1. Description of Our Community
West Side Elementary is Mauston, Wisconsin, USA. Our school has about 400 students grades k-4. Mauston is the county seat in Juneau County. Juneau County is located in south central Wisconsin. Much of the landscape in our area can be attributed to the Ice Age. During this time Wisconsin was covered with glaciers which grew to be over a mile thick. It left behind rivers, bluffs and lakes. The earliest known people to this are are the Winnebago Indians, now called the Ho-Chunk. Today Juneau County is a rural area marked with several small towns. Many people visit our area to take advantage of our abundant wildlife whether it be to hunt and fish or just observe. Farming, cheese production and a military base employ many of the people in our area.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project is about Juneau County and several of it's natural and man made attractions. We will share information on our bluffs, ancient writings, effigy mounds, cheese making, wildlife, Volk Field and farming.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%
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:4-6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
West Side Elementary is linked to the internet through a T1 line. Each classroom has a cluster of three computers which have all the internet as well as a 23 station computer lab.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Each student was assigned a certain topic for our project. Some of the students were overwhelmed by the amount of information they found while others had a hard time finding enough. We also felt that it was hard to keep all of our information organized. The deadline also made things a bit of a struggle, but in the end we were able to pull it all together.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our students enjoyed visiting and learning more about parts of our community that they would not otherwise have had the opportunity see.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Wisconsin State Standards require that students in fourth grade take a Wisconsin studies class. Choosing Juneau County as our topic gave students the chance to learn more about our local community which would not have been as thoroughly covered in the Wisconsin studies curriculum. Through this project students were exposed to new research techniques, new software and hardware, and also interaction with many different types of people. As a group we learned to work with and rely on one another. We also learned the benefit of having other people to share ideas with. We spoke with many people in our community about our project. They were very impressed with the idea of young students taking pride in the area we live in. It was even suggested that our official county page have a link on it to our site. Some of the places we covered in our site are summer attractions. Visiting them at this time of the year (winter) would not have been very helpful. However, with the internet we were able to experience these places through virtual reality. Much of the information on our site was found using internet.