CyberFair Project ID: 5517

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Attractions In Pittsfield, Massachusetts USA
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: Reid Middle School
    Pittsfield , Massachusetts, USA

2 students, ages 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 19, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2008

Classes and Teachers: Ms. Scheeder

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Nestled within the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts is the City of Pittsfield, a place that residents note combines old-fashioned New England tranquility and charm with contemporary living. Incorporated in 1761, this diverse community of 50,000 people offers a rich quality of life. Here, residents and visitors enjoy the cultural offerings of nearby Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow, Williamstown Theater Festival and other performing arts organizations and museums as well as the four-season splendor of the Berkshire Hills.

Pittsfield's industrial base has earned it the epithet, 'Plastics Technology Center of the Nation'. More than 40 area firms, including G.E. Plastics, work together through Berkshire Plastics Network, a consortium of independent plastics companies that includes every discipline in the production of plastics products and components. Major area employers include Berkshire Health Systems and Martin Marietta.

Pittsfield's Fourth of July Parade brings thousands of visitors to the city for the annual celebration. Hancock Shaker Village, established more than 200 years ago, gives visitors an opportunity to explore the simple beauty and peacefulness of the Shaker way of life. At Arrowhead, another Pittsfield landmark, Herman Melville completed 'Moby Dick' and wrote several other pieces. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Nathaniel Hawthorne frequented the city. Today, many contemporary writers and artists call Pittsfield home.

It is located in western Massachusetts, bordered by Lanesborough on the north; Lenox, Richmond, and Hancock on the west; Dalton on the east; and Washington on the southeast. Pittsfield is 55 miles northwest of Springfield and 136 miles west of Boston.

2. Summary of Our Project

Students are doing research on the Historic Colonial Theatre, the Pittsfield State Forest, The Berkshire Museum and Pittsfield as the home of baseball. These attractions are both man-made and natural, and are well-known to the locals of Pittsfield and all of Berkshire County.

Our project describes a few of the several attractions located in Pittsfield. These attractions are important to the entertainment of various tourists and locals in Pittsfield and without these things, Pittsfield would not be the booming city it is today. This year’s Cyberfair Theme is “Learn and Unite”. Our project relates to the theme in which it tells information about the subjects and attractions in Pittsfield if you were to visit them. Also for the Colonial Theatre, it gives information about the history and restoration of the attraction.

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:4-6

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

Every student in our school has personal use of a ibook laptop computer. Our entire school is wireless. Laptops are used for all subjects in our school. We even have our math textbooks online.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One problem we suffered was the program used to create our website, iWeb. Our laptops did not originally come with the program iWeb. Even after a remote update to everyone’s laptops, one of our members, Madeline, was absent the day of the update, and she was not given the program iWeb until about three weeks into the process of our project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Becoming a participant in this project, we learned much more about our community than we expected we would. Since we were researching our own city, we didn’t expect to find much more about our little Pittsfield we wouldn’t already know. However, we were excited to find out about our community and then really relate to the information we learned since we’ve had experiences such as trips to the museum or taking a hike in the State Forest.

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

We designed our project during an after school enrichment program. The purpose of the BWLI (Berkshire Wireless Learning Initiative)after school academy at our school was to give students and teachers an opportunity to learn computer applications which will enhance learning.

Project Elements

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

• 3 Mac iBook G4’s • one telephone • computer software: iWeb, Safari, Microsoft Word, First Class • flash drive

Certain software, such as Safari and iWeb, helped build our project and collect information. The telephone we used in our school helped to contact a staff member about important information about our school’s internet service. The most helpful technologies were the computer software and the flash drive. We needed the software to begin and complete the project, and the flash drive was needed to transfer the project to one main source other than having it on three separate laptops.

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

We have spent our time until now creating our website. We plan to share it with the mayor of our town and our school district.

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

People in the community will learn more about Pittsfield and the interests around town. We plan to include our website as a link in our school's website. We also hope to be showcased in our school district website as well as the mayor's website. We are hoping some of pages we designed will also be used by the attractions we featured.

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

We had the help of our teacher, Ms. Scheeder, the technology department of the school district, and the guidance of Professor Rodrigues from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Their help and guidance kept us going.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We were surprised to find that there was so much to learn about the town in which we grew up. Sometimes we travel the world and do not realize the treasures we have in our own backyard!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5517)

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