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.