1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
We have four computers with Internet access that were used on this project. Telephones, digital cameras, scanners, oral interviews, newspapers, books, pdf. files, and sites throughout the Internet were used to complete this project. We used Adobe, Word, Excel, Netscape, PhotoImpact and other programs to publish our project. Some of our programs we use were obtained through our past participation in the Cyberfair.
The most helpful tools were the digital camera and the scanner. I believe the photos taken by the students best illustrate what we expected to find, and what Schell Osage had become through drought conditions.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
We have two versions of our project. One is hard copy and one is published to the Internet. Both projects were completed hand in hand. We had assistance from the science department at Missouri Southern State University. Professors evaluated the safety issues and the worthiness of the project. We shall be presenting our report March 28th in Joplin, Missouri. Our students spoke with representatives from the Missouri Department of Conservation in person and via telephone regarding our Schell/Osage Project. Communication has helped the students realize that their study will be on display to our local community. In addition, students presented questions that could not always be answered by local officials. This information will be available to our community both online, through follow up letters, and on display in hard copy for the local scientific community.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
We believe our project is already making an impact on our community. Our relationship with professors at the University has been strengthened. Students in schools throughout the area are amazed that we could be brave enough to publish to the Cyberfair and want to learn how to publish their accomplishments. We have contacted and been contacted by others who are involved with water testing projects globally. We have also learned of new collaborative projects so that our work can be placed in databases to help impact people globally.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
Missouri Southern State University personnel was very helpful in advising us of requirements for safety such as goggles and gloves for project participants, as well as which tests were safe for students. We received advice and assistance on web design from parents and community members. We were also allowed to upload our web site using the equipment at the public library. We would like to thank the personnel at the Nevada Public Library for deferring the $35 fee.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Until we began the project, we were unaware that the Governor and the Missouri Department of Conservation had considered our county in a stage 3 drought alert. As a result, we did further research. We then posted a 'community bulletin board' so that others could learn the consequences of an extreme drought as well as conservation techniques that they could employ. We are preparing a press release to alert our community of our findings.
A student was very interested in this project and did a much more in depth study on her own. It will be presented in Joplin for the scientific community. It will be interesting to see how she is received as she has received awards in the past for her work in the area of environmental science.