CyberFair Project ID: 4459

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Go With the Flow: Water and Us in Bangladesh
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: American International School/Dhaka
    Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

70 students, ages 8-14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 16, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Ms. Cover, Ms. Dietz, Ms. Graham, Ms. Karim, Ms. Witte, 4th grade classes, Middle School Cyberfair Club (grades 6-8)

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

We go to school at the American International School/Dhaka in Bangladesh. There are about 640 students in grades preK-12. We come from about 38 different countries.

Bangladesh is a new community for many of us. Bangladesh is a small country in Southeast Asia. It is the most densely populated country in the world. Bangladesh is 143,998 sq. km (that is about the size of the state of Wisconsin), and has a population of 130 million people (slightly more than half of the Unites States’ population). It is a big delta and collects a lot of water. Since Bangladesh is so low to sea level, a lot of water comes from the Himalayas and there is a lot of flooding.

The culture of Bangladesh is very rich. Many people think that Bangladesh is the one of the poorest countries in the world. The religion of Bangladesh is primarily Islam (Muslim). Bangladesh is the 3rd largest Muslim country in the world.

Bangladesh is the world’s largest delta, which means water is an important part of our lives. During the monsoon season (June to August) there is a lot of rain and often a lot of flooding occurs throughout the country.

2. Summary of Our Project

We learned about water in 4th grade. Where does our water come from? How does water influence how we live? And how to we affect water? These are some of the questions we answered. We did experiments, interviews, tours, visited the MUM Bottling Plant. We did a lot of fun things in this water unit for example looking at the Gulshan Lake water under a microscope.

While studying our science unit, Water: The Rivers of Bangladesh, we found out that there are many rives in Bangladesh and interviewed local staff at our school who have homes along the rivers to learn more about how water affects their lives.

In Art, we painted pictures using ‘water’ colors to see what water looks and ‘feels’ like. Finally in Music, Grade 4 wrote their own words to the tune of The Rivers of Babylon. We mainly sang about the Meghna, the Padma and the Jamuna. We sang about how we can keep the rivers clean, fresh and not pollute the water. We sang the song to the elementary school at assembly.

The Cyberfair club was only for Middle School students that met on every Thursday during advisories. We started during the second quarter. During that time we learnt a little bit about Bangladesh by watching videos of the rivers going down to the Bay of Bengal. It started out easy because the 4th graders were gathering the information for us to make the website. In the 3rd quarter it got a little bit harder because the 4th graders had finished gathering all the information, and we had to make the website. Near the due date a few students had to stay after school or work on the project during class to complete the project. It was hard and tiresome but we made it!

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:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

AIS/D uses Macintosh computers. We have internet access in all the computer labs and our classrooms, but sometimes it is unreliable. Also we have frequent power outages that often interrupt our work.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One of the biggest challenges for the 4th graders involved gathering their information. Since the 4th graders relied on getting information from local sources, often language became a barrier, so they used translators to convey information.

The biggest obstacles in building the webpage was time. The middle school Cyberfair Club met 30 minutes once per week for 16 weeks, but we always needed more time to work on the webpage. Towards the end of the project, four 6th graders made the commitment to finish the website and they put in a lot of extra hours in order to achieve their goal. We had minor technical problems from time to time, but thankfully we have excellent technical support at our school that could help us solve our problems.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

It has been exciting for all of us to see the website take shape - we have poured all our energy and creativity into it, and we are curious to find out what other students around the world think of our work. We also can't wait to see what other schools have created.

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

Standards/Cross Curricular Skills/Dispositions:

Our Environment Summarize the results of data collection and use this as a basis for forming questions and making predictions.

Investigate ways in which human activities are constrained by environmental factors

Recognize that communities in different parts of the world use different types and quantities of resources and may value resources differently.

Examine ways in which the environment is stressed by human activities

Consider strategies for developing respect for natural ecosystems and reducing human impact on them.

Our Organizations Describe ways people attempt to conserve resources and the consequences of depletion of resources.

How Our World Works Design simple experiments and develop hypothesis.

Demonstrate that results of scientific investigations vary and it is not always easy to tell why.

Record information accurately as it is an essential art of the process of any experiment.

Predict that heating and cooling causes changes in properties of matter.

Space and Time Compare and contrast human and physical features of places, landscapes and regions.

Use and interpret geographical tools

Be aware of the causes and consequences of natural forces.

Powers of Expression Use the stages of the writing process

Write about feelings and opinions.

Mathematics Model problem situations with objects and use representations such as graphs, table and equations to draw conclusions.

Music Perform on pitch, in rhythm, with appropriate dynamics and timbre, and maintain a steady tempo.

Create and arrange short songs and instrumental pieces with specified guidelines.

Cross Curricular Skills

Thinking Skills Acquisition of Knowledge Synthesis

Information Technology

Use technology tools for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.

Use telecommunications and online to participate in collaborative problem-solving activities for the purpose of developing solutions or products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.

Dispositions Curious Collaborative

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used interviews, translators, computers, laptops, digital cameras, Internet, AlphaSmarts, audio recorders, pens and pencils, CyberFair notebooks, dictionaries, bulletin boards, projector, microphone, and science lab equipment. Each one was important in there own way.

We also used a lot of software on the computers. We used Microsoft Word, iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, AppleWorks, and FirstClass.

The most important information tool that the 4th graders used were the interviews because there were no other published sources with the type of information that they wanted.

The essential tools that the Middle School Cyberfair Club used were the computer programs. They built the webpage using Dreamweaver and relied on Adobe PhotoShop for image editing.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We introduced our selves and our project to the directors of the organizations we visited. We also wrote a lot of articles about our project in our class weekly news and the AIS/D Weekly News.We will send our Website’s address to our families and teachers and kids in other countries to share with them.

When we were working on the website, many people came by to visit, and they were always amazed at our work and usually complimented us on it.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

This project helped create a sense of awareness and respect among the students for the local staff who help us everyday. However, we don’t often have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with them. It also helped fourth graders realize how water affects the way they live their lives and how essential it is to all of us. The students became aware of the responsibility they have to use it wisely.

Building the Cyberfair webpage was a big project for the Middle School Cyberfair Club, and in creating the site the students learned a lot about technology, built their confidence in using the technology, and were able to see their hard work pay off.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Our project involved a variety of people from our community. In addition to our interactions with local staff, the projects pulled teachers together from different disciplines including music, art, technology, science, South Asian studies, social studies, and classroom teachers, We also worked with teachers from the preschool, elementary school and middle school. Our facilities manager talked to us about water in our school, and the MUM bottling factory manager took the time to arrange a tour of the water factory. We would like to give a big thanks to our local staff who taught us a lot about the water and rivers in Bangladesh.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

It surpised me how many people do not have access to water. -John

It surprised me how many ways we use water. -Harry

It surprised me that Gulshan Lake has so many little bugs and bacteria. -Melissa

It surprised me that you can use so much water in such little time. -Charlotte

It surprised me that the bearers know lots of things about the rivers and that surprised me. - Manaal

It surprised me that Ben put more than 60 drops of water on a penny. -Shashank

It surpirsed me how much water we use and how important water is. -Jason

The water from Gulshan Lake surprised me. -Faraaz


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4459)

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