CyberFair Project ID: 4522

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Businesses of Marathon, FL
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: Marathon High School
    Marathon, FL, U.S.

4 students, ages 15-17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2003, 2004

Classes and Teachers: Kathryn Loggie/Web Design

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Marathon has a small town community that, despite the influx of corporations, has never had a true “city” atmosphere. People here tend to be more laid back, not always concerned about getting higher in the corporate world, but instead relaxing where they are. It is a small town, its size limited by the fact that as an island, we only have so much room to build. Our economy, although modern, includes industries that date back many decades. It is a safe community, relatively low on crime, and people feel it is safer to live here than in a true city. Real estate is a major source of income and the price of housing is high, so mostly high-income people are moving to Marathon and people believe that our community is now changing because of this. Tourism is also one of the largest sources of income here and many people depend on the hospitality business. We consider our community to be busy and working-to-higher-class based, while retaining a laid back, small-town lifestyle.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our Cyber Fair project focused on the current and probable/possible/preferable/ and preventable futures of three different industries in Marathon; fishing, banking, and shopping. All three are businesses that have been here for at least several years and have affected our community. The more historic commercial fishing industry was covered by interviewing a local captain. Banks, essential to any community, were represented by the local Marine Bank. Publix covered the area of supermarkets, which are very important to both locals and tourists and therefore integral to our town. The project caused us to center mostly on the futures of these businesses, which are shaped by the country’s economy, weather patterns such as hurricanes, and the needs and wants of the people that live here. These factors will decide whether or not the certain businesses will be able to continue here.

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:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One of the main problems we had to overcome was securing interviews with the owners or representatives of the businesses we chose. At first, we had chosen slightly different businesses, but either lack of interest or inability to get the needed information made us choose others instead. Even then, we had a hard time getting the interviews. The team member working on the bank page, especially, had a hard time finding someone to interview about it. However, this was overcome by simply trying again and again to get and interview, until finally a time and date was settled upon. We also had a few technically difficulties concerning the building of the web site. Some elements either wouldn’t fit in, or when they did, looked awkward in the layout. These problems were mostly solved by leaving out the offending details, resizing them, (such as with pictures that were too big or too small), or replacing them with something more appropriate.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The businesses have become aware that high school students can be active members of the community and represent future customers.

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

Working as a team is one of the curriculum requirements of the Web Design course. This project allowed the students to work with other students that they do not normally work with, as well as taught the students interviewing skills, communication skills, and a multitude of people skills.

Project Elements

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

By all means, our greatest source of information and help came from the computer and the Internet. Interviewing people became much easier after reading up on an overview of that person’s job or industry online, and also the Internet provided us with background and interesting facts we might not have learned in an interview with a single person. Other technologies we used included: telephones, digital cameras, scanners, oral interviews, and computer software such as Frontpage, (to create the website), and Microsoft Image Composer (to alter photographs and create page banners). Most of the tools were easily available, but we had to depend on the school for the software and the computer use, because our school’s computers were better equipped than our computers at home. The computer was also the most helpful because it not only allowed us to create the website and get information, but it made it much easier for us to do research in school.

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

The students were representatives of the school when they made contact with the local businesses. All students were required to write a follow-up 'thank you' to the people who assisted them at the businesses.

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

My team personally feels that our project will really not make a difference in our community. I don’t think people have learned anything new from our website. Everything we said was pretty obvious or you can go to business and ask and they’d tell you. Neither I nor any of my team has established any new working relationships with people in our community. I’m pretty sure the only people that have seen our website have been from people in class and we received positive feedback back from our classmate. I again don’t think that our website did not helped them because we stated obvious stuff.

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

Part of the grading requirements was to have an interview. We all had to ask different members of our community to contribute to our research. Most of the information we used in the project was from our interviewee. By asking other people in our community, they got a sense of what we do in school and were able to help us out. We as students also made a good impression on how they think of our class. They now know that we are very educated students and we are involved in a variety of projects at our school.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

During my research for this project I discovered that the majority of the lobster that are here when Lobster season starts are not offspring from the ones caught the past year but a new migration that comes from Brazil every year before lobster season starts. This means that thousands of lobster every year migrate to the Caribbean from the coast of Brazil witch is over a thousand miles long. The creating of this project did not lead to other awards or recognitions although it did cause my fellow classmates to have interest in the lobster industry and ask many questions.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4522)

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