CyberFair Project ID: 3543

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Eyes of the Future: Insights from the Children of Bangladesh
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: American International School/Dhaka
    Dhaka, --, Bangladesh

50 students, ages 9-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 20, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Gr 4, MS CyberFair Club, Gr 12; Ms. Dietz, Ms. Karim, Ms. Witte, Ms. Meisner, Ms. Cover, and Ms. Graham

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

We go to school at the American International School/Dhaka in Bangladesh. There are about 640 students in grades preK-12. We come from about 38 different countries.

Bangladesh is a new community for many of us. Bangladesh is a small country 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 Unites 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 think that Bangladesh is the one of the poorest countries in the world. The religion of Bangladesh is primarily Islam (Muslim). Bangladesh is the 3rd largest Muslim country in the world.

The children of Bangladesh have special challenges. There are over 2 million street kids in Bangladesh. About 900 kids die every day because of viral diseases. Education is also a challenge. The public schools in Bangladesh are very poor and not very effective. There are many children who cannot go to school at all.

The future of Bangladesh is in the hands of the children. If provided with the right food, housing, and education, they can help Bangladesh become more advanced in technology and help reduce the poverty in the country. If the dreams of the children we've interviewed come true, the outlook for Bangladesh is bright. Many of the organizations described on our Website are helping the children of this country have better lives. --6th Grade Students

2. Summary of Our Project

We learned about the children of Bangladesh. We wanted to find out how children of Bangladesh are preparing for the future. Our first challenge was to figure out how to meet kids. 4th Grade thought it was a good idea to visit the Shishu (Children’s) Hospital and also interview kids from the School of Hope. The 6th Graders decided to interview kids at the Families for Children Orphanage and the 12th Graders interviewed kids from the Noorollah School.

We were excited to have Dr. Khan visit us and tell us about the Shishu Hospital. Then we wrote questions that we wanted to ask the kids. We chose our favorite questions and sorted them into categories. We got our groups and practiced interviewing, translating, and taking notes.

We made and sold rice cookbooks and we also sold Friendship Grams to buy things for the hospital. We also donated some of our toys. We visited the Shishu Hospital for a tour and we gave them our toys. We interviewed the children and drew pictures with them.

Next we typed our interviews and wrote a draft of our reflection. The typers typed the answers in paragraphs. The scanners scanned drawings. Some kids made the photographs look better. We started to hang our work on the bulletin boards in the rotunda. We made a bulletin board for each Website page, and we labeled our pictures and wrote captions.

Then the students in other grades and the 4th grade interviewed kids from the other organizations. We organized our work and revised and edited. Finally, we made our Website!

We will be sharing our Website at an Assembly and we will be sending the Website address to a lot of people. We’ll also buy things for the organizations with the money we raised and visit them again. --Nadia, Mariko, and Marina, Grade 4

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:2-3

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 the electricity goes out and we lose our work, so we try to remember to save our work a lot. --Austin

The lift was broken so we couldn’t get the laptops to our classroom. We had to be patient and wait a few days. --Meshan

We couldn’t get the projector to work so Mr. Khan helped us. --Sayan

The batteries run out sometimes when we use the AlphaSmarts. We get new batteries from the business office. --Shazeen

My greatest challenges are getting the information for additional links because we go on the Internet then the Internet doesn’t work. I overcome my challenges by waiting until the Internet works. --Meshan

It was a big challenge making the Website. I asked my classmates or Mrs. Dietz to help me. --Mee Ae

Sometimes we couldn’t find the reflection or the interview or we forgot to save and some people’s work would disappear. So if that happened we would have to type the part we forgot to save again. --Class 4W

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We didn’t find information on the Internet, so we interviewed people. There were a lot of hartals, so we had to wait for our interviews. Another challenge was that some of the children we interviewed were nervous. We tried to make the kids feel comfortable by smiling and sitting down next to them, and we asked easier questions.

Another thing, we had to be careful about asking questions like if their mother or father died, we wouldn’t ask how did they die because it would make them sad or it would make them cry. And we didn’t think we should use kids’ last names on the Website, so we didn’t have them to include on our bibliography page. However, we think that was the right decision.

Finally, the voices on the Website didn’t match. The 12th graders used big words for the Noorollah School. We wrote easier words so kids can understand. --4th Grade Students

We got a little bit challenged by the language, Bangla, the orphans speak. But thanks to the translators it became easy for us to ask questions and write the answers for the questions.

The other challenge we faced was time. Our CyberFair Club met during club time on Thursdays, so we only had a half an hour each week to meet and plan and organize our information. The time it took to do the whole project depended on us and the orphans. While interviewing, some orphan interviews took 30 seconds to understand the question and some took 2 minutes. The most time a person needed to ask and write the answer was about 30 minutes.

It took us a long time to go through all the interviews and drawings and pick which ones to use for CyberFair. The day we finished gathering all the information, we met for almost 2 hours! --MS CyberFair Club Students

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The future of Bangladesh is in the hands of the children. “Eyes of the Future: Insights from the Children of Bangladesh” has helped us see the future through their eyes.

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

AIS/D embraces the values of everyone included, everyone challenged and everyone successful. All students are able to make meaningful contributions to the project in different ways, utilizing their strengths. Students are challenged by facing new situations and also by learning new skills and understandings. The students’ success is shown by their final product—their Website they can share with their local and global community. They are also successful raising awareness and funds for the organizations, making a difference for the children of Bangladesh.

Skills were taught in subject areas. In Language Arts, students used the writing process (prewrite, draft, student conference, revise, edit, teacher conference, publish) and writing skills (grammar, mechanics and usage, and spelling and vocabulary). We also used study and research skills (choosing sources, comparing information across sources, formulating questions, interviewing, making and using a timeline, and using a variety of resource materials).

Students learned skills in Technology such as using digital cameras and a scanner, searching, critiquing Websites, and designing Webpages.

In Social Studies students used reference skills (using the community as a resource and selecting and using appropriate resources) and map skills. They also used thinking skills (summarizing information and synthesizing information) and interpersonal skills (accepting and giving constructive feedback and developing respect for others). It is also part of our social studies curriculum to learn about our local culture. Students are educated to be international citizens by exploring their local culture and learning about other cultures during the peer reviews.

See a sample lesson plan identifying standards taught at

Our CyberFair project also provided opportunities for enrichment. For example, they learned techniques for photo editing through a Web conference. In addition, the project encouraged collaboration within the school.

Project Elements

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

We used interviews, translators, computers, laptops, digital cameras, Internet, Web conferencing, AlphaSmarts, audio recorders, pens and pencils, CyberFair notebooks, dictionaries, bulletin boards, projector, speaker telephone, microphone, and speakers for our Web conference. Each one was important in there own way.

We got the laptops from the school, and we got the Internet from the school’s computer and from our computers at our house if we have Internet at our house. We got the digital cameras from some of the shops and some of the teachers brought them and we got them from our parents or we had our own ones and we used them. The computers and the laptops were bought by our school. The Web conference to teach us digital story telling and photo editing was sponsored by Global SchoolNet. --Luke

We also used a lot of software on the computers. We used Microsoft Word, iPhoto, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Internet Explorer, Safari, AppleWorks, and FirstClass. --Frederik

The interviews were the most important because if we didn’t ask the questions then we couldn’t do anything and we couldn’t start are own Website to teach other kids about kids in Bangladesh. That’s why we took a fieldtrip to meet kids and ask questions to start our Website. We asked them about their life like happiness, sadness, plans for their future, and their hopes and dreams. We needed translators to help us talk to the kids at the Shishu Hospital. They were also very important. They were from school and our community. Students, teachers, and parents helped for translating Bangla and English. --HaYoung and Audrey

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

We introduced our selves and our project to the directors of the organizations we visited. We also wrote a lot of articles about our project in our class weekly news and the AIS/D Weekly News. We sent our Website’s address to our families and teachers and kids in other countries to share with them and ask for their suggestions.

We hung our work in the rotunda on bulletin boards so other people could see what we were doing. We made thank you cards for people who helped us and next we will be sending our Website to more people and organizations around the world, including Save the Children, UNICEF, and the Shishu Hospital. In March Ms. Dietz will share our Website at an international teachers’ conference in Turkey. In April we will be sharing our Website at an assembly for other grades and for our parents. --Grade 4 Students

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

There was a girl at the Shishu Hospital who shakes a lot. She shakes every couple of seconds. The doctors said there is something wrong with her mind. However, when I colored with her, she went a long time without shaking. The doctors and her mom were so surprised, because she had never gone that long without shaking. The doctors were so interested they want to know the information from her interview. And now they know she can go without shaking. I am so happy that she might be able to get better. I feel happy that we could help her and that we were useful. --Avita

Our 4th grade class will continue our connection with the Shishu Hospital. We will buy more things for the Shishu Hospital and we will visit the children again. Also, we might help them with advocacy efforts by helping them design brochures and funding the printing. The other grades will continue visiting their organizations, too. --4th Graders

We think people around the world need to know what happens to the kids in Bangladesh because people need to care about them so they can have better lives. We hope a lot of people see our Website. We will send the link to people all over the world. --Ishraq

People will learn new things about how kids in Bangladesh feel because there aren’t other places to find this information. We got our information by going on field trips and interviewing the kids. --Mee Ae

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

We collaborated with many people, like our classmates, teachers, parents, community members, and most importantly the kids of Bangladesh. We also asked kids in other countries for advice on our project.

Children We Interviewed

Families for Children: Akhi, Aleya, Any, Aunamika, Azufa, Hasina, Hassen, Jasmin, Kakoly, Mohammed, Mohammud, Monowara, Muran, Papia, Rifin, Shibli, Shima, Shohag and Smrity

Noorollah School: Almin, Banna, Dahlia, Mohammad, Rita, Rumi,

School of Hope: Jahid, Srabea, Sharmim, Shonhdon, Monir-ur-shing, Murun, Nimoo, Sumiakter, Yasmin

Shishu Hospital: Anamika, Fuad, Jibon, Kabir, Liza, Prangnorahim, Ridoy, Sajib, Salman, Shazeep, Sumaya, and Tuha

People Who Helped Us

Ms. Alden, Elementary Principal; Mr. Bayezid, Bearer; Mrs. Biswas, Families for Children Teacher; Ms. Chatterjee, Parent and Substitute Teacher; Ms. Cover, 6th Grade Social Studies and English Teacher; Ms. Delawara, Science Lab Teacher; Ms. Dietz, 4th Grade Teacher; Dr. Naila Khan, Director of the Child Development Center at the Shishu Hospital; Ms. Karim, 4th Grade Teacher; Ms. Leet, MS Counselor; Mr. Lewis, Digital Story Telling Presenter; Ms. Fisher, MS French Teacher; Mr. Galligan, P.E. Teacher; Ms. Gaskin, Registrar; Ms. Graham, AIS/D Art Teacher; Ms. Gresback, 2nd Grade Teacher; Mr. Haque, MS Math Teacher; Mr. Keulemans, P.E. Teacher; Mr. Khan, Technology Specialist; Ms. Masoud, Parent; Ms. Meisner, 5th Grade Teacher; Mr. Nixon, Computer Teacher; Ms. Orcutt, 5th Grade Teacher; Mr. Popinchalk, Superintendent; Mr. Roberts, Technology Coordinator; Professor Salim Sakvar, Director of the Dhaka Shishu Hospital; Mr. Sattar, Bearer Ms. Sattar, Parent; Mr. Sidhu, Parent; Ms. Streatfield, Parent; Ms. Sultana, Technology Specialist; Ms. Witte, 4th Grade Teacher

Visit our Bibliography Page at to find out how these people helped us.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

It surprised me that so many people helped us with our project. I learned that kids from Bangladesh doesn’t fell sad all the time they are happy while they are poor! --Frederik, Grade 4

I thought that all Bangladesh kids were sad. But when I saw them they were happy. And then I thought everyone would have a friend, but they did not. So I was sad. --Soo Yeon

I learned that the research is important. I thought that it would be like play and it would be easy, but it was not. --Shazeen

I learned that making a website is doing a lot of research. If you don’t have information, you can’t put it on the Internet. I learned a lot about computers, projectors, scanners and othe electronic stuff. I learned how to convert pictures too. Cyberfair is a lot of fun! --Marina

I learned that making a Website takes time and work. --Avita

I learned to make a Website and I learned how to scan pictures of CyberFair. I also learned how to interview kids in Bangladesh. And I learned how to write captions. --Meshan

I think that CyberFair is fun because you can also see other Websites that kids all over the world made. --Mary Joyce

Time, patience and hard work are worth a great project! --Avita

I was feeling proud of myself because I could speak Bangla, my second language. I felt scared when I saw all the needy children. It felt confusing which child needed their help. It must not be fair for them because some of them can die. --Mohammed

It surprised me that the Shishu Hospital was so clean organized. I thought it would have been a bit dirty because the lady said that it was a poor hospital and didn’t have much money, so I thought it would be dirty and unorganized, but it was very organized and clean. --Luke

I was surprised that the Shishu Hospital that we went to was the biggest children’s hospital in all of Bangladesh. --Mariko

It surprised me when I saw some pictures on the wall and one of them had its cheeks like ball and it was scary to look at. There was another picture that had his eye wider than the other one and I felt so sorry for them. There are some other things that surprised me. When I was walking through one of the rooms where the patients were I saw a baby so small and it made me feel lucky for myself and sad about the smallest baby I’ve seen. --Supriya

I was surprised that the Shishu hospital treats over 900 patients a day. Wow, I think that’s really amazing. --Jordan


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3543)

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