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 http://dese.mo.gov/standards/) 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.