CyberFair Project ID: 5317

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: A Man with a Vision~Charles Milne-Home
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Five Rivers Government Secondary School
    Arouca, na, Trinidad, West Indies

14 students, ages 14-19 years worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 19, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: 1 teacher/3 classes

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://na

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is the area known as Five Rivers, Arouca in the island of Trinidad. It is largely a suburban residential area with business places, churches, schools, a police station, and many houses. It is approximately 7 km west of Arima and 20km east of the capital, Port-of-Spain.

Our school, Five Rivers Government Secondary, is part of the Five Rivers community and so has a link with this community. Many of the past and present students of our school live in the Five Rivers community.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project celebrated some of the leaders of the Five Rivers community. We started the project by researching and inquiring about the theme leadership in the community. From this we made a list of some of the outstanding leaders in Five Rivers. These community leaders have contributed to the development of Five Rivers in such areas as sports, education, religion and business.

We also celebrated Mr. Charles Milne-Home who played a very important role in the birth of the Five Rivers community. His contribution resulted in the area changing from an agricultural estate to a residential community. In fact Mr. Milne-Home is often considered the ‘founding father’ of the Five Rivers Community, as he gave the area its name and mapped out the housing lots and streets.

We also realized that there were past students of our school who made their mark on the wider community. We have honored some of them in our Virtual Hall of Fame as our future leaders.

We have learnt a lot about leadership over the past few weeks and we hope that through our project the people of Five Rivers and the wider world can know about those leaders who made a difference in the life of the Five Rivers community.

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:4-6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

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

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

We look forward to the delivery of SEMP computers and other equipment at our school, such as digital cameras, multimedia projectors video camcorders, and improved internet access. These will certainly help us in our research and other learning activities.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

There were quite a few obstacles. Firstly, the lack of a reliable internet access at our school and the lack of an adequate access at our homes delayed our uploading of information.Only one student had internet at home. So we depended on the internet cafes and our teachers to assist. Secondly, as end of term exams approached we found ourselves with limited time for working on our project. Before exams we met each day at lunch time and our other teachers also graciously allowed us time off during our Elective periods which are twice a week. During exams we met briefly during lunch time. So a lot of our work was done as homework and brought the next day to review and re-write. During the last week of school we spent all our time on the project in order to meet the deadline.

We also faced technical problems as we did not have enough time to master the technologies such as Audacity. Our teachers gave us a demonstration and then guided us as we tried ourselves. Other technical difficulties were that we did not have adequate access to equipment in school such as digital cameras, digital recorders or camcorders. We depended on borrowing from our teachers their personal equipment.

Another challenge was getting interviews done. We called, sent letters and followed up telephone calls and yet we were not able to get all the interviews we had planned. We were especially disappointed to not be able to interview Mr. Austin Warner. So we had to get biographies from the internet and use books to supplement the information for some of the profiles of our community leaders.

Lastly, working in a group was difficult at the beginning because we came from different Form Classes. We were divided into three groups with our responsibilities. But as the project went along, we learnt to unite and work with each other quite well so that we could finish our project. Teamwork was very important. In the end we did not stay only in our groups but helped wherever there was a need so that we could finish on time.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We learnt about leadership, commitment, sacrifice, teamwork, cooperation, our community's heritage and responsibility.

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

In doing this project we used almost all the subjects we do in school such as Art, Literature, English, Creative Writing, Social Studies, History and Geography.

We learnt skills such as interviewing, designing a questionnaire, audio editing, photo editing, research skills, creating a word document, web page design, designing using Publisher, creating a PowerPoint presentation, inserting sound, pictures and action into a presentation, map sketching, photography, audio recording, using a scanner, doing a web search, summarizing, composing and managing a project on-time.

Group concepts we practiced included cooperation, communication, listening, discussion, sharing, responsibility, commitment, tolerance of other opinions, making decisions, patience, settling disagreements, giving our opinion and brainstorming ideas.

We also learnt that by doing projects such as this you can build leadership skills and become role models. Many students and teachers were interested in what we were doing and asked questions about the project and the things we were doing.

Using the internet was very helpful because it made it easier to find out information and it gave us a lot of information faster than in the classroom. It also gave us information that might have been difficult to get such as pictures and information on some of our leaders. It also connected us with the world as we were able to communicate with Mr. William Milne-Home all the way in Australia and learn about the contribution of his father to the birth of our community.

Project Elements

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

Equipment that we used included: - PC desktop computer- to write documents, sound editing, photo editing, creating webpage, storing information, burning CD, doing web research. - Telephone- contacting persons for interviews and to keep in contact with each other. - Television/DVD player- viewing DVD on Five Rivers to get information on the history. - Digital still camera- to take photographs of our interviews and to show the work we were doing. - Digital recorder- to record our interviews. - Scanner- to get pictures, maps from books and to digitize our sketch map that we drew. - Internet- to do research, to get in contact with persons who helped us through email, to upload and download information. - Libraries/Books- to get information on leadership. - Oral interviews- to get information on our community leaders, past students, history of Five Rivers and to interact with members of the Five Rivers community. - Guided Tour- to get information and to see the places that were mentioned in our research and interviews. - CD player- to play recordings of interviews and to get music to use on our web page. - Floppy disk/CD/ Pen drive - for storing and transferring information.

Technologies used were: - Audacity- to edit the sound of our recordings. -Microsoft PowerPoint- to make slide presentation using our photos and interviews. -Microsoft Publisher- to design our Hall of Fame Award Certificate. -Microsoft FrontPage-to design and edit our webpage. -Microsoft Picture Manager- to edit our photographs. - Microsoft Word- to create and edit our text for the webpage and to type our letters. Our most valuable tools were the computer, the digital recorder and the digital camera. The digital camera, recorder and pen drive were provided by our teacher as our school did not have any. The most helpful technologies were the Picture Manager, Audacity, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Word.

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

We acted as “ambassadors” and spokespersons for our project by contacting leaders in our community and outstanding past students through letters, telephone calls, e-mail and visits. To get their cooperation we had to introduce ourselves and talk about the purpose of our project. We feel we did a great job because all the persons we contacted agreed to assist us in our project and felt that it was a worthwhile. One such person was Mr. William Milne-Home who is the son of Charles Milne-Home a past owner of Five Rivers, and who was very important in developing Five Rivers into a residential community. Mr. William Milne-Home agreed to provide us with photos, maps and information about his father and early Five Rivers. He also sent a copy of a book written in 1833 by the then owner Mrs. Carmichael who describes what the area was like 175 years ago. Mr. Milne-Home sent this information through e-mail as he lives in Australia. We are very grateful for his help.

Another way we acted as “ambassadors” was through our guided tour of the area. We were very fortunate to have Mr. Leslie Solomon conduct this tour. Mr. Solomon is a pioneer past student of our school and is at present a member of our Local School Board. He grew up in Five Rivers and so knows the history and interesting places to visit. On this tour we were fortunate to see the sites that we read about in the history of Five Rivers, as well as meet members of the community. They all asked about our project and we were able to chat about the project as well as about the history and leaders of the Five Rivers community. We met elder members of the community who spoke to us about the early Five Rivers. Everywhere we stopped on our tour people asked what we were doing and wished us well.

We were also visited by Mr. Winston Brown, the father of world-class athlete Darrel Brown who attended our school. Mr. Brown was able to tell us about Darrel as he is currently abroad.

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

The people of our community will learn about Five Rivers through our website. People from all over the world will be able to learn about the area. The project has made a difference to us as it has opened our eyes to realize that our community is more than just rivers, roads, hills and a large area of land. It actually has a very interesting history and our project will help the young people of Five Rivers and the students of our school to learn about and better appreciate the community.

Our project is unique because it also used authentic first-hand photos, information, books and maps of the area to trace not only the history but the contribution of a great community leader Mr. Charles Milne-Home. Our project also uses first-hand information through oral interviews with present community leaders about their involvement in the community, as well as with past students who have made their mark in the society and the world.

At our school, it has resulted in great interest. Our Principal was involved in our project as he spoke with us about being a leader in education. We are also fortunate to have teachers and a member of the school board who were past students. So this led to great interest in our project in school.

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

We are very grateful to the persons who helped us with our project. Firstly, we would like to thank Mr. William Milne-Home for providing us with pictures and other invaluable material for our project. He assisted us by sending them via e-mail from Australia. We were able to contact him through one of our teachers.

Secondly, we would like to thank all those who took time to accept our interviews and to provide us with information: Mr. Winston Brown for helping us by providing information about his son Darrel Brown, an outstanding past student, Pastor K.K. Bachew, Mr. Mervyn Joseph, Mr. Joseph De Gannes, Mr. Kendall John and Ms. Donna Pascall.

We would also like to thank Mr. Leslie Solomon who took time from his busy schedule to take us on a tour of the Five Rivers area and assisted us by introducing us to members of the community and also by providing us with valuable information on our topic.

To Mr. Joseph De Gannes our Principal, special thanks for your support in doing this project.

Our thanks also to Mr. Jaggernath Ramnarine, a teacher at Five Rivers Secondary, who became our living legend on life in Five Rivers and provided facts about Five Rivers and credibility to the contribution of Mr. Milne-Home as a community leader.

To Mrs. Paula Worrell-James and Mrs. Michelle Stoute-Lopez, who volunteered to assist us with our webpage design, a very special thanks for the time, encouragement and effort you so graciously gave to us during this project.

Special thanks also to Mrs. Pat Holdip-Julien, who assisted us by allowing us to use the computers in her lab, showed us some tips and also provided transport for our tour.

Thank you to Mr. R. Gibbs, Mrs. Dale Maharaj and Mrs. Vashti Subit for the use of the Science and Art Rooms for our many meetings.

To our Form Teachers and subject teachers, our thanks for allowing us the time to work on our project and for giving us your support.

A sincere thanks to our coordinating teacher Mrs. Paula Worrell-James who played a major role by encouraging us to take part in this competition, coordinated our work, held meetings, assisted in getting our interviews, shared their skills, knowledge and equipment, provided guidance and supported us all the way.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Our experience was very exciting and educational. We felt much rewarded by the effort we gave to our project. We learnt many skills, values and information from this project. We built relationships with leaders and members of the community, other students, teachers and our Principal. We strongly recommend this project because of the valuable experience it gave to us.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5317)

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