CyberFair Project ID: 7527

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Zory – the town for its times.
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: Gimnazjum nr 4 w Zorach (Junior High School No 4)
    Zory, , Poland

7 students, ages 13-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 16, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012

Classes and Teachers: Information Technology and History: Mrs Anna Gaszka, English Language: Mrs Anna Gawelczyk, Mrs Barbara Jaszczuk, Mrs Izabela Staniec, Mrs Katarzyna Gajda, Mrs Danuta Heesch. The classes that participated in the project: 1a, 2c, 2d, 3a, 3c, 3d.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is the entire population of Zory - small town situated in the southern region of Poland called the Upper Silesia. We are strongly united and historically conscious. People have lived and worked here for hundreds of years and experienced turbulent history. They have worked hard in numerous coal mines, factories and institutions and created many amazing structures that are now being transformed into objects of public use, such as museums, galleries, conference halls as well as sport centers. Our community is an heir to a large tradition and fantastic buildings which are now gaining their second life. Our community has to adjust to the changing world and adapt old buildings to modern society in order to keep them useful and hand them down from generation to generation. We, as a community, want to show the world that through the real engagement, exploring and big dreams people are able to create something extraordinary and worth seeing that can be shared with others. We hope that people will become interested in visiting this region of Poland and getting to know more about our local community, its interesting history, its vision of future and magnificent spots which are now being transformed into the places of relaxation, education and recreation.

2. Summary of Our Project

We have chosen the 5th category of Local attractions in order to show the world that there is a place in Poland that can never be forgotten. Our web project describes local attractions and monuments, that, thanks to the engagement and passion of many people, gained their second life and are well-attended by numerous visitors from all over the country. Additionally, it presents the vision of future with other breathtaking projects awaiting realization. Our project provides extensive description of the most interesting places in our town. The students searched the history of old palace, old music school and old Jewish church and other monuments in order to create detailed descriptions and to translate them into English language. However, we didn't limit ourselves to the Internet and library only but also went for some excursions to gather necessary data. We took many photographs, made pencil sketches, interviewed people, shot short films, visited amazing places and experienced wonderful adventures during those trips. 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):

We won three of our computer classrooms in different competitions and one computer classroom was given to us by Polish Ministry of National Education.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

During our project we had to face many obstacles. At the very beginning it became clear to us that our knowledge of website designing and programming is insufficient. We had to catch up on our IT skills first to be able to build a website. Additionally, our English translators realised that without technical dictionaries they won't manage to translate more sophisticated vocabulary. Purchase of new dictionaries was inevitable. Finally, the problem with students appeared. Some of them were too lazy to come to the meetings, gather information, write thexts, edit and translate them. They had no idea how laborious this work can be and quickly lost their interest in the project. Fortunately, we managed to overcame these obstacles thanks to teachers' patience, calm explanations and constant encouragement. Now, the students are very glad that they had chance to participate in this project because they can see its results and are very proud of their work.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Thanks to our participation in Cyber Fair project the students have learnt much more about their nearest neighbourhood and understood that constant development in all sorts of fields is extremely important for the future. Our project shows that it was necessary for our town to adjust to new reality, new perspective, new challenges, new expectations of its dwellers and that this development helped to integrate the community, to attract the visitors and make the town popular in the world.

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

We have learnt how to use the Internet effectively and treat it as a teaching-learning tool, how to gather information and necessary data for various purposes. We have praciced the editorial work, photographic and camera operating skills, developed English language with translation techniques and studied the ways of website designing and programming. We have realised that creating a quality website reqiures both hard work and close collaboration, that is why we improved the cooperation within two groups of students involved in the project: IT specialists and journalists. We have also found out a lot about the region's history, culture and traditions by searching the historical sources. We have experienced fantastic adventures and met unusual people. We are more aware of our community affiliation and we understand the fact that we became the ambassadors of culture awareness among our school community.

Project Elements

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

To complete our Cyber Fair project we have used 7 computers with software: Office, IrfanView, Windows Movie Maker, FrontPage as well as personal computers at teachers' and students’ homes, printers, digital camera, scanner, telephones, libraries, books, encyclopedias, the Internet, museums and oral interviews. We used computer software to edit information, to receive and send e-mails, to search and browse the Internet resources, for example dictionaries and encyclopedias, to design our website and to correct the html code, to design computer animations and presentations, to manipulate some photos and to upload our web pages to server. Our most valuable tools were the computers, the digital camera, the Internet, books, dictionaries and the FrontPage programme because when our students joined the project they could hardly create webpages. It was necessary to use cellphones to contact museums and other institutions. We have also used the video and digital cameras to take photos and interviews. We visited our local libraries, town hall and museums in order to look for books and information that could be helpful. All of the tools used in our project belong to our school.

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 we visited many websites connected with our local attractions. As a result, we created a concept for our own webpage and contacted the Town Hall in Zory and told them about our participation in Cyber Fair project. They were delighted that we want to promote our town in the world. Every visit was agreed upon and announced by an e-mail or cellphone. We booked our visits in town museum, historic music school, “Western City”, modern swimming pool 'Aquarion' and a cinema where we found all information needed for the project. We were glad to take some photos and make some sketches. Every time we briefly explained the CyberFair idea and the concept of our project. Many adults were also interviewed by us. Parents, teachers and dwellers of our town 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 we were so proficient at researching and creating our own web page. They claim that it's very good that youths can use the computer techniques at such a young age. Older colleagues, who finished our school, gave us a lot of support in our work, too. They helped us to make computer animation, photos and the website. Everyone enjoyed the central theme of the project. It was considered to be highly desirable and important. People willingly gave us help every time we asked for it.

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

This project broadens people's knowledge about our region, its local attractions, its unique culture and history. It encourages people to come here to visit those magnificent historical landmarks as well as attractive public objects. We believe that our website will be helpful both for teachers and students. The website will be also attractive to adults. We hope that Poles from other parts of Poland will visit our website, too. They could treat it as a useful source of information for their children. Many citizens of Silesia district visited our webpage and sent us emails saying that we've done well. It goes without saying that the work we've done will be very helpful to future generations.

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

We would like to thank Mrs Anna Ujma from the Municipal Council of Zory for all of the materials promoting our town and for being extremely helpful in all cases. We want to thank Mr Andrzej Rzeszuto and Tomasz Wesecki for allowing us to use all of the photographs from the 'Western City'. We express our gratitude to the management of Zory's swimming pool 'Aquarion', historical music school and cinema 'Na Starówce' for their permission to take photographs of the buildings. Without their kindness it would be impossible to accomplish our website project. We also thank Agnieszka Kruk, our former student, and now the student of technical college of photography, for her time and help in gathering photo materials. We express our gratitude to all of the teachers from our school for their help and patience, and especially to the teachers responsible for the project: Mrs Anna Gaszka - history and society’s science teacher who was the initiator and coordinator of the project; English language teachers: Mrs Anna Gawelczyk-Kretek, Miss Izabela Staniec, Mrs Barbara Jaszczuk, Mrs Katarzyna Gajda and Mrs Danuta Heesch. They coordinated the groups of translators, checked their works and helped with all necessary translations.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

During the work on the project we learnt many useful things. The most important of them is creating our own website. It was the first time some of the students have learnt this skill. Apart from this we have improved our English language. Some words were so complicated to us that we spent many hours searching for them in the Internet and technical dictionaries. We would recommend our work to teachers, parents and students. Teachers can use this website to fulfil educational purposes.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7527)

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