Cyberfair '97

Hoërskool Die Adelaar


Information about our site:


Cyberfair 97: /archives/webs/adelaar/index.htm 

Our Homepage: /archives/webs/adelaar/home/index.htm;

Cyberfair 96: /archives/webs/adelaar/index1.htm 


7 March 1997


Hoërskool die Adelaar
c/o Suid- en Vermooten Avenue
South Africa

Postal address

P.O. Box 3170


Teachers and Classes:

Me M. Myburgh

Tjaart Kruger
Emil Bihl
Francois van Niekerk

A total of 3 students and 1 teacher were part of our contribution to our community. They are all aged between 16 and 17.

Project Contact Email:

Project Overview

We entered our Web site in the Cyberfair Catecory:

  6. Historical Landmarks


Description of "Our Community"

<Click to enlarge>

  We define our local community as Gauteng. Gauteng is one of the 9 provinces of the New South Africa. Gauteng has a rich history, known for the discovery of gold. We live in Roodepoort, a highly populated city of Gauteng. We are surrounded by shopping malls and schools, but also beautifully preserved natural resources like the Roodepoort Botanical gardens , the Kloofendal amphitheatre and the Krugersdorp Game Reserve. The Sterkfontein caves, the focus of our project, are more or less 30 km from where we live and delivers proof of an even more ancient history of communities that lived here.


Summary of Our Project

We chose the Sterkfontein caves as historical landmark in our local community. It dates more than 3 million years back, telling us a fascinating story of the Genesis of man and the formation of caves we would like to share with you, since the story of where all men came from, unites us all. At the Sterkfontein caves unique escavations is done. The caves produced findings, like the skull of Mrs Ples and Little foot and led us to a study of the origins of Man.

Our Internet access

With the Cyberfair 1996 we only had a borrowed computer and 9,600 modem, but our entry won us a Router from Cisco which opened doors for us in the past year. We now have 5 computers linked to our own WEB server and uses a 64 KB diginet line from TELKOM. UNINET act as service provider and we are part of the Gauteng schools network. We find it an expensive venture, as we have more than R2000 per month of running costs to pay, yet the experience the pupils at our school is gaining, makes it worthwhile

Problems we had to overcome

The pupils who created this entry attended a course in the use of Microsort's Frontpage in 1996 and then they created our homepage. Frontpage only works on Windows 95 and the computers at our school only uses windows 3.11. A lot of time had to be spent at home working on the project.

We had to make appointments to see people for background information. Some of these people were only available during school hours and our parents had to take us there.

We thought that the creation of our own animated gifs was impossible, but as we found out, nothing was impossible if you set your mind to it. We discovered the program Gif construction set and were thrilled when we succeeded in making our own animated gifs.

We had to learn to use FTP and found it extremely fascinating to see how quickly the files can be sent oversees

Our Project Sound Bite

We found a historical landmark in our local community, dating more than 3 million years back, telling us a fascinating story of the Genesis of man and the formation of caves we would like to share with you, since the story of where all men came from, unites us all.

Project Elements

How did our Activities and research for this international School Cyberfair 97 project support our required coursework and curriculum requirements ?

* The Geography department took interest in the formation of caves aspect of our project.
* The History department found our theme of the origins of man, as it serves as enrichment of their sillabus.
* Our Computer Science syllabus requires us to cover Datacommunications. Last year we did concepts like modems, digital and analogue lines, routers, hubs, INTERNET and Email according to textbook definitions. we saw pictures in magazines and were told stories by other people about the excitement of international communication and learning from information on the INTERNET. This year we have, thanks to our sponsors and friends, the opportunity to gain firsthand experience.
* The students also learned side by side to locate and use resources and use higher order thinking skills. Active learning and groupwork took place and these skills are of value in all subjects and life at large.
* We explored other programs, experimented with new ideas like sound files and exiting gif animation’s.


Information Tools and Technologies

Cisco provided us with a 2500 router as prize in the Cyberfair 96 competition. We cannot thank them, and in person mr Andre Smit, who installed it, enough for their valuable contribution

Transnet sponsored a computer to our computer science class and provided a printer.

Computer Software used were:

    Windows 95 (usually with more than 8 applications open!)
    Grolier Multimedia encyclopedia '95
    Microsoft Encarta '97 (our thankyou for playing prize last year)
    Front page explorer
    Corel Draw 4
    Paint Shop Pro
    Gif Construction set
    Creative Labs software
    Logitech Scanman
    Microsoft Internet explorer
    Microsoft Word
    Netscape 3.0
We used the telephone and E-mail to contact people and make appointments
We gathered information by: Visiting the Sterkfontein caves by car(Mrs. E. Kruger a parent of our school had to take us around) Me A Esterhuysen gave a Lecture at Sterkfontein, which we attended. In this way the Archaeology Department of the university of the Witwatersrand also became involved.
Visiting the Krugersdorp Museum where Mrs. Slot and Mrs. I Biggs shared their knowledge and resources with us
Dr. F Thackeray, at Transvaal Museum, Pretoria was another keen supporter.
Visiting the School library (Mrs van Dyk our librarian was most helpful)
Visiting the Florida Public Library
Visiting the Public Library Wilropark
Watching a video lent from Mrs. Coetzer: Adam- Man or Myth
We read various Newspapers like the Pretoria News, The Star, the Sunday Times
and books, journals, magazines and pamphlets (see our bibliography at )


A picture says a thousand words and without pictures our project wouldn't have been half as interesting
Carel Venter - Programmer at Pretoria University. Supplied Software and took some of the photographs.
Emil Bih, a pupil, also took photographs
Maarten Theunissen lent us a scanner to scan in these photo's

Graphical editing with Paintshop Pro was mastered
Sound inserts were done with: Tape recorder and Video Cassette Recorder
We had a video about evolution and we wanted to insert sound into our webpage so we connected the Video cassette recorder to our computer’s soundcard and we recorded the dialogue about evolution and prehistoric man.

Ambassadors for our project

All our family members knows about this project and supports us.

We went to Sterkfontein caves in our school uniform and told everyone there we were going to create a unique web page about Sterkfontein. They were all very exited about our choice and was most helpful in giving us information.

We also went to the Transvaal museum and there we met Dr. Thackeray and told him about our school and about our project.

At Sterkfontein we have also put up notices about the web pages we have created and where people can find it on the net.

We were asked if we would give a copy of our project to Krugersdorp museum so that they can put it in their showcase next to a replica of Mrs. Ples.

Because our school was the one of the first in our area to venture in a project of this kind, other schools watched with some envy as we made our web project. I am sure we will have more competition from them next year!

The impact of our project on the community

    Our project made a difference in our own lives in that our horizons expanded, we learned new skills and teacher and students learned side by side. We learned to use Frontpage, to create animated gifs and experienced the excitement to publish our third Web page. In doing so we became not only "surfers on the web, but also servers" (as Jim Levin at University of Illinois said according to the article: Introduction to Harnessing the Power of the Web, Global SchoolsNet Foundation).

    Also through our research we made people aware of the ecological wonders like the caves and the fossil riches we have found and still have buried in the sand and rock.
    We were invited to participate in excavations at Sterkfontein and Swartkrans.
    Paleo-ontropolichists around the world who read our webpage can see up-to-date pictures and information.
    Students will also learn about the origins of man and caves through the information we share on our Webpage. Thankyou for the opportunity!

Did our project involve other members of our community as helpers or volunteers?

We want to thank the following people:

Mrs. E. Kruger - She helped us to find research material and provided transport to all the places we went.
Me Amanda Esterhuysen - Visit & Lecture at Sterkfontein. Archaeology Department. University of the Witwatersrand who guided us through the Sterkfontein caves and escavations.

Dr. F Thackeray whom we met at the Transvaal Museum, Pretoria. He is holding the real Mrs. Ples fossil found at Sterkfontein caves.

Mrs. Slot, Mrs. I Biggs at the Krugersdorp Museum - who shared their kmowledge and resoures with us
Mrs. Van Dyk at our School Library who always does her best to support us in all our projects -
Carel Venter - Programmer at Pretoria University. He supplied the software we used to make animated gifs and took some of the photographs. He also checked the whole entry for mistakes and mailed us the ones he found
Mrs. Coetzer - A history teacher at our school lent us a Video: Adam: man or Myth
Maarten Theunissen - For lending us his scanner!!
Mrs. & Mr. Myburg - Teacher & husband who motivated us to get involved in the competition and helped us to do the FTP. Mrs Myburgh also corrected many mistakes

We are proud to say that we typed all the information ourselves and then made this webpage without help from any adults.


Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises

  To see discoveries like the original fossils of Mrs. Ples and the Little foot was an experience we will never forget. It is amazing to come into contact with things so old - you suddenly feel just a very small part of an infinite timeline. Inside the cave, it is cold and damp. There is a underground lake which looks beautiful in the Tour guide’s light.
Some caverns had small openings and we had to crawl through on our knees.
The stalactites and stalagmites that was formed over millions of years looked stunning.
It was an incredible experience we would not forget.

The creation of animated gifs was a major breakthrough for us. So was the moment when we succeeded in including the video and the soundtracks in our project. It was a process of trial and error, richly rewarded when we had success!!


Cyberfair Link
Link to our School Homepage: /archives/webs/adelaar/home/index.htm

Our Project