CyberFair Project ID: 4741

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Dreams for a Fair Future: Insights from Bangladesh
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

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

47 students, ages 9-11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Ms. Dietz, Ms. Hill and Ms. Meisner

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The students that did this project go to the American International School of Dhaka, Bangladesh. In this school, there are approximately 664 students in PreK through 12th grade that come from about 21 different countries.

Bangladesh is a small country located 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 United 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 believe that Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. The religion in Bangladesh is primarily Islam (Muslim). Bangladesh is the 3rd largest Islamic country in the world.

The businesses in Bangladesh are very interesting to learn about. One of the most common businesses that are here are garment factories. A lot of people work at these factories. The Bangladeshi jobs here are pretty low paying. In garment factories there are different levels of work. The lowest level gets paid 1,500 TK in a month (that is about 25 USD). The highest level gets paid 8,000 (that is about 95 USD). –Charlotte, Tate and Andrew

2. Summary of Our Project

We are learning about Supply and Demand. Our big understanding is “The management of goods and services and the choices we make affect our local and global communities.”

Our essential questions are: 1. How does the availability of local resources determine what is produced? 2. How and for what do we depend on other people in different countries? 3. What rules and responsibilities do we have in the production distribution and consumption processes? 4. How do the technological resources impact systems of trade?

We learned about supply and demand, local businesses and how things are made and sold, and fair trade. We got to go to three places: Sally Ann , Grameen Check, and a local street vendor named Mr. Hossain. Sally Ann is a name for the Salvation Army, Grameen Check makes checked cloth, and Mr. Hossain sells fruits and vegetables (and even Dorito’s). We asked all of these businesses about their dreams for the future.

We got to make our own business proposals for businesses of the future. It was fun and sometimes hard. It took a lot of thinking.

We are also making a Website (this one!) so we can share what we learned with people around the world. We took some of the things we learned about and put them on Website pages with different topics. We hope that when people see and go onto our Website they are inspired and try to help out the world themselves.

One of our last activities was writing a poem about Sally Ann and it’s future. We got to sing it with Jim Valley! He is from Paul Revere and the Raiders and he has a bright blue electric guitar and wears cool tie-dyed socks.

Now we are writing our project narrative questions.

Our project supports this year’s theme, Empower and Unite, because we explored concepts such as ethics and fair trade, and we visited businesses and organizations that are empowering, inspiring, motivating and encouraging positive change in Bangladesh. We visited Sally Ann (the Salvation Army), a local produce vendor (who began his business 28 years ago with the help of Baptist missionaries) and Grameen Check (one of Professor Yunus’s accomplishments). We also learned about Professor Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel prize.

We are preparing for future by exploring the dreams of local businesses, identifying what our responsibilities are, imagining what we could do in the future.

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:4-6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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

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

Sometimes we do not have Internet access.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One of our biggest challenges was getting the field trips arranged. We were going to do the field trips in November-December 2006 but because of hartals. (A hartal is a general protest where nothing is allowed to go and lots of businesses shut down. It is imposed by political parties.) We ended up doing the field trips in February 2007.

We didn’t know why hartals happen so we interviewed people.

There were a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot of mosquitoes on our field trips, but that happens everywhere in Dhaka. We overcame it by just ignoring them.

The people were talking really fast so we couldn’t write down everything we needed. We shared our notes with each other and got almost everything.

It was challenging to understand what the people that we were interviewing were saying. We overcame it by translating with Arfan’s mom and other people that spoke Bangla and English.

When we were going the bus went to Grameen Check and we had to go to Sally Ann! We asked the driver to go to Sally Ann.

The bus was in the way when I was taking pictures of the veggie vendor and I kept bumping into it. I overcame it by trying to dodge it wherever I went.

The traffic was really busy so it took a long time to get everywhere. We overcame it by being patient.

We wanted to put our “Fair Future” song we wrote and sang with Jim Valley our Website but it wasn’t loud enough. We overcame our challenge by only including the words.

It was hard picking a title for our Website. We overcame it by having a lot of ideas and then we had votes with all of the classes and we got it.

It was hard trying to adjust to all the switching from one class to another. We overcame it by getting used to it, from doing it for 3 weeks.

Sometimes the Internet doesn’t work, so we are patient. Electricity goes out and we lose our work, so we try to save often.

One of our classmates is going to interview Dr. Yunus, but Dr.Yunus is not in Bangladesh now. We need to wait until he returns.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We’re all dreaming about a fair future! We want people to know they are very lucky if they have enough food to eat and that we need to do something SO THERE IS LESS DESPAIR!!!

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

Units at AIS/D are created using a “Backwards Design” process. First, we identified what we want learners to understand, know, and be able to do. This included selecting standards and benchmarks to assess and developing a big understanding and essential questions to guide students’ inquiry. Second, we determined acceptable evidence of their learning. This included developing a summative assessment (products for our CyberFair project) and rubric. Finally, we developed learning experiences and instruction that would prepare students for their assessment.

See the standards and benchmarks we taught and assessed, as well as other components of our Supply and Demand unit by viewing our unit plan at

Project Elements

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

We used pencils, pens, clipboards, and paper to write facts when we interviewed people. We used computers, AlphaSmarts, Microsoft Word, and laptops for typing facts. We used the scanner to scan the pictures and drawings. Our class used big boards on wheels and tacks so the other classes could add there work to it and check it. People like Mr. Hossain and Mr. Warkentin know a lot of facts so they gave us a lot of facts about their businesses.

We took special pictures with the camera. The white board we used to make a list so we knew what to do and we checked our tasks when we were finished. The LCD projector was used for typing what we can buy with 100tk and for making our Website.

We also used Adobe Photoshop for the writing of Bangladesh on the map, Email to talk to Mr.Warkenton to arrange the trips and have him check our Sally Ann facts, Dreamweaver for making the Website, iPhoto for editing our photos, the bus for going to the field trips (SallyAnn, Grameen Check, and Vegetable vendor), brains for thinking, and Safari and Explorer for researching. --Byung Chul, Maanal, Adit and Jason

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

We told people at the businesses that we visited about our project that what we are doing. We told our parents about our project and our teachers wrote letters. We also wrote about the project in our class newspapers. We wrote thank you’s to the people who helped us. We shared our “Dreams for a Fair Future” song at an assembly.

We will present our project at an assembly March 22 for students, and we will invite parents, people we interviewed and people who helped us. We are advertising our Website with posters at school and we will share it in the Shamachar (our school newspaper), telling students and parents at AISD they can see our project and go to to see what kids all around the world did.

We will E-mail our Website address to our families and friends, pen pals, the Salvation Army headquarters and other Salvation Armies, Professor Yunus, other people who helped us, and fair trade organizations and other organizations we listed on our 'Websites to Visit' page. Finally, we will link this Website to our school Website. – Charlotte, Tate, Andrew and Melissa

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

This project might make a difference to the people who visit our Website because then those people will try to make the world fair. We hope to teach them how to make responsible choices for a fair future so the word will go on and people will be healthy and happy.

We hope people around the world will see the good things businesses like Sally Ann and Grameen Check are doing, and that these places will grow so more underprivileged and handicapped people will learn skills. They will able to use their skills in the villages even if they leave places like Sally Ann and Grameen Check. –Byung Chul, Faraaz and Andrew

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

A lot of people helped us. Mr. Warkentin talked with us at Sally Ann, Ms. Ontora spoke at Grameen Check, and Mr. Hossain talked to us about his food stand.

Ms. Warkentin helped arrange our field trip to Sally Ann. Ms. Helal called Grameen Check so we could visit, and she confirmed some of our facts and taught us about hartals in Bangladesh. Ms. Rahman also helped us understand Hartals.

Our parents, cooks and bearers helped us with the 100 taka surveys.

Mrs. Ali, Mrs. Edward, Mrs. Bowen, Ms. Atiya, Mrs.Shayer, Mrs. Khan and Mrs. Ahmed went on our field trips with us and some helped us translate. Our classmates, including Afeed, also helped us translate.

Our classmates helped each other a lot. We had a lot of experts, like scanners, photographers and photo editors.

Ms. Abeda helped us put our Website on our server and she helped us make sound files. Mr. Ratliff also helped us with sound. Ms. Miracle helped us with computers, and Ms. Dietz helped us make the Website.

Our bus drivers Mr. Sheikh, Mr. Sikder, and Mr. Akbar helped us visit places. Ms. Magenheimer helped us with resources.

Our classmates, parents, Ms. Hill, Ms. Meisner, Ms. Bell, Ms. Dietz and Mr. Warkentin helped us edit our work.

Dr. Yunus will help us when he’s able to speak with our classmate.

Thank you to everyone who helped us!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

It’s fun putting stuff on the Internet because you know someone will see your work so it feels good. --Shurjo

CyberFair is like worldwide! It’s not like “who cares.” We have to work really hard. It was fun doing CyberFair. --Ezaz

I liked that we got to learn about companies and that we got to interview. Some of my questions were easy to answer and some were difficult. --Arfan

I learned that Sally Ann is a short form of Salvation Army. --Vib

I think CyberFair is really fun especially interviewing and getting information. --Asar

I learned Professor Yunus created Grameen Check and the other Grameen things. He created a special kind of yogurt that has all kinds of vitamins and calcium for kids in the villages. --Adit

I learned converting photos is quite okay because I like using computers. There were so many pictures I hoped there was an easier way. The good part was the shortcuts were quite easy to know. I learned a new one: apple, option, shift, s to save for the web. --Marcello

I had a surprise. I didn’t know Sally Ann’s things were handmade. –Andrew

Other kids might be interested knowing that Sally Ann handicraft stores were first made in Bangladesh and how smart of them to teach women a skill to have. They will still have a skill to use even if Sally Ann falls down. --Byung Chul

I got surprised when I saw that in Sally Ann’s one of the cashiers didn’t have some fingers on one hand but she could use the mouse and click buttons on the computer with that hand. --Faraaz

It was interesting that the handicrafts and furnitures and clothes are handmade at Sally Ann, because most of the shops use machines to make crafts. –Seung-Mo

I didn’t know Sally Ann waffles tasted so good! --Warsame


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4741)

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