CyberFair Project ID: 6044

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: RoadSide Art
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: The Bancroft School
    Haddonfield, New Jersey, USA

15 students, ages 14 - 18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 18, 2010. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002.

Classes and Teachers: Sherri Colan's Secondary Academics morning class, 3 students working with Learning Consultant S. Powell, and 1 student working with Learning Consultant. S. K. Mote

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is Camden County, and the neighboring and towns and counties of southern New Jersey. It is a combination of suburban, rural, and natural environments. Our school is located in the town of Haddonfield, which dates back to colonial times. Haddonfield is a few miles away from both the City of Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are about an hour away from the Atlantic Ocean. Geographically, our area is primarily flat, with small creeks and marshes feeding into the Delaware River. We are a private school exclusively serving students with developmental disabilities through both day and residential programs. Many of our students come from nearby towns.

2. Summary of Our Project

We considered several different topics, voted, and selected RoadSide Art. We started with a live interview with local artist Sandy Saler to talk generally about art, and from this we had a better understanding that art is more than just drawing or painting pictures. Over the coming months we made many trips to visit different examples of RoadSide Art and took a lot of photos. We covered examples of murals, statues, memorials, live art, and even architecture. Some students visited additional examples on their own time on family trips. We discussed the different kinds of roadside art and their purposes. We interviewed numerous people (in person, email, and regular mail). Students also had an opportunity to design their own mural on paper given the side of a house. Students wrote reflections on some of their experiences. The group voted on key elements for the web site, including graphic logos, fancy fonts, and color themes. Some students assisted with the preparation of photo images, bibliography citations, and construction of an on-line scavenger hunt/test.

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:2-3

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 a few problems with time as we had several huge snowstorms this year and school was closed. We were not able to include one piece of local art we liked – when we wrote the person who owned it, they said they did not want to be included in the project, so we respected that. After reading about muralist Cesar Viveros and seeing some of his wonderful murals in Camden, we wanted to interview him but had difficulty contacting him (he had no contact information on his web site). This was resolved when one of our staff, Ray Domenech, was working at another job and he just happened to meet Cesar Viveros. Ray recognized Cesar from our class discussions. Ray talked to him, explained about our project, and got his email and phone contact information. Cesar agreed to a phone interview with the class, and Ray assisted during this as a Spanish interpreter.

Because of the wide range of academic abilities of the CyberFair team students, some of the content information was accomplished through group activities and group discussion. Students who were unable to independently write contributed their thoughts through dictation. At times, students needed verbal prompts, verbal modeling, or a choice of possible options to initiate comments.

As in past projects, our web pages are deliberately made to be simple and uncluttered so our students (who all have disabilities) can easily and independently view the project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“I think the CyberFair is awesome. I like that Nipper the dog in a window - I saw it on a speedline train. I also liked Cesar Viveros in the phone talk interview. “ (by Eric).

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

Our project addressed the following New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards: Technology (accessing information, observing ethical standards, and creating a web site); Visual and Performing Arts (both the creative process and the history of the arts and culture standards); and Language Arts Literacy (reading, writing, speaking, and listening standards).

Our school program emphasizes providing opportunities for students to generalize skills through authentic, real-life tasks and community-based instruction. This project particularly gave our students many chances to use these skills on the many field trips we took to see RoadSide Art and numerous interviews with artists and others about what we had seen. During class discussions, students also shared personal experiences by talking about other examples of RoadSide Art they had seen in the past, or on recent family outings.

Project Elements

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

During our project, we used the following tools: PC computer, Internet, email, printer, digital camera, software (MSWord, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe GoLive), and some online web sites (some of these included Class Marker to make an online quiz/test, Son of Citation to help with our bibliography). Other 'tools' included a speaker phone and conventional mail to conduct some interviews, and many community outings to see examples of Roadside Art.

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

Students had a variety of opportunities to act as ambassadors representing our school in person during the many field trips this topic required. During interviews students asked questions they had helped prepare in advance, and had the chance to follow up with additional questions or comments during several live interviews.

Students also shared and discussed the project with peers, other education staff, family and friends. Several families assisted by covering examples we could not get to during the normal school day.

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

Over the course of our project, students learned to respect and appreciate many different types of RoadSide Art. This carried over into their personal lives as evidenced by frequent sharing of additional examples they had seen in their own communities or while traveling on weekends and vacations. As our project progressed, numerous education staff and also some parents volunteered information about RoadSide Art they knew of. In general, everyone had a heightened awareness of public murals, statues, etc. some of which they had previously taken for granted.

We hope our project encourages people to notice and appreciate examples of RoadSide Art within their own communities, and to notice them elsewhere when they travel.

As with our previous CyberFair projects, this one also gave people in our general community the opportunity to meet and interact with our students, all of whom have disabilities. This has been a positive impact in our community.

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

The places we visited were very accommodating during our field trips, and seemed interested in our project. While all did not have the time to answer a lot of questions on the spot, many offered to answer them through email or regular mail. We were very fortunate to be able to interview two local artists – one was able to visit our school to be interviewed, and the other was interviewed using a speaker phone.

Several families took trips on evenings and weekends so students could cover additional examples of RoadSide Art. They provided summaries and photos.

One of our education staff, Ray Domenech, was extremely helpful in helping us set up an interview with muralist Cesar Viveros. Ray also helped during the interview by interpreting in Spanish.

Learning Consultant Susan Powell worked with students Eric, Niesha, and Nicky preparing special content and most of the photos for our web pages, as well as the title banner and rollover navigational elements. She constructed the web site pages using her home computer.

Learning Consultant Sister Krista Mote worked with one student researching information about Margaret Bancroft’s statue.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Both staff and students were surprised at how much RoadSide Art is in our area. It really made us all pay more attention when we were out so we’d notice what is there. There are so many different kinds, and styles – there is something for everyone to enjoy. Some examples made us think, others made us laugh! It was very interesting learning that the city mural projects got started as a way to stop graffiti. We especially enjoyed interviewing two local artists in our community (Sandy Saler and Cesar Viveros). We were grateful for the time each spent with us, answering all our questions.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6044)

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