1. Description of Our Community
Our school community is primarily made up of military dependents and surrounding suburban families.Two schools participated in this project. There were two third-grade classes and one sixth-grade class from Mokapu Elementary which is located on the Marine Corps Base-Hawaii. Kainalu Elementary, which is located about a mile from the base, had one fifth-grade class participating in this project. The children have a broad range of experiences and abilities. The majority are new to the islands and are unfamiliar with our natural environment and a tropical island ecosystem. Our students’ ages range from age 8 to 11.
2. Summary of Our Project
Nu’upia Ponds Wildlife Management Area is located on Mokapu peninsula on the windward side of Oahu. It is a protected wetland and the primary nesting site for one of our endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. Our essential question is “What do we know about the Nu’upia Ponds?” We are exploring its history, bird life, plant life, animal and fish life, as well as the maintenance and monitoring of the sanctuary. Through this project we hope to build community awareness and a greater understanding of our community’s responsibility to maintain our unique natural resource.
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:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
We had difficulty researching our topic because there is limited information available about Nu’upia Ponds. The students were unfamiliar with storyboarding and with the concept of graphic representation of technical information. The younger students initially had difficulty with animation, but eventually were able to produce quality work. The large size of our student group created time management difficulties, especially when high-end technology skills were being introduced. We overcame these difficulties by dividing our topic into smaller units of study and by providing flexible computer lab time for the students.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our Nu’upia Ponds web site has impacted our students and community by raising their awareness of the fragile nature of our watershed ecosystem, and fostering a desire to take an active role in preservation.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our project addressed both national and state educational standards in Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, and Technology. Our students learned research and communication skills as well as web authoring, teamwork, and group and individual responsibility. Our groups practiced concept mapping, story boarding, peer tutoring, and oral interviewing. Because of this project, our students are now more aware of the native and alien species, and man’s impact on our natural environment. We have found that the participating teachers and students are the leaders and role models in the use of technology within the curriculum. This project has produced a great deal of interest, motivation, and pride in their International publication.