CyberFair Project ID: 2148

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Hawaii, a Mixing Pot of Colors
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Enchanted Lake Elementary School
    Kailua, Hawaii, United States

20 students, ages 9-11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 21, 2003. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001, 2002, 2003

Classes and Teachers: Mari Sato

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The community we live in is called Enchanted Lake. It a beautiful place, just like the name implies. It is located in the city of Kailua, on the island of Oahu, and in the state of Hawaii. Our community is filled with friendly and caring people of many different cultures and backgrounds. We all get along and help others around us. There is a deep understanding that every individual deserves to be treated with respect and kindness.

We have approximately 400 students at our school, Enchanted Lake Elementary. Our school’s vision is “Enchanted Lake Elementary School is a caring community of lifelong learners.” We practice the four Rs. These include respect, responsibility, relationships and resourcefulness. We also strive to meet four essential General Learner Outcomes. They are: The ability to be responsible for one’s own learning; The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together; The ability to be involved in complex thinking and problem solving strategies; and The ability to recognize and produce quality work.

Our island has a moderate tropical climate. There are gentle northeasterly trade winds and warm Pacific waters almost year-round. The average annual temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature fluctuates only a few degrees from summer (May through October) to winter (November through April). We understand that we are fortunate to live in such a comfortable environment. We participate in many outdoor activities such as surfing, swimming, basketball, baseball and soccer.

2. Summary of Our Project

The purpose of this website, "Hawaii, A Mixing Pot of Colors" is to celebrate Hawaii's diversity. We want to share Hawaii's unique multicultural blend with the rest of the world and show how diversity can bring about peace and harmony.

Hawaii is one of the few places on Earth where a diverse mix of cultures and ethnicities blend together peacefully. People who live in Hawaii are said to have the "Aloha Spirit." They share a mutual respect for one another in which caring and openness are practiced. Approximately 1,200,000 people live on the Hawaiian Islands. They come from many different ethnic cultures such as Japanese, Caucasian, Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Portuguese and Korean. Even though each group may have different beliefs and practices, they share a special bond with one another that creates a feeling of acceptance for all. Hawaii's population is unlike any other state. More than twenty-one percent of the people living in Hawaii are multiracial, compared to the 2.4 percent of the United States as a whole. Hawaii is one of three states that has no racial majority.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

There were many challenges that we overcame. Each one of us was at a different skill level in terms of our technology, research and writing abilities. This was hard for our class to be organized and create a comprehensive and consistent website. However, we used this challenge to our advantage. The students who were better at a certain task, peer taught the ones who needed assistance. Then in turn, they were able to improve on their skills. It was a wonderful way to teach and learn at the same time.

Additionally, we had a huge amount of photographs on our website. We needed permission to use each one of them. We emailed each site, and asked for permission. In some cases, we had to write letters and mail them via the post office. Although this was time consuming, we learned a great lesson in copyright issues and letter-writing.

Lastly, we had difficulty in uploading our web pages. When we looked at them in Netscape Navigator, it looked different in Internet Explorer. We had to find a way to bring about a balance, so they looked good in both browsers. We had to use both our problem-solving skills and using trial and error.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our participation in Cyberfair has taught us why we are so fortunate to live in Hawaii, a place where diversity is celebrated and valued. We now have the opportunity to share our findings with the rest of the world to showcase Hawaii’s “Spirit of Aloha.”

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Some of the content standards we achieved through creating our website are Language Arts (Reading-Range; Comprehension, Writing-Range, Composing, Conventions and Skills, Rhetoric; Oral Communication), Social Studies (Change, Continuity and Causality; Historical Empathy; Global Cooperation, Conflict, and Interdependence; Cultural Diversity and Unity; Cultural Dynamics), Fine Arts, Technology (Basic Operations and Concepts; Technology as a Tool for Productivity; Technology as a Tool for Communications; Technology as a Tool for Research).

Additionally, our school has four general learner outcomes. These include: The ability to be responsible for one’s own learning; The understanding that is is essential for human beings to work together; The ability to be involved in complex thinking and problem solving; The ability to produce quality performance and quality products. Through the Cyberfair project, we were able to fulfill all of these goals. It was a collaborative effort be each person in our group. We believe we have created a comprehensive and quality website. We accomplished this through hard work, organization, teamwork, problem solving and perseverance.

While creating our project, we also gained many social skills such as cooperation, collaboration, teamwork, compromising and balance. Furthermore, we bettered our skills in using technology as a tool for learning. We are now better web authors and animators. Our writing and research skills have also improved from this project.

Lastly, we learned that learning does not only be textbooks and worksheets. It can take place outside of the classroom through the Internet and excursions. We were also able to use apply what we learned to present day events. We also learned that the Internet is an important tool for communicating and researching. It has been effective in finding the most current information.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used a variety of tools to create our project. In our computer lab, we have 20 computers. A majority of them are iMacs. We have a couple of Power Macs and G3 Macintoshes. These computers were obtained Apple. We used one telephone to contact resources and organize field trips.

We used both video and still digital cameras to document our research. They were both obtained by grants that our teacher wrote for us. We used scanners to obtain photographs and webpublish our work.

We used two printers for publishing our reports. Some of the computer software we used were Claris Homepage (web editor), Hyperstudio (creating graphics), Gif Builder (animating graphics), Adobe Photoshop (editing photographs), Hot Potatoes (creating games), Alxnet (creating the guestbook and poll), iMovie (editing our field trip videos), Quicktime 3.0 (viewing the videos), MP3 (recording and listening to music), (adding our site meter), and Fetch (uploading our webpages). Most of these software were purchased from educational technology companies or were downloaded from the Internet for free.

We used books, newspapers, magazines, the Internet, interviews and videos to obtain the information we needed to help create our website. Many of the books we used were purchased from via a grant that our teacher wrote. Other materials were borrowed from both the school and public libraries.

We went on two field trips (Hawaii’s Plantation Museum and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii) to get first hand information for our website.

All of these tools played a critical role in helping us create our website. We believe the computer was the most valuable tool. This was because it allowed us to get information from the Internet and webpublish our work. It was also a means of communication (Email) between us and the experts.

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

We acted as ambassadors for our school. We were able to contact various people as resources to gain information on Hawaii’s culture. For example, we went to the Hawaii’s Plantation Village. Prior to the trip, we prepared many questions that we wanted to find out about Hawaii’s past. We were able to ask our tour guide, Lutia, our questions. She gave us the answers that we needed. She mentioned that we were the best group she ever had. This was because we were very interested in what she had to say, and additionally, there was a purpose for us being there.

We also received two grants to create our project. One grant was from the Cottington Trust. This allowed us to purchase books, software and the digital video cameral to help create our website. The second grant we received was called “Good Idea Grant.” Through this grant we were able to go on our field trips and purchase a digital camera to document our findings. We needed to represent our school to successfully fulfill the goals set by the two grants. We needed to produce a quality website to showcase Hawaii’s diversity.

Lastly, we contacted Danny Couch who is a musical artist in Hawaii. We explained to him that we wished to use his song “These Islands” in our website. We felt his song perfectly matched the theme of our site. We wrote to him via email, and he graciously allowed us to use his song.

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

Our website will make a positive impact on our community, as well as the rest of the world. Our website focuses on Hawaii’s unique diversity. We have many cultures that harmoniously blend together. We believe our site will make a difference to those who read it. Through our site, others can learn about Hawaii’s diversity and use our state as an example for others to follow. We have already sent our URL (web address) to a teacher listserve. This will allow other students and teachers to use our site as a resource. Through our site meter, we found that our site was already viewed by many. Additionally, our guestbook revealed that people definitely were impressed with our work and it has made a difference.

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

Thank you to our families who supported and guided us through this project. We appreciate your encouragement and love.

Thank you to Hawaii Plantation Museum. Miss Lutia and Mr. Tokuda taught us about Hawaii’s past plantation life and allowed us to experience some of the history and games first hand.

Thank you to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for teaching us about the past history of the Japanese in Hawaii. We appreciate Mrs. Kiyabu, Mrs. Yoshimoto and Mrs. Shimamoto for teaching us about Hawaii's past.

Thank you to Danny Couch, the musical artist who sings “These Islands.” He allowed us to use his song on our website.

Lastly, thank you to the Public Schools of Hawaii Foundation for giving us the “Good Idea Grant.” And Cottington Trust, for allowing us to receive their grant.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We have made many interesting discoveries through participating in Cyberfair. Here are a few examples:

“Throughout this project, a lesson I learned was to be very neat and organized so that I don't lose my work.” Nicole, Grade 6

“During this process I learned how to use multimedia tools to make a word find game and how to put my work on the internet.” Kelli, Grade 6

“During this project, I discovered how unique and special Hawaii really is. The people of Hawaii are so accepting and kind to each other. I think that we really are just one big family with different experiences and backgrounds living together on one tiny island out in the pacific that I call home!” Ittai, Grade 5

“I learned that we should all treat people the way we want to be treated.” Mark, Grade 5

“I learned how to use search engines on the internet to find pictures and resources.” Michael, Grade 5

“I learned how to look on the Internet for information how to email people.” Robin, Grade 5

“During this project, my computer skills improved. I now do a lot of things on the computer, and I learned how to make a website.” by Emily, Grade 6

“I learned to be a team player.” Makana, Grade 5

“What I learned from our project, Hawaii a Mixing Pot of Colors, is what some cultures are like and what their traditions are.” Kory, Grade 4

“I learned more than I ever would have learned in all my life about different cultures and their beliefs and values.” Spencer, Grade 4

“An interesting discovery I made is learning about how diverse Hawaii is.” Jennifer, Grade 4

“I had many surprises during this project. One of them was when we used pictures from other web sites, we had to ask for permission.” Eric, Grade 4

“I learned how to be responsible.” Sam, Grade 4


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 2148)

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