1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
We used 30 imac computers in the computer lab, digital cameras, scanners, telephones, the library, books, newspaper articles, and the Internet, oral interviews and of course, the museum. These tools helped us research our topics and present them in quality ways. Most of our tools were available to us here at school. Our most valuable tool was the museum and the interviews. We learned from our previsits what to look for when we went to the museum. Being able to actually see and experience the museum helped us learn how to make connections to other areas in our lives.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
As ambassadors of our school, we represent our school values and principles both in the community and globally through our web site.
Students contacted people at the Peabody Essex Museum to get permission to do a web site about them and arranged for Dr. Duda (educational outreach) to meet with all the 2/3 students here at school. In each museum visit, the docents who worked with us commented on how well behaved the students were and what wonderful and thoughtful questions they asked.
As ambassadors within the school, the students have brought the lessons of the PEM to the school community. Data gathered from our survey enabled us to incorporate the views of other 2/3 students in our project.
Our student ambassadors are peer models of a keener appreciation and sensitivity to people with different points of view. This is exhibited on the playground, classroom and when working with the student council.
As global ambassadors, we have done our very best to share our perspectives, and to encourage people around the world to experience our beautiful Peabody Essex Museum and spark an interest to learn more about the people of Salem.
The children are very proud of their city and wanted to share its historical past as well as its bright future. We know that our work is just beginning as we work towards creating a more peaceful school, community and world.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
The Peabody Essex Museum needs continued funding and support to have multiple visits available for schools. Our project shows that multiple visits are productive and meaningful ways for young children to learn about abstract concepts such as 'the past'. Multiple visits help youngsters experience different cultures through the eyes of artists and collectors. Returning to the museum allows children time to develop deeper connections with the artifacts.
The PEM has done extensive marketing research and advertises in local newspapers and radio stations. A unique feature of our project is that Saltonstall students represent a child’s perspective of the museum’s venue. While visiting our web site, we believe that the community will gain an appreciation for this treasure.
Our student survey revealed that although the majority of students would recommend the museum and wanted to return, most students had only been to the museum once or twice during school field trips. Through our web site, parents will recognize that museums offer opportunities for families to learn together. We also prove in our survey that children think museums are fun! More people in the community will want to visit this FUN, FREE place and partake in its outreach and enrichment programs.
The greatest impact on our class has been that we’ve learned so much about ourselves. We discovered that we could do things that we didn’t think we could do, like draw beautiful pictures and write nonfiction pieces. We developed patience with our classmates and ourselves as we edited our work and coached each other.
We are the link between Salem’s history and it’s future. Our decisions and behaviors determine the attitudes of tomorrow. By sharing our experience of the Peabody Essex Museum, we hope others will join us in looking at the world with more peaceful and accepting eyes.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We are grateful to those who helped us! The most influential person during this project was Abigael Duda. She initially told us about the multiple visit concept and got us very excited about the museum. She helped us to change our perspective when looking at artifacts. We learned from her how to look at art from the artist’s perspective and the subject’s perspective. Then we learned how to make connections with our own lives. She also gave us inside information about how the architects had to think about the audience and how they planned to organize the building. After Dr. Duda, Melissa Kershaw from the museum helped organize our trips and answered questions we had about specific artifacts. Stephen Silbert is a friend and neighbor of one of our students. He is currently attending Salem State College to earn a degree in education and technology. He masterfully (and painstakingly) removed the date stamps on all of our digital photographs. He also helped load our site and get it up and running! Scott Moore is our computer teacher. He introduced us to Survey Monkey and helped us get our survey out. He has worked with Mr. Silbert to get the site up. He has also given us practical advice for making a web site. Jane Pace is our fabulous art teacher who taught us more about architecture of different time periods. She helped us do our drawings and taught us how to scan our artwork. Mrs. pace has also been very supportive and encouraging to all of us! We have had parents who helped chaperone field trips and Mrs. Crawford, our super assistant, who helped work with kids in small groups as well as pulling a student with medical needs to and from the museum in a wagon.... in the snow!!
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
This project brought our class together as a group as we stretched ourselves personally and discovered new strengths. Here are a few of the comments:
Julia- I’ve learned these things about me: I learned how to scan different pictures. I didn’t know I could draw so good! I was inspired by the Yin Yu Tang House. I learned about different museums. I learned a lot about my artifact and I learned that I LOVE the Peabody Essex Museum!
Jaime- I learned that I could be good at something even though you think you’re bad at it.
Adonis- I didn’t know that I could do all that work!
Ben- I’ve learned about different types of boats. I’ve learned that people see things differently. I’ve learned so much stuff.
Nathaniel- I learned that I have a way of looking at things, like right away knowing that the long necked penguin was a penguin (and it’s not because I studied about it). I see things my own way.
Shawn- Here’s what I learned- I thought I could not draw the Bonebreaker (silverware eagle) and I couldn’t write about it because I thought it would be too hard. When I finally did it, it was easier than I thought!
Shannon- I learned that if you look at something and you don’t take the time to REALLY look at it, you won’t learn anything new. You can look at things from the past and learn about your own history.
Aletha- I learned that there is so much more history to the Yin Yu Tang than it seems there is. I learned that I could appreciate things at the Peabody Essex Museum more when I learned about them. I learned about different cultures. I learned that I was a better writer than I thought.