CyberFair Project ID: 8251

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Our Beautiful Planet
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Start-Rite School
    Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria

69 students, ages 8-11 years worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 17, 2017. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2017

Classes and Teachers: Daniel Chukwuemeka, Samson Joseph, Grace Udoh, Loretta Akpoke, Christy Ekanem, Emah Onimowo, Emah Regina, Ezinne Agada, Adekunle Idowu; Year 6, Year 5, Year 4

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Start-Rite Schools is located in a serene neighbourhood within the National Assembly Quarters. There are other schools, private business places and residential buildings therein. People are generally busy during working days (Mondays to Fridays) but weekends and holidays are times for get-togethers and some form of socialisation for both adults and kids. On a wider note, our school community is a commercial centre with a few more schools, one of which we partnered with in the course of carrying out our research on environmental awareness and planting trees.

2. Summary of Our Project

The need for environmental awareness cannot be overemphasized. Concerns have been raised about climate change (global warming). For Start-Rite Schools, environmental awareness is key to getting children involved in roles towards environmental sustainability. This project is therefore aimed at giving the children a global perspective on the need to protect the environment.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

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:2-3

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

In the course of carrying out this project, internationally, we collaborated with Viharamahadevi Girls’ College, Kiribathgoda, Sri Lanka for a virtual trip to the Sinharaja Rainforest and Delhi Public School, Sonepat, India for exchange of ideas related to environmental awareness and sustainability. Within our local community, we collaborated with Garki Junior Secondary School in a tree planting exercise. This exercise was facilitated by Mary Elika Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that advocates environmental sustainability and tree planting.

Some of the issues faced in the course of this Project include majorly: timing and internet downtime. Although we eventually shared information, the time difference made it quite difficult to have Skype meetings with international partners. The internet connectivity was also bad at different times. Furthermore, because the school already has a curriculum it runs, carrying out activities was tedious.

We overcame these obstacles because we were determined to carry out this project with an understanding that students learning was key. It was important for us to expose our children to relevant information regarding environmental sustainability so they can play active roles in saving our beautiful planet.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Participating in the International Schools CyberFair for us means opportunities to connect to a wider network of like-minded schools actively grooming children to be active global citizens. The experience has opened our eyes to possibilities to see areas we can positively make changes, particularly in our environment.

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

Start-Rite School runs an integrated curriculum, a hybrid of the Common Core Standards, English National Curriculum, and Nigerian Curriculum in a values-based environment. Engaging in International Schools CyberFair Project has created an opportunity to connect learning across disciplines and to real life experiences. Subject areas covered in the course of carrying out activities include: Art, Citizenship, English, ICT and Science.

During the research on 3Rs i.e. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, the pupils were grouped to discuss their findings on the causes of environmental degradation and solutions to problems currently observed. The pupils encountered concepts such as climate change, global warming, carbon footprint, deforestation, afforestation, among others. The common goal was to educate themselves and the school at large on steps to take to protect the environment.

Using the internet is always effective. Apart from access to interactive teaching aids, it has enabled access to a large repository of information related to our Project. It has also aided communication with partner schools via emails and Skype sessions. Interacting with partner schools enabled pupils to hone their social skills. It was an opportunity to reinforce the School's ideals regarding valuing themselves as individuals and appreciating others with an understanding of the fact that we are different individuals who should value each other regardless of intellect, talent or years.

For me as a Librarian/International School Co-ordinator, the research on the 3Rs carried out by the children, exposed them to basic concepts in environmental sustainability particularly as it relates to the 3Rs, conserving wild life and the rainforest. Furthermore, since it is about the environment (community) we have interacted with motherless babies, orphans and children in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps sharing with them some gifts and knowledge.

Project Elements

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

The management of Start-Rite School understands the importance of investing in latest trends in technological advancements in the area of education which are necessary to function efficiently and effectively. That said, Start-Rite School has an effective IT Programme in place with adequate technology (including the functional internet connection) deployed and utilised to aid teaching and learning.

The ICT Lab has twenty-five (25) functional computers with internet access. Other IT equipment/facilities in use at Start-Rite include laptop (with webcam that aids Skype sessions), projectors, television sets, video players, scanner, photocopiers, printers, camcorder and camera. Furthermore, the school library is well-stocked with age-appropriate information resources.

In the course of carrying out our CyberFair Project, the children carried out their research in the ICT Lab with the ICT Instructor supervising. Exchange of information was done via email and Skype sessions. We also made use of evaluation forms, and gathered evidence in form of video clips, photographs, pupils' write-ups, teacher report.

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

Pupils are below age 12 and are not allowed to own email accounts. All contacts were established by the International School Co-ordinator. He facilitated Skype meetings and was responsible for correspondences. The pupils took turns to speak with pupils of partner schools during the Skype meetings. Where there was an exchange of email, pupils' works were scanned and shared with partner schools.

During the tree-planting exercise with Garki Junior Secondary School which was facilitated by Mary Elika Foundation, one of the pupils was made an Ambassador by the Foundation because he displayed good knowledge of the effects of deforestation on the ozone layer.

Due the fact that protection of the environment is everybody's business, Start-Rite School organised an event during which about ten (10) schools around the community were invited to discuss environmental degradation, possible solutions and how children can play active roles. Resources persons came from Chanjadatti and Yaradua Foundation to interact with the children on environmental protection. They were impressed with the fact that children had an impressive knowledge level and were able to engage them in intensive discussions on the subject matter.

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

The fact that our Project has made and will continue to make a difference cannot be overemphasised. Pupils of Start-Rite School are now more concerned about their community/environment than ever. They have also become internationally minded.

The pupils are now more interested in how waste can be converted to wealth. Having seen what obtains in some developed countries, Start-Rite pupils are advocating reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing both at home and in school.

The CyberFair Project has provided an opportunity to share environmental sustainability information and get involved in tree planting exercises with schools around the community for collective efforts at protecting the environment. This was made possible by Mary Elika Foundation - an advocate of environmental sustainability. The first tree planting exercise was done on the premises of the Junior Secondary School, Garki, Abuja. This afforded pupils of both schools to interact with each other.

So far we have received feedback from partner schools locally and internationally. They have also learned about our School and community as a result of our interactions. The expectation is that this learning process is sustained to ensure children see what roles they can play in ensuring change. As a school, we remain committed to enshrining the spirit of unity and sharing for this cause.

The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp that exists within the community has also benefited from our Project as we have resolved to regularly donate food items, clothes, toiletries and classroom furniture as well as educate the pupils there on environmental protection.

The web page has been launched but is still being updated. It is expected that it will be a source of valuable information related to environmental awareness, degradation and protection.

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

We engaged resources persons from different relevant organisations including: - Chanjadatti: A waste to wealth organisation that runs advocacy programmes on environmental protection - Yaradua Foundation: Responsible for sensitisation on environmental protection. - Mary Elika Foundation: Responsible for running advocacy programmes on tree planting.

Others include Drill Ambassadors, Pieter Van Heeren and Abdul Momo from the Afi Mountain Drill Monkey Reserves and Ranch in Cross Rivers State, Nigeria, They visited Start-Rite Schools and were excited at the fact that the pupils had been engaged in activities to protect the environment. They showed the pupils a documentary of the rainforest in Nigeria/Cross Rivers state and spoke to them extensively about the struggle of the Pandrillus monkeys.

These people/organisations were contacted through the Head of School who has had some meetings with them outside the school. As a result, it was quite easy reaching out to them again to come talk with the pupils.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The children have discovered that plastic can be recycled to make fancy things. One of the children even had a cloth made out of newspaper.

It was amazing for the children to note that egg shells, lime and pawpaw leaves could be used as eco-friendly plate washing soaps. This project has led to the British Council International Schools Award and Start-Rite look forward to getting this one too.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8251)

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