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The Endangered Species And Nature
. Project Narrative
International Schools CyberFair '99
 

Project Narrative

Information About Our Site

Project Overview

Project Elements


Information About Our Site

1. Link to our Californian Cyberfair 99 TESAN-Entry

2. Link to our Endangered Species And Nature Mirror website

3. Links to our School Home Pages:
Cannelton Elementary School (Indiana - USA)
Primary School De Wadden (Netherlands)

4. Date of Project:
Started in Aug. 1998 to present...an ongoing project

5. Schools: Cannelton Elementary School Primary School De Wadden
Districts: Cannelton City Schools Zuid Kennemerland
Cities: Cannelton,
Indiana USA
Haarlem,
The Netherlands

6. Teachers or Classes Participating:
Project Coordinators are:

Joan Goble,
Cannelton, USA

and

René de Vries,
Haarlem, The Netherlands

**We have 29 schools participating from all over the world... See our Participants List on the California Website.

7. How many students worked on this project?
We estimate around 500 or more students worked or continue to work on this project.

8. There ages were:
grades 1-12,

6 to 18 years

9. Project Contact email:
Joan Goble: jgoble@siec.k12.in.us
Rene de Vries: r.de.vries@tip.nl
TESAN: animals@tip.nl

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Project Overview

1. We entered our project in the CyberFair Category:
Environmental Awareness

2. Description of our Community:
Our project community is world wide. We now have 29 schools representing 10 separate countries from 5 different continents and we receive new participants every week. ;-)
We are two schools cohosting this project that are over 4000 miles apart...Cannelton Elementary School in Cannelton, Indiana, USA and Primary School De Wadden in Haarlem, The Netherlands. The task of hosting it though was made very easy by the Internet. Our schools used E-mail, chats, and even video conferencing which took away the miles and allowed us all to be able to work "side-by-side" to develop and maintain the project.

3. Summary of Project:
Our project is called TESAN: The Endangered Species And Nature of the World - an International Research Project. It is a sister project to TENAN: The ENdangered ANimals of the World that our schools are cohosting again this year. TESAN asks schools to take their research about endangered animals a bit further, and research nature parks, zoos, or wildlife sanctuaries which are located in the area of their species and find out what programs they have to help save them. We also have added an area for reports on endangered plants. This project promotes collaboration and telecommunication among school children of all ages from around the world as well as an appreciation for the plight of the earth's thousands of endangered species. Our students hope that this project will help people become more aware of their environment and how we can help endangered species to survive.

4. Our Internet Access:
Cannelton Elementary has a Local Area Network with a 56K line. Each classroom has at least four computers hooked directly to the Internet. That is not the case with many of our participants though. Many of the contact teachers from the schools involved in this project tell us that they have only have access to the Internet in their school library once or twice a week for an hour or so...so that has made it difficult for some of them to progress with their projects as soon as they would like.
Primary school De Wadden has several stand-alone computers now which are connected to Internet. Access is made by ISDN-connections and the speed of the ISDN-line is 64K.
Our webhost is VuurWerk...they have graciously provided us with free space on the Internet for our project. So, we have two identical sites: one at VuurWerk and one at CyberFair.
The generosity of these providers have made it possible for us to begin and maintain our project.

5. Problems we had to overcome:
Probably the biggest problem to overcome was the long distance between our two schools (USA-The Netherlands) in creating and maintaining our site. However, using email, chats, and sometimes video conferencing we were able to do this very well.

For many of our participating students this is their first experience with research of any kind and for many of our participating schools this is their first experience in an Internet project. We have pages on our site which are designed to help the students in their research, in their publishing of web pages, and in usage of video, audio, scanning pictures, etc. We also send out a monthly newsletter to all participants to keep them updated on new reports, new participants, and new ideas. These newsletters are all archived on our site.
Other problems include: A few participant emails have been incorrect...which meant we had to wait for them to contact us so we could correct them.
As with our sister project TENAN, this project actually have a bilingual site. It is published both in Dutch and in English, the two languages of the host schools. Many of the students from The Netherlands, as well as other schools from around the world, had to learn some English as well, in order to use the information found on various websites on their chosen animal. Publishing our site in both Dutch and English, we feel, is another way to promote collaboration and cooperation among all of our participants.

6. Our Project Sound Bite:
Our participation in Cyberfair has provided us with a chance to work with schools from all over the world in researching about endangered species and what we can and are doing to help preserve them. This experience has truly provided us all (students, teachers, and parents) with a chance to collaborate in a way we had never been able to before and we have truly enjoyed it.

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Project Elements

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

We sent out these questions to all of our participating schools and the following includes answers from these schools: Elanora Heights Primary School in Sydney, Australia *** Alta Elementary School in California, USA *** Aiea Elementary School in Aiea, Hawaii *** Micklefield School in Cape Town, South Africa *** Vineland Elementary in Weedpatch, California *** Homeschool - Westborough Group in Westborough, Massachusetts*** Cannelton Schools in Indiana, USA *** Primary School De Wadden in Haarlem, The Netherlands - and Cannelton Elementary School in Indiana, USA.

1. How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair 99 project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?
This project is topical and the research and information gathering crosses the curriculm well. Math, geography, research strategies, literature and other language arts, cooperative group learning, problem solving, and more were addressed by many of the participating students. Many classes have taken field trips to zoos or nature preserves and interviewed foresters and even surfed the net to get great web sites with up-to-date information on their animals. (Examples: Micklefied School students in South Africa went on a field trip to Betty's Bay where there is a penguin colony on the mainland to find out about their programs to help save the penguins. Cannelton Elementary Students in Cannelton, Indiana USA visited Patoka Lake Reservoir to see what is being done to help the nesting Bald Eagles there...and they also invited the Hoosier National Foresters in to their classroom to discuss the Indiana Bat and what programs they have in force to study them in their natural summer habitat.)

Scientific topics include the study of the habitats and what has caused the decline in number of these animals and what can we do to help. A world map is posted on the project web site and the students use it to see where all of the reports are coming from. Students have incorporated the use of many forms of technology in doing their webpages and research. The newfound skills include using email and using Scientific methods to do research, along with gaining valuable skills in the use of various technological tools such as scanners, video cameras, web publishing tools, and more. Students found that they can be actively involved in teaching others about their own environment by writing their reports and publishing them on the world wide web.

2. What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your CyberFair project?
The Internet was our biggest help here. It is a massive resource for information and there are many fine sites on the web that deal with endangered animals and plants...such as the National Wildlife Federation and Bat Conservation International, Inc. We were able to use Email, live chats, and even video-conferencing to help us with our research and work on our site. Many of the participating students have used such tools as word processing, CD-Rom software, web publishing tools -such as Microsoft Frontpage and Claris Homepage, and even Notepad to code the HTML files (Sydney, Australia), Internet browsers ( Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer), various search engines, scanners, video and digital cameras, and even fax to gather the information needed for their reports. Most of these tools were on hand in the schools.
Library resources (such as books, magazines, and newspapers) were used by the students as well, along with trips to museums, zoos, and wildlife preserves to gather further information for their reports. Many of the schools are also doing off-line activities to further enhance their learning such as Vineland Middle School in Weedpatch, California...they are constructing a life-size model of the California Condor. Visits from real-life experts have taken place in many of the schools involved.
As mentioned above, we had a live chat to further encourage collaboration among our participating schools from all over the world.
This Global Chat, as it was called, was held on Feb. 18 . We actually hosted three of them to accomodate the many different time zones of our participants. The chat was such a success that many of our participating schools have asked that we hold another one this year. We are looking at another one on Earth Day, April 22. (As we did last year for TENAN)...again we feel it will give us another great opportunity to promote worldwide collaboration. You can view the Feb. 18 chats here.

3. In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Cyberfair project both on-line and in person?
Our participants have been ambassadors for our school and project in many ways... click here for some highlights!

4. What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Our project has enabled our students to reach a global audience with their research. They know that what they are doing is having an impact. An example of the impact too has been that, for Cannelton as well as for other schools, the students are being asked to present their project to many community boards (the Cannelton School board for one). The above mentioned examples of ambassadorship have given the many communities involved a feeling of accomplishment and pride. (We know this from the many emails we receive from our participants not only in TESAN but in TENAN as well.) Many parents have voiced how proud they are of the accomplishments of our students and have said that they would like to see us continue with this project beyond the end of this school year. We receive quite a few emails from people who write to tell us how much they enjoyed our site...many of them are students who want to write their own report...not only for a school project, but also on their own because they are inspired by the work these students have done. We feel that the classroom now has no walls...that the world is our classroom and the students of this classroom speak the many languages of the world! This has truly been a most rewarding experience!

5. How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We know that many of the participating school students asked for help from area wildlife workers and from others who know a lot about their certain endangered animal and its habitat status. At one school, Alta Elementary School in California the whole student body became involved in actively helping Cat Haven. They believe that this work is probably what started the interest in Cat Haven in the first place. We know that many schools saw quite an interest shown in finding information on the habitat or endangeres species chosen by their students to research...parents, grandparents, and other interested family members have sent in information, web links, and even stories in order to help the work the students are doing. We had several parents accompany our students on their field trips to Patoka Lake and to Marengo Cave.
There are several schools who have actually had visitors into their school, like when Cannelton Elementary had a visit from The Hoosier National Forestry. The students received help, guidance, and technical support from parents and other volunteers to help get their work published on their school sites. The success of this project has enabled the students to see first hand what collaboration and communication can achieve. We need to also mention the Global chats that we hosted here as well...because that again gave many a chance to help out in some way.

6. Discoveries, Lessons, Surprises...?
The concensus here from our participating schools is the sense of community that is reached...when students are researching something that hits home, like endangered animals and their habitats in their own community, county, state, etc...it becomes more their own learning...they are active in their own learning and feel more like they are accomplishing something worthwhile. The Internet helps so much here too, one example would be the comments we have on our Guestbook of TESAN...so many people say how much the project has helped them. As Cheryl Vitali states, from Alta Elementary School, "I am most interested in building children's awareness of species, plants, concerns in their own area that they may not be aware of. It is harder to find material, but this is meeting a real need for a community. My hope is that the animals, plants, and activities my students do ties them actively to the environment around their community not an area they might never encounter except on the Nature Channel. That is not to say they can't actively help a project elsewhere, but how much more powerful it is if their work has a direct impact that they may actually be able to see."
We feel that the discoveries with this project are an everyday event...and as long as our work is on the Internet, there is bound to be many more discoveries and surprises yet to come. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

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Link to our Californian Cyberfair 99 TESAN-Entry

Link to our Endangered Species And Nature Mirror website

Link to our School Home Pages:

Cannelton Elementary School (Indiana - USA)


Primary School De Wadden (Netherlands)

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SafeSurf Rated All Agesfamily friendly site

Copyright March 1999, Joan Goble and René de Vries
Last updated on March 30, 1999