CyberFair Project ID: 5208

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Cuty Ruled By Kids
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: The Kozma Trichkov Secondary School
    Vratsa, Vratsa, Bulgaria

18 students, ages 13 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 15, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1st time partisipation

Classes and Teachers: Teachers:Mariyana Terziyska, Desislava Dimitrova, Neli Borcheva,

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The town of Vratsa is located in Nort-West Bulgaria at the distance of 110 km. north of Sofia. The city is settled in the foot of Vratsa Mountain, part of The Balkan mountain range. Vratsa is the administrative center of the municipality and the district with the same names. It covers 2 % of the territory of the whole municipality. Vratsa is a commercial and crafts centre also a railway junction. It is a starting point for the routes to the Vratsata Gorge and the Ledenika Cave which are unique tourist attractions attended by Bulgarians and foreigners all year around. We are proud of our white cliffs which attract climbers from Bulgaria and abroad, and our Museums and Treasures which are traveling the world even now. Along with the tourist attractions there are facilities which we offer to our guests – hotels, places for entertainment, Philharmonic Orchestra, Theatres, Folklore Dance Group, many Sports teams and competitions, the Hristo Botev Library and many others. The Nature Park, Vrachanski Balkan, is situated near the town and offers great opportunities for on-foot tourism. The area has very diverse and attractive natural features, which together with the recreation opportunities, gives the special charm of the Eastern part of the Northwest Bulgaria. Our city is picturesque and with spirit. The Leva River divides it into two parts each with their own historic past. The city is a home of a Textile, Clothing, Ceramics and national crafts industries and metal processing. We welcome the flourishing trade and the increased opportunities for labour which are bringing more and more people here. Because of that more apartment blocks are being built and the city has a modern and outstanding view. Last year the Boyko Borissov party – “Citizens for Bulgaria’s European Developmwent” - won the Mayoral and Council elections in the city and they started governing Vratsa differently. More attention is now paid to younger people and more entrepreneurs are invited and contracts made. Vratsa’s citizens, totaling 63,260 people in 2004, monitor every step the new governors make, announcing progress through the local media. Vratsa’s citizens have started living as one unique and understanding whole.;

2. Summary of Our Project

I. Planning 1. Classes discussions - 2 2. All group discussions – 3 3. Preparation of the plan – 2 discussions and numerous discussions over the Internet using Skype after school. II. Understanding the Municipal Council structure 1. Making a chart of the Municipal Council structure 2. Discussing and dividing people into groups / pairs for different Departments 3. Preparing Badges (taking pictures, design, making of the badges) III. Real work 1. Visiting the Municipal Council 2. (All participants discussion ) Interviewing the Deputy Mayor on Tourism,Sports and Operational programmes and distribution to Departments. 3. Discussions with the officials from each Department 4. Preparations for ruling the city – rehearsal 5. Results - pictures, reports, conclusions, views, interviews IV. Data and Results 1. Summary evaluation - elements of Civic Education: what did we do to rule in the correct way to keep youths in our city and to create a safe and strong community 2. What is special about our living place 3. What difficulties we experienced, if any, and how to overcome them 4. Positive outcomes 5. What we learned 6. What can we propose if any V. Students presentation of the findings before their peers 1. What was their work 2. How did they cope – interesting, difficult, etc… 3. Results and suggestions

Responsible for the project and initiator: 1. Ms Mariyana Terziyska, English and IT Teacher, devised the programme and initiated discussions with the kids. She actively participated in all preparatory and post activities, planning and organizing the work according to the plan, monitoring the work and gathering the data and interview transcripts. She also pointed out difficulties and suggested solutions to particular problems, and orgsnised the students’ presentation.

The teachers-consultants’ work: 1. Ms Neli Borcheva, The Principal and Russian Teacher, advised on organization and provided some ideas.

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:none

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

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

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

We have no work stations in class rooms. All colleagues benefit from two computer rooms, one with 14 computers and the other with 8. The Internet access is via a modem and the speed is 100 Mbps. We work with the kids there according to a timetable created each school term. Most of the work with my students was done online after classes using Skype and e-mails, also voice-chats and web cameras

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The only problem was that we had no free time to gather more information during the school time. We had to work after school from our homes.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Smaller governors of the big city ! Vratsa in the hands of trusted youngsters !!!

Following the motto of this year’s programme – “Learn and unite”, the students from the project group learnt a lot about Vratsa’s municipality and the workers there: the structure, the divisions and responsibilities and how that “big machine” works. They carefully studied the mechanism of working with clients, the problems and solving them. They were present at some meetings during the study period and understood what they were for and how the ‘big’ decisions were explored and made (especially those of the Mayor of Vratsa). This was their Preparatory Period when they learnt things. Furthermore, in co-operation with the workers and officials from each Department, they started building relationships and worked together, understanding the purpose of the mutual work - they ‘united ‘. Among these collaborative activities they implemented those elements of learning and, uniting in their performance, were useful for our community within one day. They reported they were tired but happy, and satisfied of the job they had done. They were proud they were ruling ambassadors of the local state machine and the city was successfully ruled during that day.

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

Our educational system addresses lifelong learning, cross-cultural communication, humanity, tolerance and many others which this 1st project of this type answers.Welearnt new rules and answer new responsibilities (lifelong learning );practising cross-cultural communication, humanity and tolerance we learnt to be strict.In Bulgarian and English students have topics making a plan and survey, gathering data, conducting an interview; supporting data with pictures and videos and organizing the materials gathered into a Power Point Presentations or tables for oral presentations. New responsibilities, new ideas arose and an “Open Doors Day” in the Municipality was proposed and a Book for Opinions was created. Mutual work and help,tollerance and understandig and specific ideas put into practice were practised.The team learnt specific ideas through explanations and practice.Along the classes following the Ministry of Education Programme we always make competitions, different projects and quizzes. In this way students practise their English, find and learn new information and put into practice their abilities. It is a requirement towards all teachers and their classes to be creative and to extend their teaching in an innovative way. It gives the students responsibilities and self-confidence, attracts new students and is prestigious for students’ parents, our community and our country.In the course of the practice students put all their efforts and enthusiasm to prove they have the “know how”.The transfer of kids' abilities in the real life experience–governing the city showed our education is on the correct path and we need more of such practical activities.We use ICT in teaching English which we find more attractive and rewarding. Traditional methods are also used, as the ICT attractions follow the …

Project Elements

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

1.We used mainly school and own desktops but more kids have also laptops for preparing Word documents, preparing pictures, searching information, producing Web pages, accessing data, and burning CDs. 2. We communicated via Skype, using a webcam, VOIP conferencing and text messaging to make some information clear. 3. Mobiles and MP3 also iPods were used to record most of the interviews. Some interviews were written down by the students. 4. We took pictures and videos by digital cameras and Apple iPhone. 5. We announced our work on the local TV and gave interviews for the Konkurent Newspaper. 6. We also scanned and copied some documents ( scanner and copy machine ) – at home, school and Municipality. The last two acted as our sponsors in implementing the projects and preparing some of the materials. 7. We attended the biggest library in North-West Bulgaria which is in Vratsa, and used some books to find information about our region and city. There was also a book about The Kozma Trichkov Secondary School, written by our History Teacher Svetla Dimitrova. 8. We studied some Municipality activities on the newspapers and local TV and Radio News to be aware of its work. 9. We used a PC Tablet to record opinions. 10. The most valuable tool was the Internet. We could search lots of information there and also used Skype so that we did not lose contact after school classes. It helped our productivity. By working with memory sticks we were able to easily back-up and transfer information. 11. The most useful technology was that of digital cameras which we used for taking pictures and videos of the events This includes the use of webcams and gTalk for exchanging information, as well as using e-mails for sending and receiving information when not online. Computer Software: Internet Explorer; Microsoft Word 2007 2003, ( XP ), Nero 6 Ultra Edition; Adobe Photoshop CS3; Adobe Dreamweaver CS3; Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.3.1.; Windows Movie Maker 7; Microsoft Power Point 2007, 2003; Skype 2.5; Adobe Illustrator CS3; Adobe Audition CS3.

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

All our contacts with Municipality people were personal. All the tree teachers had a discussion and decided how to introduce the kids in the Municipality. We prepared a written outline of the project, a list with participants and a plan of work. All the documents were officially signed and sealed by the Principal and addressed to the Mayor of the city, Mr Totyu Mladenov. The students were presented to one of the Deputy Mayors, Ms. Toni Mileva , by our colleague Ms. Dessislava Dimitrova, also to a Councilor in the Local Parliament. Representatives of the team explained the main aspects of the project, the plan and their views on the work. After a fruitful discussion the participants were distributed to different Departments and talked with the Municipality officials about their obligations, their job and their usefulness for the city life and welfare. Interviews were taken in person. After our T.V. presentation of the project, many citizens told us they were impressed with the students’ ideas and work, of their ability to cope with the Municipality duties, to showing citizens’ rights and obligations, and the officials’ behaviour and way of work

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

Our project made a lot of difference as it was the first one in our area involving students in such practical activities. It is an extension of the classes in Civic Education and English and incorporates cross-field learning and practical benefits within the General Programme of the Ministry of Education which our school follows. Students learned about their rights and obligations as citizens, which is a result of citizenship as a legal connection between every person and the state. The students also learned about local citizenship within a community, and about public well-being in the city and how that can be obtained and maintained. Through our Web pages people in our community will learn more about the subjects their kids learn at school, their abilities and findings on public field issues, on governing a city, defending rights and bearing responsibilities. Our presentation will give all other students, colleagues and parents the opportunity to learn new sides of the personality of our leaders, not just the facts that are written in their CVs, but also their attention to people; how they cope with the problems; what their day is as leaders, why they perform certain tasks, and how that impacts on the community making it a safer and more interesting place. We will expect some feedback from people from our community after finishing the project – we need to distribute our leaflets to some firms and parents to advertise the programme “Global School Net” and our work. We will have another TV show to report what we did and how. We would like to offer our new experiences to more people not only in the local field but globally too. Furthermore we will be pleased to compare results and learn better practices from abroad. Students themselves experienced their knowledge in Civic Education and English – they put their knowledge into practice, and through the Web site they can popularise before the community the skills they used and their final results.

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

First we would like to thank our School, especially Ms. Borcheva for her understanding and openness to new prospects, her readiness to discuss ideas and help, for devoting time to the additional events in the name of the students and school so that it serves the kids’ practice and better understanding of life; Ms. Vitanova – system administrator and ICT specialist for her advice on using tools and technologies; Mr. Michael Baggott – ICT specialist, long-distance advisor on some ideas and our School friend; The Municipality, namely the Mayor , the Deputies and the Officers in the Municipality, who all helped us with their availability and advice. The parents who urged their kids to give all their best in this new experience. T.V. Vratsa and the local newspapers that reported the event and informed the community about the extraordinary kids’ running of the city.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The most interesting lesson the students learned was that they could see the challenge, but they could always overcome difficulties. One of the difficulties was fear of working with an unknown student from another class. Mariya G. from 7b worked with Yoanna from 7a and their team did very well. After that they became friends and share ideas. Another anxiety was the fact that the students would work with older, experienced people. The Officers enjoyed meeting the kids and were pleased to show them the details of their daily routine, specific aspects of the work in each department.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5208)

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