1. Description of Our Community
Uzbekistan is a small country in Central Asia. Uzbekistan is considered to be a high desert region. Tashkent is the capital city. Uzbekistan gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. The major religion of Uzbekistan is Islam; however there are people practicing Christianity and Judaism as well. The major languages are Uzbek and Russian. Most people in Uzbekistan are very poor. The common income is about 50 dollars per a month. Uzbekistan is located on what is called the “Ancient Silk Road”, making it a popular tourist spot for people around the world. Popular cities to visit are Bukhara, Samarkand, and Khiva. The climate here is hot and dry during the summer months; cold and wet during the winter months. It has a mild fall and spring. Tashkent is known for its bazaars full of beautiful fruits and vegetables, which can be bought for very reasonable prices. Tashkent International serves the ex-patriot community here made up of businesses and international diplomats. We have approximately 200 students in grades K-12. The school is currently in the process of applying for IB and PYP status, and is accredited through the European Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our Cyber Fair project is about an organization called T.W.I.G. T.W.I.G stands for Tashkent Women’s International Group. The organization is a social organization for women who also want to make a difference in the community. T.W.I.G raises money from different events that they organize and they give the money to four different charities; Sisters of Calcutta, Saint Nicholas Convent, School 52, and Orphanage 2. During this project we learned about T.W.I.G. and the charities it supports.
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: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 have 2computer labs in our school. They each have about 15 computers each. This makes us have 30 computers available. But there are computer lessons for each class more than 2 times in a week. So both labs are not always empty. All our computers are connected to the internet at a very fast connection. We have access to the computer lab during scheduled class times as well as before and after school. Technology is used quite a lot for school projects, so we have to use our home computers as well.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
One of the problems we had was to fit everyone into the same room. We worked on the project in only one of the computer labs, and not all the students could fit in it. At first we decided that people should come after school to finish the project. However, not many students came after school because of after school activities. We solved the problem by dividing the students into two groups. Since all that was left at this point was the technical parts of the project, we had one group go to the lab and work on the project, while the other group stayed behind to work on other skills they needed work on. This allowed everyone to work comfortably and efficiently on the project. The biggest problem we had to face was that someone deleted all the group folders for our project. The only people that were able to access the folders were the fifth and sixth grade students as well as Mr. Lyons and Ms. Ely. Mr. Lyons asked everyone who did it, but no one confessed. We overcame the problem by doing the work again. It was hard work, but we were able to complete it on time. Another problem we had was finding and locating pictures of people and events. They were not always available, so this was quite difficult. While we tried to contact as many people as we could, some pictures were just not available. We solved the problem by drawing some of the pictures ourselves using the Paint program or scanning in hand drawn pictures. While these problems were difficult at times, we found solutions, so it made it all worth while.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
T.W.I.G makes a difference in our community. It helps many children in Uzbekistan, by collecting money from different events. These events can be any festivals, shows, bazaars, exhibits and much more. Many women are part of this organization and do their part to help the less fortunate of Uzbekistan to strive to be a part of Uzbekistan's future!
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The kids learned the following objectives during this project: research skills, interviewing skills, communication skills (interviews, thank you’s, etc.), writing skills, photography, HTML, and design. This project fits very nicely into both our language arts and social studies curriculums. The project address multiple standards dealing with writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. It also addresses standards the school has about working cooperatively with others. The project also addresses several of our social studies process skills such as understanding individual identity and global connectedness. The process the students went through in taking this project from the initial idea to the final product was a valuable experience. Students learned how to step out of their comfort zone and view aspects of the community they were unaware of before. Several have mentioned wanting to become more involved as a result of the visits to the various organizations. It was a very rewarding and educational experience for all.