CyberFair Project ID: 8129

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Rock Treasures of Bulgaria
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: 'Nikola Vaptsarov' Foreign Language High School
    Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria

6 students, ages 14 - 16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2016. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Desislava Teneva, 8 class, 10 class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Bulgaria is a small country in southeastern Europe. It is located on the Balkan peninsula. Bulgaria’s relief is diverse. The most notable topographical features are the Danubian Plain, the Balkan Mountains, the Thracian Plain, and the Rhodope Mountains. The Thracian Plain is roughly triangular, beginning southeast of Sofia (the capital city) and broadening as it reaches the Black Sea coast. It is the largest global producer of perfumery essential oils such as lavender and rose oil. Of the services sector, tourism is the most significant contributor to economic growth. In recent years, Bulgaria has emerged as a travelling destination with its inexpensive resorts and beaches outside the reach of the tourist industry. Bulgaria is not well economically developed. It is characterized by its multi-ethnic and multiconfessional society – Orthodox, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Armenians. A great number of people have emigrated to other European countries and the USA. One of the major problems is that young people who graduate from university do not go back to Bulgaria. 'Nikola Vaptsarov' Foreign Language High School consists of 700 students at the age of 14-18. The education is concentrated on learning foreign languages including English, German, Russian and French by helping students to improve their ability to communicate with and understand other cultures. One of the main priorities of our school is developing and implementing project proposals which help to introduce successfully modern pedagogical and methodological approaches. The active participation of teachers and students in the project contributes to students’ personal development, abilities, skills and their talents.

2. Summary of Our Project

As part of the International Schools CyberFair, we are proud to represent our country in front of the world. The aim of this project is to share some of the rock phenomena in Bulgaria. You will be able to appreciate the country’s natural attractions: the Stone Forest, the Eyes of God, the Wonderful Rocks and the Marvelous Bridges. By expecting these rarities, we learned more about their formation and location. By creating this site we wanted to make people interested in wanting to visit Bulgaria and in this way contribute to the development of our country’s economy and local businesses. The Bulgarian national motto is “Unity makes strength!'. We believe it complies with the theme for CyberFair 2016 – “Share & Unite”. We combined efforts with our friends, teachers and fellow citizens to create a successful website. During the working process we looked at other participants ’sites and in doing so we shared with them positive constructive experience. We worked along with our partners from Global SchoolNet with one main goal - to inspire everyone to present the best about their local community and share it with the world on-line.

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

At first, 2 students from the 8th grade took part in the project. They wanted to learn how to create a website with the help of the content management system (CMS) technology but that wasn’t included in the curriculum. They had to work with the IT teacher as an extracurricular activity. Later on 4 students from the 10th grade joined the project and they had to gather and translate all the text. Working together was difficult because the students from the 8th and 10th grade had different schedules. Another problem we faced was that our school has a limited budget. That was the reason why we didn’t visit the rock phenomena together. However, some of the students had visited them with their families and they provided some of the information.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

By participating in the project we are given the chance to introduce our country to the world and hopefully contribute to its tourism and local business.

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

Our CyberFair project “THE ROCK TREASURES OF BULGARIA” is included in the curriculum of 4 subjects – geography, IT, Bulgarian and English. The topic 'THE FORMATION OF THE EARTH’S RELIEF – endogenous and exogenous processes' is discussed in the ninth grade geography classes and in the site we explain how the rock phenomena were formed. In the eighth grade students learn web design in their IT classes but using a different software - WebSite X5. They also learn how to write texts – in the literature classes, and how to translate texts – in the English classes. The ability to implement the knowledge and skills, gained from those four different classes, in a real project shows the benefit of what we learned. Every participant in the project is given the opportunity to define what their strengths and weaknesses are, and to improve their skills. Unfortunately, the Bulgarian educational system does not give enough time for the realization of multi-disciplinary projects like this one. By participating in the project teachers and students develop social skills such as teamwork, sharing of roles and tasks, coordinating and managing the team and how to use their time wisely. The Bulgarian educational system makes the development of such important social skills harder and because of that we had to work as a team in order to succeed. Young people love the Internet and mobile technology. It's effective to learn, using the Internet because it provides unlimited information and you can also find answers for a lot of questions. By working on the project the students learnt how to get the most reliable and important information.

Project Elements

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

We used: computers, telephones, digital cameras, computer software, school library, books, newspapers, oral interviews, social media and Internet. In order to create the website we used the software WordPress. We learned how to work with WordPress through on-line guides and the WordPress Support Forum. We found most of the information in the school library. Our conversations with the Geography teachers and the tour guide at the Stone Forest were the most helpful sources of information we had. We used digital cameras to take pictures of the phenomena. We made contact with our friends on Facebook who provided us with pictures from their personal archives. The social network Facebook was one of the main tools for communication between the members of the team. In order to find some of the words and phrases necessary for the translation we used on-line dictionaries.

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

The local newspaper „Shumenska zarya“ published an article about our project. We presented our Cyberfair project online by the Facebook page of the school and the school’s website. In addition, we presented our CyberFair project to our classmates in the IT classes, Geography and English teachers, our school librarian and our relatives. We got positive feedback along with suggestions to include a web counter in the site and make it multilingual. We also got a suggestion to create a website in English about the pagan sanctuary near the village of Madara, Shumen in order to popularize it as a tourist destination.

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

When we presented the project in front of our classmates in the IT class they were highly impressed by the way our website was created and found it appealing. Some of them were inspired by our work and decided to participate in the annual CyberFair project next year. We received many positive responds from our friends on Facebook, as well. The benefits for our school are numerous: o By representing the project in our local community we are promoting the school in our city; o The students that participated in the project increased their skills: teamwork, communication, information gaining, article writing, website creation, photo editing. o The teachers improved their English, website design skills and project management. o All in all the project increased students’ and teachers’ motivation for work and learning. o The help from the parents and their satisfaction from the result of the project strengthened the 'relationship' between them and the school. The idea of our website ”The Rock treasures of Bulgaria” is to attract more tourists and help the local business. People around the world learned where our small country Bulgaria is situated, what rock treasures it has, where they are located, how they were formed, legends that local people tell about them as well as other interesting information about Bulgarian rock phenomena. In our website people can also find a huge variety of pictures.

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

We are very thankful to Mr. Stiliyan Markov, our tour guide from the Stone forest, who gave us helpful information. We asked our friends on Facebook to send us pictures, about the 4 rock phenomena, from their personal archives. Many people contributed. We are thankful to: Ralica Todorova – IT specialist, Yana Slavova – member of the tourist group “Crazy-young”, Svetoslav Stoyanov – web designer, Krasimir Krumov – journalist, Luchezar Hristov – economist. Rumyanka Simeonova, our school librarian, and Zlatina Dimova and Mr. Georgi Georgiev, geography teachers, also helped in our research. We are thankful to Valentina Mincheva - a journalist from the local newspaper 'Shumenska zarya' who published an article about our project. We are thankful to Galin Tenew, an IT specialist in the Shumen company 'DenLin' Ltd., for giving us advice regarding the problems which occured during the creation of the website.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

A fact we came across was that 'the energy tourism' in Bulgaria is starting to grow. There is a large interest because of the article published in the newspaper “Chicago Herald Tribune” from the chairman of the “Culture and tourism of Northeastern Bulgaria” association – Dimitar Dichev. Dichev writes that Bulgaria is the third main energy center after Tibet and the area around Chile and Peru. 1/3 of all the energy places in the world are in Bulgaria. The rock phenomena Stone forest is the second most powerful energy producer after the area “Rupite”.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8129)

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