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. 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. 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.
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.
The Mac Johnson Wildlife Conservation Area is a beautiful wildlife area, which contains 532 hectares of wetland, felid and forest. A trumpeter swan restoration program is underway. The community uses the area for nature walks, cross country skiing, skating, canoeing, and picnicking.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project is the website for an environmental education consultant company called Environmental Connections. Claire Lefrancois approached us about making a website for them because they did not have the technical expertise. We formed a partnership and worked collaboratively for 4 months.
Our project includes a wide variety of information on our local environment. We focused on the Mac Johnson Conservation Area.
The site includes - school environmental programs, including pre and post visit activities. - activities they can do to prepare for a visit. - photo albums for some of the flora and fauna - current events at the conservation area - environmental partners and supporters - information about where they are located - environmental activities for kids - an interactive wildlife paw print quiz
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
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 proud of.
Your project started in May 2004 and in June 2004 our client Claire broke her neck in a bicycle accident and the project had to be put on hold for five months.
We received both or too little information and too much information from your client. At times we did not have enough information to work from. Then suddenly we would be flooded a ton of information which made it hard to sort things.
We also totally redesigned our site at least three times before we were finally happy with it.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
'Environmental Connections had a wonderful time working on this site with Hannah and Ashley. The site is colourful, easy to navigate, and does a great job of capturing the essence of our organization. The games are great too!'
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
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 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. 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. The course objectives cover various aspects of ebusiness and the students learned first hand the role of a business web site. Students relied on one another for the skills to complete different tasks instead of receiving instruction from our teacher. In this project-based learning environment we learned, by necessity, problem solving and team work. The team of students was lead by a student project manager who was in charge of the entire project. She organized the team and carefully tract the project's progress. We also set some very ambitious deadlines for completion of stages, which taught us about the importance of time management. Some of the work like the web design and research took much longer that we anticipated but in the end the whole team worked hard and the project was completed.