International Schools CyberFair 2000
Project Narrative


Children's Organization Guide to Services for the Emporia Area

COGS wheel


Information About Our Site

1. Link to our CyberFair 99 Entry: http://cyberfair.gsn.org/cogs

2. Link to our school: www.usd253.kansas.net/~village

3. Date of Project: March 30, 2000

4. School: Village Elementary School
District: Unified School District #253
City: Emporia, Kansas, USA

5. Teachers or Classes: Robert B. Ferree's Fourth Grade Class

6. How many students worked on this project? Twenty-six students participated in this project.

7. Their ages were: 9-10 years of age

8. Project Contact Email: mailto: rferree@usd253.kansas.net

 


Project Overview

1) We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:
CATEGORY 3
Businesses and Organizations

2) Description of "Our Community"
Emporia, Kansas, is 110 miles southwest of Kansas City and is 85 miles northeast of Wichita. It has a population of about 28,000. The city is the county seat of Lyon County. Emporia is on the east edge of the Flint Hills. That is why we are called "The Front Porch to the Flint Hills". The scenic tallgrass prairie region is the only one of its kind in the world. Emporia is the home of William Allen White, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Also, in Emporia is the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Our community is welcoming you to come and see all of these sights.

3) Summary of Our Project
Students in our class interviewed individuals in local organizations, which provide services to children that can be accessed by children. Examples include: scouting groups, museums, parks, the zoo, the library, and hospital. This information was organized into a web page for youth enabling them to discover the various resources these organizations have to offer them.

4) Our Internet Access
Emporia USD #253 provides our school with ISDN access to the internet as well as a Wide Area Network. Our building has a Local Area Network. There are twenty-eight internet ready computers in our computer lab. Our room has two computers with internet capabilities.

5) Problems We Had To Overcome
Our biggest problem was in making arrangements for interviews with all of the organizations. The various organizations were more than happy to help out. Each person we visited expressed excitement about our project. Another problem we had was finding the time that was necessary to scan all of our drawings for our GIF animation.

Our Project Sound Bite
Our students feel like we are providing a public service to the youth of the Emporia area. We challenge other schools to do the same for their communities.


Project Elements

1) How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?

Our school district has a component in its Technology Outcomes that has fourth graders developing a multimedia presentation. We are using this project as a building block toward the completion of that goal. The students had already worked on doing research in libraries, various electronic media, and online through the World Wide Web. We also had scanned student artwork and put together animation on a previous project. The CyberFair 2000 program gave us a chance to put some of these skills together into a multimedia presentation. Students worked both individually and in small groups to put together the information on the various topics.

This CyberFair 2000 project addresses the following USD #253 outcomes:

Technology

Language Arts:

Social Studies

Art Education Curriculum

Student drawing images for GIF animation


2) What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your CyberFair project?

All of the above tools were available at our school. We used the phonebook to identify possible organization on which to report and to look up their phone numbers. Many of the organizations had web pages that we accessed to find information.

Students scanning art work


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

Our CyberFair 2000 project is the latest in a string of internet projects in which the fourth graders at Village School have participated. Past projects include: Reporting on The Neosho Madtom, a local endangered fish; Telling of the Tallgrass Prairie; The Dangers of Radon: and Sharing our class pets, gerbils. From these projects, as well as the present one, we have acted as "ambassadors" to people in the community, across the state, and nationally. Locally, news reports on two local radio stations, KVOE and KANS, and in the Emporia Gazette told the community of Emporia about work the students had performed on the projects. A presentation was made to the local school board and to school district administrators about these projects and the technology used in complete them. Email messages from past projects have been received from across the country. (We ended up being keypals with a class in Rhode Island as a result of one contact.) We have had letters from three authors about our work. (One of the authors made a request to site our Neosho Madtom page as an example of work that elementary students can do on the web in an upcoming book she was authoring.) A news reporter at a local radio station probably best summed up the way we have been "ambassadors" by commenting how our project takes children's work "beyond the refrigerator door" by putting it on the internet.


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

Although our page has not been on the World Wide Web for very long, we feel that it has already made a difference. Families that have viewed the page have thanked us, commenting our page uniquely brings together the many activities available to local youth. We have received messages from several of the organizations about how much they appreciated the page along with requests for links to their pages. Organizations have also given ideas as to how we can improve our page. We have also received email from former residents of our community saying how much they enjoyed our web page and how it reminded them of how good Emporia is.


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

Mr. Ferree's Fourth Grade Class wishes to thank all of the representatives from the various area organizations for their help on this project. Without their input and assistance we would not have been able to construct this page. We would also like to thank Brad Carlson (our student teacher), Brenda Boyce (our computer lab attendant), and Bill Warner (our principal) for their help and encouragement.

Students working in the computer lab