CyberFair Project ID: 7771

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Zory - town of artists
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Gimnazjum nr 4 (Junior High School No4 in Zory)
    Zory, , Poland

35 students, ages 13-17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 17, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013

Classes and Teachers: Anna Gaszka, Izabela Staniec, Katarzyna Gajda, Danuta Heesch, classes: 1a, 1b, 2a, 2c, 3a, 3d.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is the entire population of our small town Zory, situated in the south of Poland. Many talented people live and work here. Among them we can find sculptors, painters, musicians, singers and all kinds of craftsmen that want to share their works and pieces of art with the rest of the world. We are, as a community, strongly united and historically conscious. Our aim is to teach the young generation respect and tolerance not only toward different nations, but most of all toward other people, especially those who are open-minded and through their work express their opinions, emotions and beliefs to the world. Our community works very hard to maintain the cultural and artistic values among the youths. We agree with the words of John Quincy Adams who said that 'If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.' Our community wishes to be a leader in culture and education. We want to show the world that through the real engagement, uniting and big dreams people are able to create something extraordinary and share it with others. We hope that people from other countries will become interested in visiting our town and getting to know more about our local community, its fantastic people, all of the artists and their magnificent works of art.

2. Summary of Our Project

This time we have chosen the 8th category of Local Culture, Music and Art Forms in order to show the world that there is a small town in Poland that can never be forgotten. Our web project showcases local music and musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers, designers, actors and actresses, as well as art forms that are important elements of the community, such as dance, festivals, songs, ceremonies and crafts. Many of the people presented here became world-wide known artists, however, there are also less known people who create fantastic things and should be shown to the world. Our project provides an extensive description of the town's artists and their works. We have conducted many interviews, taken numerous pictures, sent hundreds of e-mails, visited various galleries and workshops in order to get a full picture of the cultural life in our town - Zory and show it to the world.

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):

Two of our computer classrooms were won by us 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 overcome many obstacles. At the very beginning it became clear that our knowledge of website designing and programming is not enough. We had to work hard with new students to make them catch up on their IT skills and to prepare them to build an entire website. Then, the English language translators realised that without sufficient language skills they won't manage to translate more sophisticated vocabulary. That is why they had to spend many hours practising translations and English vocabulary. Additionally, the problem with students appeared. Some of them first enrolled and then quickly quit the project. They had no idea how laborious this work can be and quickly lost their interest. Apart from this the problem with communication with the CyberFair moderators appeared. This happened for the firs time since the beginning of our cooperation. We made a mistake while registration (in December 2013) and contacted the moderators to correct the mistake. We have sent many e-mails with a humble request to solve the problem and received no answer. Finally, someone answered us (in late January) but the problem remained unsolved (although the moderators informed us that they had already solved it). In order to take part in the CyberFair project we had to logg in to another person's account and register one more time. No one from the Cyber Fair team answered us until this day. Fortunately, we managed to overcame these obstacles. Now, the students are very glad that they had their chance to participate in this project because the results are visible to them and they can be proud of their work.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Thanks to the Cyber Fair project all the students have learnt much more about their nearest neighbourhood, their own town and especially their neighbous who are often very skillful and creative artists. This experience enabled our students to understand how important the art and culture is to the local people and that they can learn a lot from it.

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

We learned how to use the Internet effectively and treat it as a teaching-learning tool, how to gather information and collect necessary data for our project. We practiced the editorial skills, mysteries of photography, camera operating skills, improved English language with translation techniques and studied the ways of website designing and programming. We realised that creating a website reqiures both hard work and close collaboration between many people: students, teachers, librarians, artists, authorities and many others who helped and supported us in this large-scale undertaking. We also got to know a lot about the local art, music and culture by searching numerous sources, talking to people, visiting galleries, museums, workshops and exhibitions. We experienced fantastic things and met unusual personages. We are more aware of our community affiliation and we understand the fact that we became the ambassadors of art and culture awareness within our small school community.

Project Elements

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

At the beginning we had to buy a domain and a stable server for our website. To complete the project we used the computers with cost-efficient 3.75 GHz processors and 8GB memory. Additionally, the computers were equipped with GeForce GTX770 graphics card which enabled us to work easily without unexpected computer crash. We used: Adobe Photoshop CS6 - an expanded program designed for graphics. Thanks to it we could easily resize pictures. We also used Adobe After Effects CS6 designed for special effects and compositions (arrangements). This allowed us to create various effects on our website. Next, we used WinRAR program for pile compression and Notepad ++ which is an expanded word processor. Then, we used the Skype program which enabled us to communicate after lessons. It is an excellent way to talk to someone quickly and without going out when you need to change something in your project. Facebook allowed us to contact with many citizens and artists from our town who temporarily live abroad. Google Chrome enabled mobile work. Additionally, we used two reflex cameras Canon EOS 6D with the 20,2 MPX matrix. Thanks to them we had highly professional and of high definition photographs. Another equipment was a Samson G-Track microphone (of large-capacity) which was used during numerous interviews. Apart from this, we also used personal computers at teachers' and students’ homes, printers, scanners and cell phones. We used computer software to edit information, to receive and send e-mails, to search and browse the Internet resources, to design our web page and to correct the html code, to design computer animations, to resize photos and to upload our web page to the server. The most valuable tools were the computers and the digital cameras without which the website would not exist. All of the tools used in our project belong to private people and our school, however, some of them were granted from the European Social Fund.

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

While doing the project we visited many websites designed for local music and art forms. As a result, we created a concept for our own web page and then we put ourselves in touch with many artists in our community in order to organize meetings and tell them about our Cyber Fair project. Every time the meetings were agreed upon and announced by an e-mail or with the use of cell phones. Then, we booked our visits in the museums, the open-air workshops, galleries and art exhibitions which were invaluable source of information to us. Thanks to those meetings we found out a lot about the Art itself. We were very glad that we could take pictures, watch the performances, listen to music and make interviews. This was an excellent lesson for us. Every time we explained the CyberFair idea in great detail. Many of the adults were very interested in this issue. Parents, teachers, librarians, musicians, sculptors, painters, photographers, actors, composers and other inhabitants of our town appeared to be very helpful. Some parents helped us by working with their children at home writing or translating texts. All the adult people engaged in this project were amazed that our students appeared to be so proficient at researching and creating their 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 have already finished our school, gave us a lot of support in our work, too. They helped us by saying what is wrong, how to improve it, how to take good pictures or how to make some computer animations. Everyone enjoyed the central theme of the project. It was considered to be highly desirable and important. People willingly gave us help.

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

This project broadens people's knowledge about the local community, its gifted citizens, its unique culture, music and art forms. It encourages people to visit galleries, museums, exhibitions, take part in the open-air workshops, listen to new forms of music and even to start creating the Art themselves. We believe that our website will be helpful both for teachers and students. It will be a necessary tool while preparing lectures on music and various art forms. The website will also be attractive to those adults who are interested in the Art, especially local Art, and have already expressed their interest in our project. We hope that the people from the 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 have visited our web page so far and have sent us e-mails saying that we've done well. It goes without saying that our work will be very helpful to future generations.

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

We have found many helpers to complete our project. There were mainly artists, however some other people appeared, too. We would like to thank Ewa Rotter-PlĂłciennikowa, Renata Bartoszek and Stanislaw Szwarc for showing us their amazing pictures and interesting lectures in the museums and art galleries. We'd also like to thank all of the photographers: Katarzyna Straube, Dariusz Cybul, Andrzej Zabka and Lukasz Bogacz for their extraordinary photographs and captivating stories. We are grateful to Iwona Wegrowska, Kornelia Zelcer-Maleszewska (teacher in our school), Stanislaw Sojka, Lothar Dziwoki and Grzegorz Karnas for great interviews, pictures, music and video clips. We are extremely grateful to all of the artistic groups: Lowcy.B, Carrantuohill, Zorska Orkiestra Rozrywkowa. We really appreciate their help. Their knowledge was invaluable to us. 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: Anna Gaszka - a history teacher and the project coordinator. Katarzyna Gajda, Izabela Staniec and Danuta Heesch - English language teachers who coordinated the groups of translators, checked their works and helped with all the necessary translations.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Every year in the Cyber Fair project we learn new and useful things. The most important seems to be creating our own website. It was the first time when some students have tried their skills in designing and building web pages. It is important to remember that they are only teenagers without professional training. However, their engagement and persistence enabled them to create something valuable. Apart from this we have improved our English language skills. Some words and phrases were very complicated to us and we had to spend a lot of time looking them up in the Internet and dictionaries. We would recommend our work especially to the teachers who can use our website to fulfill their educational purposes. We would also recommend the Cyber Fair project to the other schools from all over the world because it is an amazing experience and a great lesson for everybody.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7771)

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