4:Local SpecialtiesDescription of "Our Community"
Our local community is the small island of Bermuda, 21.61 square miles in all. Our population, as measured in late 1995 is about 58,000 (not including our tourist visitors).Summary of Our Project
Our Project is aimed at showing what a SPECIAL place our island is - each class chose a different specialty and we aimed to make the resulting picture into an overview of Bermuda.
We first heard about this project on February 13, 1996, shortly after launching our homepages. It sounded marvellous, and would involve much work already covered this school year. But the deadline was February 15th - too close a call - we decided to leave it for a year. Then, on February 16th we discovered that the deadline had been extended to Leap Day, February 29th. This seemed like the intervention of fate ....and here we are!
The work on history, forts, geography, plants and animals was already being covered in our curriculum. The projects on Water in our Community were well under way. The remainder of the aspects of the project came together naturally, as classes became involved. All aspects of the curriculum have been encompassed - creative writing, mathematics, art, music, social studies - history and geography, science, and even sport.
We made some interesting discoveries
- - did you know that a young lobster moults once a month?
- - the the reverse osmosis plant can pump 500,000 gallons a day?
- - what quoins are? (see architecture)
- - that the attack on Washington DC in 1812 was launched from Bermuda?
- - that Bermuda is perched on top of a 15,000 feet submarine mountain?
- - that you can make ice cream from hibiscus flowers?
- - that an average Bermuda roof weighs 2 1/2 tons?
- - that the new Tourism slogan for Bermuda is "LET YOURSELF GO"?
We are a small primary school and do not have many resources on site. The Department of Education has supplied us with the Macintosh computers in our Computer Room and with a fax-modem. They kindly loaned us a scanner for the last two weeks of the project.
We used disposable cameras for our photographs which we scanned.
We also used the office fax machine to fax photocopies of drawings and pictures to our Internet computer. Some of these were coloured by their authors using paint programs.
We used a small tape recorder to tape important aspects of our project and to play back the tapes of the Gombeys and the treefrogs.
We used the telephone to call various people to ask for their assistance and to conduct telephone questionnaires.
We used email to contact some people and for the entire WATER project which is still ongoing.
The software we used was most:
- HTML Editor
- Adobe Photo Shop
- JPEG View
- Netscape Navigator
- Kid Pix
- Easy Colour Paint
As mentioned above, we used the phone, fax and email to contact those people who helped us. Because we are a small community it is very easy to find helpers. We sent notes home to all the parents in the school explaining what we were doing and asking for permission to publish the children's work and names.
We have had encouragement and enthusiasm from our parents, who have been interested and supportive. The Internet is a relatively new phenomenon in our community - not many of the families of the student body have internet access as yet.
Thanks to the Bermuda Biological Station who sponsored us and gave us space on their server, we are the first school in Bermuda to have 'homepages' on the Internet, so we have had quite a lot of publicity. A reporter from our daily newspaper, The Royal Gazette, visited us and wrote an article for the newspaper. We were also featured in the Bulletin published by the Education Department. As a result of this publicity we received letters of congratulation from The Senate (the upper house of Parliament) and from The House of Assembly (the lower house).
Norm Nelson, from the Bermuda Biological Station, has supplied us with statistics for the first month our page was up, we have had visitors from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada and the United States. We have had email messages from all over the world from people who have read our original pages, many of them wanting information about Bermuda, or to become keypals.
We are hoping that our CyberFair Project pages will be as successful as our original home pages. We are also hoping that we can do our part for Tourism in Bermuda, by showcasing our beautiful island.
Our project has succeeded in stimulating a wealth of fact gathering, writing, drawing and learning amongst our students.
Most people in our community have not seen our project as yet because of the limited amount of Internet access.
As you can see from our list of helpers above, we had assistance from people throughout our community.
Without The Bermuda Biological Station we would not be online at all - and so our thanks goes first to them. They also invited our computer coordinator to a day's seminar at the Bio Station about the Internet which put her on the right track with HTML!
We would like to thank all the people named above - they have all had personal 'Thank You' letters - some written by email. We have included their names in the credits for the individual pages to which they gave assistance.
Our community is a close knit one and we have many ongoing links with it.
We are a tiny school by many standards, but we feel that we are an important part of our island community.
Every Christmas our Primary 2 class collects cans and other hamper items from the rest of the school, packs them up and delivers them to senior citizens in our area.
The Primary 3 Class is participating in the 'Adopt a Whale' project. They are also collecting used postage stamps for a worthy cause.
The whole school participates in Island Wide clean up days by "rockwatching" - collecting trash in our area and keeping our neighbourhood clean.
As a school we collected funds to sponsor the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo which was having a fundraising drive to pay for the filling of the 'North Rock Tank' at the Aquarium. As a major fundraiser, some of our students were invited to the ceremonial filling of the tank, recently.
We regularly have interesting members of the community come to school to talk to students.