CyberFair Project ID: 4412

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Roman Malta
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: San Andrea Senior School
    Mgarr, Malta, Malta

22 students, ages 12/13 yrs old worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 10, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Stephen Briffa (Humanities Coordinator and History Teacher); Mr. Mark Sciberras (Italian Teacher), Ms. Allison Borg (History Teacher), Ms. Lina Farrugia (School Librarian); - 22 Grade 9 students

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community consists of the Maltese islands, mainly the island of Malta and the smaller island of Gozo. The total area of the two islands, which are found in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, is about 320 square km. Surprisingly, more than 350,000 people live on this small archipelago and about 1,000,000 tourists visit our Islands every year. Malta is only 27 km and 14 km at its longest and widest parts respectively. Malta's strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea has lured settlers from as early as 5000 B.C. up to Malta's Independence in 1964. This has made Malta very rich in its historical heritage with a number of locations being designated as UNESCO heritage sites.

The community represented in this project consists of all the people of Malta since our school’s “catchment area” is from all over the Island. Malta became a European Union member in May 2004.

2. Summary of Our Project

The city of Rome today is a bustling place full of crowds of people and cars. However, if we were to go back in time, to around 800 BC, we would find a small number of villages on the hills, along the banks of the river Tiber. Legend tells us that Rome was founded here in 753 BC. In the following centuries, Rome and the Romans came to dominate Italy and the Mediterranean. Rome grew to become the centre of an incredible empire that stretched across Europe into Asia and North Africa. The Roman Empire lasted for centuries and introduced a sophisticated way of life to the inhabitants of its provinces. The Maltese Islands, situated right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, fell under Roman influence in 218 BC. Many artifacts and several roman structures still survive on these islands.

The Maltese Islands have a rich and fascinating cultural history spanning round 7,000 years. This unique legacy is reflected in the numerous archaeological and historical sites that are scattered around the islands. This project explores the Maltese Islands during Roman rule, between 218 BC and the 5th century AD. We shall be looking at various aspects of Roman rule in Malta, such as the system of government, as well as offering detailed information on various Roman sites throughout the Maltese Islands. Through this web-site one will be able to learn more about this interesting yet perhaps less known period of Maltese history and learn about the culture of the Romans and the heritage they left in the Maltese Islands. The origins of the great Roman Empire will be traced back to the very beginning as important background information to the Romans in Malta.

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:none

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):

At San Andrea Senior School we don’t have computers with internet access in the classrooms but instead we have two computer laboratories/classrooms with eleven computers in each. Each computer has a dedicated internet connection.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The students taking part in CyberFair worked on their project during the midday break. This created some problems because the Computer Laboratory was not always available due to other activities and many times there were unexpected interferences in the laboratory while the students were at work.

Moreover, not all the students could work regularly on the Project during break-time because of other commitments and activities taking place during break-time; including compulsory sports activities. Group-work succeeded to alleviate this problem.

Another setback was that unfortunately the students and teachers had minimal technical support during the project. We succeeded to solve this problem by communicating through emails with technical people outside school.

In the last few days we also had some electricity cuts at school. We solved the problem by meeting and working earlier than usual on the computers before the planned electricity cuts.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Through this project, students had the opportunity to work with the different teachers who teach them different subjects. It also helped to link History with Italian and Environmental/Cultural Studies.

Through this Project, the topic Roman Malta became “more alive” because with their teachers, the students visited roman archaeological remains (Roman Domus and Catacombs) within their local community, took photos of them and then inserted them in the website they created for this Project.

Moreover, students working in groups learnt research skills and how to create a website using Microsoft Publisher.

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

The topic “Roman Malta” is an important part of the History Syllabus at Grade 9 level. So the Project supported the students’ learning in class and helped them to revise the topic for their History Tests and exams. Moreover, this topic will form part of their Environmental Studies subject which is compulsory in their future years at school and they have this topic in the end-of-school exam of the latter subject.

This topic on which we did the Cyber Fair Project is also included in the syllabus of Italian in which students are expected to know about the history of the Roman Empire. Moreover, this Project helped reinforce the Research and Writing Skills of the students as well as their Information Technology Knowledge and Skills.

This Project also gave the students the opportunity to visit the Roman Domus (Roman Townhouse) and Catacombs found in their local community. There they could see the actual remains and listen to the explanations given by their teachers and professional guides available at the historical sites.

This Project has shown that our educational system supplies students with text books from where they get all the information they need. With this project the students analysed the roman remains and then gave their own interpretations about them.

Using the Internet for teaching has surely been more effective than traditional methods as it involves and motivates the students more and gets the topic “more alive”. In fact the students showed us that they learnt much more about Roman Malta through this Project than through the lessons in class.

Project Elements

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

Throughout the period during which the project was compiled, the following technologies were used: · Personal computers – 11 computers were used for a number of uses, e.g., word processing, scanning, image manipulation, communicating through E-mails, sending and receiving faxes, building web pages, etc.

· A server & ADSL – These were used to provide the school with Internet access.

· Telephones, Mobiles & Smses – the most popular communication tools used by all those involved in the project.

· Digital Photo cameras – to take photos of the students working on the project and to take photos of the Roman Remains which they visited.

· Scanners -- These were used to digitise photographs, drawings, pictures, maps, postcards and examples of children's work.

· Fax machines, plain paper copiers and other office equipment – these were used extensively throughout the project.

· School Library – the students did alot of their research in the school library where they checked various books, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, charts and booklets.

The software applications that have been used include:

· Microsoft Word – word processing software for typing in, editing and saving all the scripts and documents.

· Microsoft Power Point – for helping the students with the presentation of their project.

· Microsoft Publisher 2002 for building the web pages.

· Pix Around for created 90 degrees and 360 degrees photographs.

· FTP software - to transfer our pages to the file server

· Mail software - to communicate with different people.

· A Web browser (Internet Explorer) - to browse through Internet resources.

It is very difficult to say which tools were most important since all the above were extensively used throughout the project. However one must surely not forget the valuable information and pictures we got from libraries (especially the school library), history books, history leaflets and booklets, tourist brochures from the NTOM (National Tourism Organisation of Malta) local tourist and history magazines, and postcards.

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

We got help by various individuals through emails and told our relatives about this Project. We also represented our school when we went on the educational outings to the Roman remains and told the guides and officials on site about our project.

We are also going to write an article about our CyberFair Project in the local Sunday newspaper (which is very popular with the local population in Malta), in our school annual magazine and in our school newsletter (both of which are read by all the school community).

Some archaeological sites mentioned in the project are not well known among the local community. So by mentioning these sites in our project/website, we will be making these “unpopular” Roman remains better known with our local population.

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

Through this project we learnt more about the Romans in Malta and the remains (e.g. The Roman Townhouse & catacombs) we have of this interesting period in Maltese History. Apart from information about the Romans in general, we also learnt things, which will surely help us throughout our lives; like respecting deadlines and researching the topics we were assigned. We are also glad that our website will make a positive difference in the people who will read and view our web pages since they will learn a lot about the impact of the Romans on Malta and the Mediterranean. Our parents and relatives are also very proud of our participation in this international competition and were positively amazed at the high level of our project.

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

We are very grateful to our teachers who gave up their break-time to supervise and help us during our project work. We are also grateful to the parents and relatives who provided us with magazines and books about the Romans. We also enjoyed the group-work as we all worked well in this excellent team-work.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The theme of the Cyber Fair competition is Inspire and Unite. Our project, entitled the “Romans in Malta”, ties in perfectly with this theme. The Romans can be said to have been the power of the Ancient world that has inspired varies aspects of life, be it political, legal, economical and social up to the present day. The Romans were also the ones that managed to unite the whole Mediterranean under their rule in ancient times and so manage to transform it into a “Roman Lake”. The idea of a united Mediterranean under one power has inspired many European leaders throughout history among whom Napoleon. This dream can be said to have materialized through the creation of the European Union, of which our country has formed part since 2004. The European Union has brought political, religious (Europe is predominantly Christian) and economic unity to the twenty-five European Nations in which 450 million Europeans live. Modern legal systems have also been inspired by the Ancient Roman Law. It was thanks to the Romans that our country, often isolated throughout its prehistory, came to be united to the culture and politics of the then known world.

Through this project we learnt how to work using computers. Moreover we learnt how to use Microsoft Publisher to create a website ourselves! Creating hyperlinks was quite easy and fun in fact!! We were also surprised at how much information one can find on the Internet regarding the Roman Empire and the Roman Republic. All the information we learnt will surely help us in future History lessons and exams. Through this project we also succeeded to meet up with our friends and teachers in the weekend outside school hours and visit the Roman Townhouse full of Roman remains and the Catacombs. Later we also had fun by going for a snack together. We were impressed and surprised at how easy, fun and educational it is to create a website given that there is team-work and dedication.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4412)

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