1. Description of Our Community
The village of Athens has a population of 1000, and is a great area for families. Athens is located in Eastern Ontario, Canada and is mainly agriculturally based. Charleston Lake is located nearby and is popular among campers, cottagers and nature enthusiasts.
The Athens and Charleston Lake area includes many environmental groups. We worked with many of them over the course of this project including the Leeds Grenville Stewardship Council and the Canadian Peregrine Foundation. The Leeds Grenville Stewardship Council run a variety of environmental projects within the Leeds and Grenville counties, including an Osprey and Peregrine Falcon preservation.
The people of Athens and surrounding area live close to the land and are very fond of local wildlife. Many are active in trying to instill an environmental awareness in children for the future.
Athens District High School is a small, rural secondary school of 360 students. A highlight of our school is our unique student parliament, which is modeled after the Canadian parliament. Our computer classes have been busy the past few years creating a variety of web sites.
2. Summary of Our Project
The goal of our project is to inform the local community about work that is being done to try to re-establish the peregrine falcon in its native habitat. The web site provides links to the local stewardship and to the Canadian Peregrine Foundation where more related information can beeasily accessed. Features of the site include: • a live web cam to view the falcons while they are in the hack box • short video clips of the banding ceremony and other major events • pictures of the falcons • how the community can become involved • falcon facts We hope that by visiting this site people will become more aware of the falcons and the impact human activity has on these endangered birds.
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:more than 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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
The LAN of 123 computers in our school is connected to the Internet via a T1 link through to our school board office.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Our first and largest problem was a lack of time. We did however manage to complete the project on time and ended up with a very complete and informative web page that we are all proud of. A second problem was due to the migration patterns of the peregrine falcon. Peregrines migrate south to Mexico and the southern US states over the winter until late April, so when being judged our web cam will not be operating because there will be no birds to view.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The Leeds County Stewardship Council is very pleased to put this website in the hands of the Athens students. The students have developed a heightened awareness of their local environment and have a real sense of accomplishment by contributing their time and skills to this project.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project was done by the Computer Problem Solving class at Athens District High School. The Ontario Ministry of Education guideline for the course requires it to be taught using the case study method. Our teacher selects real problems from the real world for case studies. Our class is run as a computer consulting firm, taking on real clients with real problems from Athens and the surrounding area. We take the problem or task, analyze it, and then work to solve it. This approach to learning requires students to obtain and to use a wide variety of skills, and to work as a team. We must be highly motivated and work well to stay "employed", a great preparation for the world beyond high school.
This CyberFair project fits perfectly with the course objectives. Building a community web site is a great activity for this class that closely simulates a real work environment.
Students relied on one another for the skills to complete different tasks instead of receiving instruction from our teacher, as would be the case in a normal classroom setting. In this project based learning environment we learned, by necessity, problem solving and team work.
We also set some very ambitious deadlines for completion of stages, which taught us about the importance of time management. We developed and used a site plan, and our archivist kept track of all the materials that we had to work with.