International Schools CyberFair 97
Project Narrative


Welcome to the city of Safety Harbor Web Page Project

Information About Our Site

  1. Link to our CyberFair 97 Entry

  2. Date of Project: March 8, 1997

  3. School: Safety Harbor Middle School
    District: Pinellas County District Schools
    City: Safety Harbor, Florida

  4. Teachers or Classes:
    Wendy Drexler's Seventh Grade gifted classes

  5. How many students worked on this project? approximately 100
    Their ages were: 12-13 years of age

  6. Project Contact Email: Drexler_w@popmail.firn.edu

Project Overview

  1. We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:
    3. Business and community

  2. Description of "Our Community"
    Safety Harbor is a small community west of Tampa Bay. With an approximate population of 16,000, it has a small town feel, even though it lies within the Tampa Bay metropolitan area. The city is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Our project will be part of a history fair to be held the evening of March 6 at Safety Harbor Middle School.

  3. Summary of Our Project
    One of our school improvement goals is to provide students with real-world problem solving strategies while promoting service within the community. The classes noticed that the city did not have a web page. We organized four gifted classes as a large corporation. Each class had a webmaster, public relations person, and a legal counsel. The remaining students were either feature managers, graphic designers, writers, or programmers. The public relations students presented our web ideas at a city council meeting to obtain their approval for our project. They were very excited about the prospect and supported us in every way.

  4. Our Internet Access
    Our school was just networked last year as part of a grant obtained through our district office. Our local area network is connected to the county wide area network via a 56kb line. Frame relay makes internet access possible in virtually every classroom. Prior to that, we accessed through one or two telephone lines.

  5. Problems We Had To Overcome
    We used a "force field" at the beginning of the project to brainstorm our assets and the challenges we might face while doing this project. This helped the students to foresee problems and discuss possible solutions. Of course, other unforeseen problems did come up. But the students did not get over anxious about them because they knew it would not be easy.

  6. Our Project Sound Bite
    This project showed us that even though we are only in seventh grade, we already have a valuable talent to offer the community. We can organize ourselves and our work in a mature, grown up way and deliver a grown-up product. It gave many students the confidence to create web pages of their own or even for parents' businesses. The parents, the community, and the students were able to benefit in very positive ways.

Project Elements

This section explains the project elements found in the CyberFair Project Assignment.

  1. How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair 97 project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?

    The seventh grade gifted curriculum is problem solving with a focus on technology. There are no texts or major guidelines for this course. It therefore provides a lot of freedom to experiment. Safety Harbor Middle School is committed to provide real-world problem solving practice to make our students marketable in an ever more competitive environment. By targeting the community of Safety Harbor for this web site, students learned about the history of their home town. They learned how to organize their thoughts and words in a concise and meaningful way. They saw city government in action. Furthermore, they recognized the importance of revising/editing a work that would be seen by people all over the world. They wanted to do their best because they knew their reputations depended on it.



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

    Five to seven Macintosh computers and one IBM.
    Our school LAN and frame relay for internet connectivity.
    Telephones to call local area businesses.
    Scanners to scan original art work.
    A digital camera to take pictures of Safety Harbor

    We are very lucky just to have these tools available for use in a middle school. Many of our local schools do not have such resources. Everything else we needed we downloaded as freeware or shareware. (Transparency, Graphic converter) We did not use an html editor. All code was straight html programmed by the students.



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

    We acted as ambassadors in a number of ways. First, we presented our ideas to Safety Harbor's city council. They were very impressed at our professionalism and mature manner. We contacted the Chamber of Commerce and put a flyer out in their newsletter providing for free advertising on our web site. (See our business page) As a result, business leaders did come forward to offer server space and their time working with the kids. We sent letters requesting permission to use photographs of unique architecture in the area. (See our architecture page.) We entered the city's history contest as part of their 80th birthday celebration. We contacted the Sheriff's office to request and obtain permission to use a photograph from their page. Our project was even featured in the St. Petersburg Times. As a teacher, I believe the greatest reward for the students is the community's respect and support for their talents as young people. How refreshing to see the positive in our youth.



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

    Again, the greatest impact is the realization that young people have so much to offer at any age. Safety Harbor continues to benefit in the promotion of our wonderful community. Parents have become more interested in their children's work. We even provided some internet training for parents to realize the potential of the web's many resources. Local area businesses benefit in the advertising of their business on the web.



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

    Workshops provided by the University of South Florida and the TelEd Conference in Tampa were most helpful to the teacher. Our greatest helpers/assets were actually students who had already had some experience creating web pages. We even brought back a student from the previous year to help with technical difficulties.


Link to our CyberFair 97 Entry

International Schools CyberFair 97 Winners