1. Description of Our Community
Malta is a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The closest place to the Maltese islands is Sicily. Malta is made of five small islands: Malta, Gozo, Kemmuna, Kemmunett and Filfla. Malta's capital city is Valletta. The population in Malta is about 367,000 people. Malta is mostly known for its beautiful sea and for its hot climate. Malta has been part of many empires: it was a British colony till the 1970's when it started it's own government. Malta is a great place to live in and visit; it is very safe and quiet. The people here are very friendly and helpful towards tourists. Because our island is so small - it is only 122 square miles - it's not very far to go anywhere and so we went from one side of the island to the other for our research. Malta has endless amounts of history, our temples are older than the pyramids in Egypt. It also has it's own crafts as you will see in our project.
2. Summary of Our Project
Mr. A. Sultana and Mr M. Sciberras selected nine Year 8 Middle School boys, aged 12 and 13, and together we created a website on Maltese Crafts: namely Jewellery, Lace, Decorative Glass, Pottery and Porcelain . Thanks to this project we learnt so many new things about Maltese Craft and Culture. We found that these traditional crafts were being forgotten by the younger Maltese generation. We were very surprised to find this out and felt quite sad about it. We visited the Crafts Village at Ta' Qali, the Norman House in Mdina, Casa Rocca Piccola in Valletta and two students went to do some research in Malta's sister island, Gozo. Besides we did a lot of research from our Senior School library, from the National Public Library, from our Encyclopedias and of course from the Internet. All the boys took some very good photos and did a lot of work at school and at home. Mrs. M. Mifsud Chichop was extremely helpful throughout our research as well.
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:1
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our internet access was available through a local area network in one of the PC laboratories where an ADSL connection with a bandwidth of 512K is used. At our school, the computer:student ratio is 1:20.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
During our project we encountered problems such as not being able to find information about some topics because very few people continue to work some of these crafts in the local community and also in most of the libraries because of lack of records. Most of the craftsmen we interviewed spoke in Maltese and some of the boys in our group could not understand. Some people were surprised that we are going to put this project on the Internet.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Overall this project was a learning experience for us in many ways. It was a fun experience which taught us that working in a group can make life easier and through discussing one gets to learn about and appreciate more other points of view. Besides the project gave us a much better understanding of Maltese crafts and it also gave us the opportunity to become more confident in interviewing people and to do something to help our school.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project helped me to learn about my heritage and culture. The Maltese traditionally had lots of skills and talents and through the research I did on this project I have learnt more and more about my ancestors. I benefited from working in a group. I tried my best to get all the information and pictures I could and so did the rest of the team. We went on outings together, we had lots of fun using the Internet and we also visited the National Library. In this project I not only learnt about the topic but I also learnt about the importance of teamwork and other skills that I might need in the future. I gave up a lot of my free time to work on this project but I must stress that I really enjoyed every minute and I would do it again if I will have the opportunity.