CyberFair Project ID: 5369

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Homo Homini ...
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Gimnazjum nr 4 w Zorach
    Zory, Silesia, Poland

35 students, ages 13-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 5, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Classes and Teachers: Information Technology: Mrs Bozena Tkacz-Biskupek, Mrs Elzbieta Bartosiewicz, Polish Language: Mrs Lucyna Rybak, English Language: Mrs Danuta Heesch. The classes that participated in the project: 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Zory, our home, is situated in the south of Poland, not far from the place where the thousand of people were exterminated during World War II – Auschwitz-Birkenau. By ’our local community’ we mean all those who live in Zory and near it, young and old, all those who survived and remember the tragic fate, and those who hand down the truth from generation to generation. Our community is very united and historically conscious. Together we commemorate the victims of Nazi regime, teach young people to respect human life and dignity, as well as send messages to nations all around the world: that we are all the same – humans, and that united we stand, divided we fall. We want to show the world the truth about Hollocaust. We hope that people will become interested in visiting us and getting to know more about our local community and its history.

2. Summary of Our Project

We have chosen 6th category of Historical Landmarks in order to show the world that there is a place in Poland which can never be forgotten. This landmark is a symbol of pain, humiliation and death. Our web project describes the Nazi Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, it provides historical facts and shows how young people react to former prisoners’ stories. It illustrates students’ sensitivity, their moral opposition to war, violence and killing. Our students searched the history of the camp in Auschwitz and our own town to find and describe any connections, such as “Death March”. They visited the camp themselves to photograph and document the truth. They met the former prisoners, listened to their heartbreaking stories and finally wrote their own poems and essays. All of these things can be found on our web project.

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

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

One of the three fully equipped computer classrooms was won by our school in all - Polish contest “Superschool”.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We have joined the Cyber Fair for the fourth time and ambitiously decided to make the entire project ourselves. We had to search for information and translate collected materials from Polish into English. The translations turned out to be extremely difficult because Polish grammar and sentence structures vary from English considerably. We had to design and create all web pages and presentations – it also wasn't very easy. The problem was with coordination of the work between teachers and students because the latter go to different classes and have different timetables. Due to some technical problems with the Internet access the cooperation between teachers and students was impeded. We also faced some problems with computers and codes – the viruses appeared, however, our Information Technology teachers managed to overcome them and help us to complete the project. Finding necessary materials was not a problem, however, we had to contact many people to get their permission for using all of the materials and photographs on our web page.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The best sentence that summarizes our project is an inscription on the monument in Auschwitz – Birkenau: “Let this place, where Nazi murdered about one and a half million men, women and children – mainly Jews from different countries of Europe, be a cry of despair and caution for humankind for ever.”

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

Our students learnt many new skills for this project: how to use graphics to enhance communication, how to work with the text, how to document resources and sources used, how to conduct an effective search on the Internet, how to carry out a long-term work and how to combine individual efforts to create a large group project. The students improved their language skills through constant translations which they had practiced last year. Speaking, listening and writing in English language were important components of this project as well. Students have also found out a lot about the history of the death camp and World War II by searching the historical sources, visiting the camp and listening to former prisoners. This gave younger students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with this difficult topic that is for the third classes only. Younger students learnt how to use digital camera, how to record short films and how to create the web sites. Using of the Internet has been very helpful to us because it enabled us to obtain needed information quickly and easily, made it possible to continue work at home in the evenings and even at weekends. If we hadn't used the Internet, we wouldn't have gathered all the information and wouldn't have managed to finish work on time. Thanks to this project we have discovered that our educational system allows students to acquire various skills that can be quite useful in such an undertaking.

Project Elements

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

To complete our Cyber Fair Project we used: 8 PC Celeron 2,4 GHz computers, personal computers at teachers' and students’ homes, printers, digital camera, scanner, telephones, libraries, books, the Internet, museum as well as oral interviews. Most of the tools were available to us here at school. Our most valuable tools were: the computers, digital camera, town museum, the Internet, interviews and books. We used computer software: Microsoft Word to edit information, MS Outlook Express to receive and send mail, MS Internet Explorer and the Internet searchers to search and browse the Internet resources for example dictionaries and encyclopedias, Microsoft Front Page to design our web pages and sometime we used Windows Notepad to correct the html code, MS Photo Editor to manipulate some photos, digital camera software, CuteFtp to upload our web pages to server. It's important to mention that our school has won fully equipped computer classroom in the all-Polish competition, therefore we had no problems in finding the needed tools.

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

While working on the project, our students personally visited the Zory Museum and community center. They talked to the town authorities and people who know a lot about the town history. Every visit was agreed upon and announced by e-mail, fax or telephone. Every time our students briefly explained the Cyber Fair idea and the topic of our project. Many of adults, especially former prisoners, were also interviewed by our pupils. These meeting were highly moving. Parents appeared to be very helpful as well. Some of them helped us by working with their children at home. All engaged people were amazed that our students were so proficient at researching and creating their own web page. They claim that it's very good that youths can use the computer techniques in such a young age and they are glad that our school wants to popularize the truth about Hollocaust.

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

This project is unique because it broadens people's knowledge about Hollocaust, our town, region, landmarks and history of World War II. It encourages to come here to this region and visit not only Zory but especially Auschwitz Museum and maybe other death camps as well. Many citizens and local authorities have visited our web page and sent us e-mails saying that we've done well. Our site appeared to be very helpful for other schools too – they used the materials and photographs during their lessons. Our future students can benefit from our project as well. It goes without saying that the work we've done will be very helpful to the Dutch, Austrian and Spanish students who regularly visit Gimnazjum nr 4 and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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

We would like to thank: Mrs Halina Birenbaum, Mrs Dioniza Brass, Mr Jerzy Michnol and Mr Henryk Mandelbaum for the interviews and lessons of truth. We are very grateful for their patience and willingness to take us back in time to the camp and those hard days.

Mrs Krystyna Jurkowska from school library for searching needed materials.

Below we present our teachers responsible for the project: Mrs Bozena Tkacz-Biskupek – Science teacher and Mrs Elzbieta Bartosiewicz - an Information Technology teacher. They were responsible for the entire Cyber Fair project. They supervised website designing and building, contacted various institutions through e- mail and coordinated all the photographic part of the project. Mrs Lucyna Rybak-Wojaczek – Polish language teacher and Hollocaust consultant. Not only did she deal with content of the project and source materials, but also made all necessary proofreading. Additionally, she checked all the historical correctness of our project. Mrs Danuta Heesch - English language teachers who worked with the groups of students, checked their works and helped with all necessary translations.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Our project has been used by teachers in lessons about our town when the issue of “Death March” was brought up; during History lessons and during lessons about the society. It has also been presented to our school guests from Austria and Spain. It's going to be very helpful when the Dutch students come to our school in May. Most of the materials and texts from the project will be presented to the Dutch as a part of a teaching programme about local society.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5369)

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