CyberFair Project ID: 4589

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Flooding or Runoff for Habitat?
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: The Hendrix School
    Walker, Missouri, USA

Two students, ages 10 - 14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 12, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2006

Classes and Teachers: One teacher

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

We live in a rural area in Southwestern Missouri. The population of our town is 275. Locally, people spend much of their spare time fishing, boating and camping in manmade lakes. As such the state of Missouri is dependent upon water and water quality for much of their income that is derived from tourism. The specific area we studied provides a wetland habitat for migrating ducks, geese and other waterfowl. Local residents as well as weekend visitors enjoy fishing and boating. Hunters flock to this area in the fall from all reaches of the state.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project is designed to help students and members of our community locally and globally to consider the importance of water quality. Water is a finite resource that everyone is dependent upon. Our goal was to look at a microcosm in relation to the world's water supply in order to help students to understand their responsibility as consumers to our environment both locally and globally. We wanted to do a project that could be replicated by others as well so that others who see the project, globally and locally, can see that a simple water testing kit may provide the impetus to inspire an in- depth investigation or uncover new and relevant information for their community.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3

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):

We finally moved from dial up to wireless broadband last fall. It has just recently been made available, as we are so rural. We are very excited to have a company willing to provide service in our area and are grateful for the increased speed. Unfortunately, as we were uploading pages our tower was hit by lightning. The public library personnel allowed us to upload our pages using their computer deferring the normal $35 fee.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest barrier we had to overcome was the low water levels due to the unanticipated drought conditions. Depth of water is important to the accuracy of water testing. The levels were very low throughout Schell/Osage Conservation Area so that we were lucky to get water samples to test.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Students are proud of their accomplishments. Their research has made them confident community ambassadors who can and do discuss the importance of clean water, drought management issues, the importance of water for wildlife, water conservation, landscaping for wildlife, and global warming. They also feel much more at ease using scanners and photo editing programs.

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

The CyberFair Project was intended to coincide with the environmental science curriculum as well as computer applications. Reading and writing skills including research were strengthened. We went much further in depth with this project than we initially anticipated. Once the students saw their work in print, they seemed more hypercritical. Research led to more research, as we had to work as a group to find out 'Why' we encountered the situations and results we found.

Project Elements

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.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4589)

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