far-reaching impact.

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

We depended upon and were helped by so many people; it’s so important to thank them all! Elizabeth McAdam, a St. Louis recycling specialist, really started us on our journey by answering questions through emails about who we should contact for our region. She also gave us website resources. Mrs. Rickus, our school secretary, helped us by driving us for a field trip. We also want to thank our parents that drove us to field trips. Our principal, Duane Giesselmann, was very supportive of our recycling project. He approved the container at our school, our St. Paul Paper Pile-up experiment, and all our field trips. Greg Beavers, the city administrator, was so helpful in explaining what he knew about recycling and best of all, he shared the grant information with us and let us participate in its preparation. He encouraged us to speak to the city council. Alan AuBuchon, the SFCEC (St. Francois County Environmental Corporation) manager, gave us a tour of the transfer station, explained how curbside recycling works, showed us a covered landfill, and also brought the recycling container we are now using. These adults were great role models for us and helped us believe we could reach our goals.

We also want to thank the MO cities that answered our recycling survey questions: Clayton, Hannibal, Kirksville, Manchester, Nixa, Overland, Poplar Bluff, Raymore, Rolla, Sedalia, Sikeston, Warrensburg, and Wentzville.

Lianna Stover, our web server host, is the special honorary person that we depend on the most. Thanks to her for all her encouragement, availability to answer questions, and sharing of knowledge about websites. We couldn’t have done it without you!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Can we make a difference? Now we believe we can. The best thing we’ve learned is that we can make a difference and in a very short time, too. Learning about recycling will change our lives and make us better citizens of our planet.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5147)

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