1. Description of Our Community
Jaroslaw is a town in south-east Poland with an area of 34,46 km² and a population of about 40 thousand people. It is a town whose amusing history dates back to Neolithic times but is frequently unappreciated even by its inhabitants often struggling with everyday problems of economic origins. Nowadays more and more cultural events are being organized to re-establish the importance of the town on historical map of Poland and promote its uniqueness. The Construction and Comprehensive School is one of the oldest schools in Jaroslaw and the Jaroslaw poviat. It is a state school that year after year educates up to 1000 students from Jaroslaw and its neighbouring smaller towns and villages. Though the majority of the students comes from poorer families and their financial situation is unsatisfactory, they are very active when it comes to helping the unprivileged through charity, health promoting and social activities. The impact of their work then affects not only the community of Jaroslaw itself but also smaller communities they live in.
2. Summary of Our Project
Despite of being an attractive tourist area Jaroslaw, located at the meeting points of many cultures and rich in historical sights - the remains of the interpenetrated cultures and their traditions, is unfortunately unknown to wider public and often unacknowledged by its inhabitants. Our primary goal is to introduce the place we live to the world, as well as rediscover its beauty and unique atmosphere to learn to appreciate it. We also hope to prove that history can be inspiring to young people and that when united our effort can be meaningful and joyful. We are going to present the history and the historical attractions of Jaroslaw - the town that is one of the most beauliful in the region.
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:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
One problem is that students in our school in general have little time for extra classes or extra-curricular activities for they have to study a lot for their school-leaving exams. The curriculum is loaded and there is little time for pleasures. Another thing, probably the most overwhelming, is that majority of our school students commute (even up to 50 km) to school every day. What is more, the students who worked on the project have classes at different times of day. That created major inconveniences while fixing the dates and times of collaborate research, general meetings, field trips and meetings with experts. Fortunately, some of the activities could be done over the Internet and we received special permission to incorporate some of the other into school lessons. Technical problems were of minor importance for thanks to our IT teacher we were capable of mastering selected tools needed for accomplishing the project.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Most of all, we learnt how to cooperate with each other despite many obstacles that may seem difficult to overcome and that each member of the team’s work is equally important and adds up to our common success. We also learnt that carrying out a research may be daunting but also very inspiring and meaningful. It may widen our horizons and teach many life skills important in our future job carriers. Not many other activities than projects help to practise collecting, searching, evaluating and selecting data, making reports and sharing it with wider audience; acquire knowledge from various sources such as reference books, experts and local people; and use and master IT. Moreover, we hope that we managed to draw the attention of our school community, our families and local people helping us with the project to the beauty and uniqueness of Jaroslaw.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Although the topic itself is barely related to the state curriculum, the project supports a lot of state curriculum requirements. This type of learning experience enables to employ a variety of teaching and learning techniques and meet curriculum objectives. Thanks to it we experienced real-life cooperation and responsibility in team work, conducting research and managing data, gathering knowledge from multiple sources and sharing it, IT, interpersonal skills and other life skills. What is more, the project work helped us to develop our expertise and interests in many fields and especially subjects taught at school such as English as a Foreign Language, History and Information Technologies. It gave us the opportunity to learn in less restricted, varied and interesting way than usual and thanks to that the knowledge and skills we gained will stay with us for longer.