CyberFair Project ID: 4852

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Students Against Methamphetamine
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: St. Paul Lutheran School
    Farmington, Missouri, United States

11 students, ages 14-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005, 2006

Classes and Teachers: Leanna Johnson, eighth grade class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community is the city of Farmington, Missouri, USA, which is southeast of St. Louis, MO. The state of Missouri is in the central United States, known as the Midwest. About a thousand students in our community were eligible to participate; our school has 180 students and we invited 3 additional schools in Farmington to participate.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project educates our community about the dangers of a highly-addictive drug, methamphetamine. Meth use is an epidemic in several states and Missouri is the leader in meth lab busts in the United States. Our county, St. Francois, is fourth in Missouri in meth production. One of the reasons meth is in an epidemic state is because it is relatively cheap to produce, uses common, easy to obtain ingredients, and the labs themselves can be mobile. Meth has a 90% addiction rate the first time of use.

Using a common educational phrase, Knowledge Is Power. The more students learn about meth, the greater their ability to recognize the negative impact it has on families and the well-being of our community. Meth’s deadly assault on one person will extend to that person’s family, their neighbors, and the law enforcement that helps them. Our class learned that we need to protect our community by staying informed and learning to recognize the signs of meth use. We asked ourselves: “What can we do to prevent methamphetamine use?” That became the emphasis of the website.

We learned devastating information about meth and its effects on our community from informational videos we watched, interviews we conducted and online resources we pursued. After we researched, we made PowerPoint slideshows. We created a poster contest to educate our peer group by first sharing our slideshows with them, producing a video to explain our contest, providing an incentive to compete, and then we placed our posters in a public business so that other age groups in our community would learn more about methamphetamine. Students that learned more about meth developed powerful opinions and expressed a strong desire to avoid it. Many were surprised to learn how dangerous and epidemic the drug is in our area. Finally, after having interviewed a legislative representative of our state, we learned the results that new laws have had on reducing the use of methamphetamine in our state and the good news of these laws. We also share a personal example of how knowledge of meth production can save lives. One person can make a difference.

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

We faced time problems, primarily as we neared the deadline, due to the weather. We had several ice storms throughout the winter and one just as we neared our deadline. Our school was not in session a few days in February and this caused some panic for the construction of the website and for the poster contest we sponsored. We had our information organized, but had only a little time to get it uploaded. We also used a new web design program that we were unfamiliar with and this caused some delay.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

METH KILLS! We know that it is a highly addictive drug that ruins families, our bodies, and the environment. We must be proactive by empowering ourselves with knowledge, thereby preparing for the future.

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

Our CyberFair entry meets several standards of the State of Missouri (Show Me Standards at in public education, as well as our Lutheran Synod standards in communication arts and social studies. The Show Me Standards for communication arts include: 1. speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, capitalization) 3. reading and evaluating nonfiction works and material (such as biographies, newspapers, technical manuals) 4. writing formally (such as reports, narratives, essays) and informally (such as outlines, notes) 5. comprehending and evaluating the content and artistic aspects of oral and visual presentations (such as story-telling, debates, lectures, multi-media productions) 6. participating in formal and informal presentations and discussions of issues and ideas.

Beyond these standards, we have met required curriculum coursework for computer technology that involves keyboarding, research and MLA formatting, word processing, web design, video production, and graphic design. This project especially promoted group collaboration and delegation of tasks. Teamwork is essential for project of this size.

Project Elements

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

We conducted three interviews and transcribed each using a word processor by connecting the video camcorder to a television and keyboarding word for word. We used Microsoft Office PowerPoint and Word for slideshows and word processing, Windows MovieMaker for video production, a digital camcorder, digital cameras, and CoffeeCup’s Visual Site Designer applications. We used the Internet for online sources, and email and cell phones for correspondence.

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

Working on this project strengthened relationships between our class and the younger classes in our school. We sponsored a “character contest” to develop a visual character to represent “S.A.M.” (Students Against Methamphetamine) and chose a student’s design from the 4th grade. Prior to the character contest, we educated the grades 4-7 at our school with our slideshows so they would understand why this project was so important for our community. Armed with a character for our poster contest, we could then design a flyer to distribute to area schools to tell them about the poster contest and ask them to participate in the competition by using the S.A.M. character. After making the flyer, we wrote a script and produced a video to introduce the poster contest to the schools as an additional measure. The informational slideshows, flyer, and video were burned to a CD and we took copies of the CD, printed flyers and tag board for posters to all the participating schools. We asked the school officials to distribute and view the information in their classrooms and to collect posters by the deadline date. In this way, all participants in the video were ambassadors to students they have never met. After the winning poster was chosen, we took all the posters that best met the requirements for the contest to the local McDonald’s and put them up on the windows. We hoped that if the public saw the posters in a popular family-dining establishment, they might be more aware of the problem. In this way we helped other students in our community to be representatives for “S.A.M.”

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

One outcome of this project has been the collaboration between our school and the other schools in our community. There are few occasions when we are able to come together in an effort to share information with the community. This project made that possible. Two local newspaper journalists were invited to our interview with Representative Tilley and they made positive comments of how our students conducted themselves during the interview with him and afterward with them. We publicized our contest in advance through the local newspapers and also when the contest winners were announced. Our class can now confidentially educate others about the methamphetamine problem in our area. We also received an email from a woman who had come across our published webpage (a resource page while we were building the main website) and thought our slideshows were a terrific source of information. She suggested we send our project URL to M.A.M. (Mothers Against Methamphetamine) and ask them to link our sites.

The very best outcome of this project, however, was an incident that occurred a few weeks after we had done our research and created the slideshows. One of our female team members was at a local gas station with her mother and happened to follow inside the station a male driver that was pumping gas beside her vehicle. She noticed he bought a common cold medicine that is used in meth production. Since we had been studying the ingredients of meth and the new meth laws, she knew that he had to sign a release for the purchase. As she returned to her vehicle, she noticed the male driver had a female passenger and a young child in his vehicle also. Immediately after he got into his car, the woman got out and went into the gas station. She returned with the same cold medicine as the driver. After they left, our student went inside the station and asked the attendant if she realized she had sold an ingredient for meth to two people that were traveling together. The attendant said “No,” and wrote down the license number of the car to report it to authorities. The student told us later, “All I could think about was that little girl in the back seat. What if they are making meth? I feel really bad for her.” Because this student had the knowledge to act, she possibly made an impact on the future of that young girl. We hope that this website offers help and information to people that need it and prevents others from using methamphetamine.

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

We interviewed three members of our community: Detective Tim Porter, with the Farmington police; Corporal Samuel Weekley, a public school resource officer (affiliated with D.A.R.E., an anti-drug program); and Missouri State Representative Steven Tilley. Questions were written prior to the interview and then asked by individual students on the days of the interviews. We videotaped and later transcribed them in class. Representative Tilley invited us to tour the Missouri State Capitol and we visited it in early March. He gave us a personal tour and we got to see the House Floor and learn how legislative sessions are conducted. We viewed artwork by one of our most famous Missouri artists, Thomas Hart Benton, and heard several interesting anecdotes about the creation of the mural in the House Lounge. We want to extend a heart-felt thank you to everyone we interviewed, the schools that participated, and to our local McDonald’s owner, Mike Gladbach, for allowing us to display the posters. Lianna Stover of Stover Data Systems was a tremendous source of positive advice while building our website.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

After we brainstormed a title for our website, we discovered it would make a great acronym (S.A.M.) Before we developed it any further, though, we thought we should make sure some other group wasn’t already using it. We did some Internet searching and found a group of students at a community college in North Carolina (USA) that was also Students Against Methamphetamine. We asked permission from them via email to use the acronym and they voted at their next meeting a unanimous “yes” to our request. We plan to share our published website with them and are very happy they let us use S.A.M. for this project!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4852)

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