People Who Dare To Be Incredible
Category: 1. Local Leaders
School: Martel Elementary School
Lewiston, Maine, United States
20 students, ages 8-9 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on January 24, 2010.
They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1999,2000,2001,2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,
Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Darlene Letourneau
Our School's Web Site:
1. Description of Our Community
Lewiston is an urban community in the heart of central Maine. It is the second largest city with a population of approximately 36,830. The city covers an area of 35 square miles. Over the last century, Lewiston has undergone many changes, growing from a small community into a bustling industrial community. With the decline of the textile industry, beginning in the 1960's, Lewiston suffered a decline of prosperity. Today, Lewiston is once again growing. New businesses are renovating the large mills built during the peak of the industrial revolution, helping Lewiston regain a strong economy while maintaining its historical landmarks.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project focused on people past and present who have dared to make our community a better place for all its citizens. Part of our curriculum includes a unit on Lewiston’s History and this was how our project was launched. Students made a list of past citizens who had played an important part in our community’s development. This included the namesake of our school Dr. Louis Martel, news video of Dr. Bernard Lown, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, which sparked a discussion of present day individuals who have or are improving our community. It was decided that our webpage should be an electronic scrapbook featuring individuals who once called Lewiston home. Students generated lists individuals, composed interview questions, emailed senators, CEOs, and wrote letters to individuals with their interview questions. Senators called the school responding to student letters. CEOs from local companies volunteered to visit our classroom, state senators came, and even the mayor of our neighboring city came to our classroom. Honorable Mayor John Jenkins gave us the title of our website. Senator Rotundo, Mr. Peter Geiger, Mr. Shawn Gorman, Mayor Jenkins, Mr. Beaulieu, Mary Dempsey, Senator Snowe all people who were interviewed vocalized the same phrase. They all wanted to give back to the community, through public service, their time, name, and money. Whether they sponsored the Dempsey Challenge, or gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to community groups, they wanted to give the example that all citizens need to active members of their community. Students learned more than the history of their community. Answering Mr. Jenkins challenge students lead a school wide “Dare To Be Incredible” challenge and collected $200 + to be donated to the Dempsey Center in memory of deceased Martel Staff who have suffered with cancer. Students learned the importance of being active in better the community they call home.
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:more than 6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Currently, our school's Internet connection is provided via a LAN connection to a 56K Frad to the Maine State Library Network. All the classrooms in our school have Internet connections. A special thank you to Mr. Nate Jalbert for always coming to the rescue when computers crashed, video cameras would not work, and printers refused to print.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The most difficult problem we had to overcome was time. Time to schedule interviews, time and weather conditions for taking photographs, and time for students to use computers to search the Internet. Computers that crashed, printers that would not print, interviews that had to be rescheduled due to school cancellations during inclement weather, and video malfunctions. All our guess were video taped however the camcorder would either record only the image, or only the voice, as a result many of our video interviews were not included on our webpage. Students decided that the quality of video my result in point deductions. They also learned that in life, we sometimes take three steps forward and two backwards until we finally arrive at our goal.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Parent: “My child can’t stop talking about this project, I’ve never seen him so excited about any project.” Mayor John Jenkins: “ Dare to be Incredible, be involve in your classroom, your school, your boy’s or girl’s scout troop, give of yourself.” Mr. Shawn Gorman: “Always have a goal, when you accomplish one set another goal for yourself.” Students: “ A senator called be me…”, “This was a lot of hard work. Can we have more guests come speak to us?”, “ I really became a better writer!” Mr. Peter Geiger: “This is amazing, you are all stars. I have been on interviewed on TV and with professional reporters and this class has been equally professional.”
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The State of Maine's Learning Results require that all third grade students develop historical knowledge of major events, people, and enduring themes in Maine, their local community (Lewiston), and throughout the world. The CyberFair project provided an interesting and motivating way to cover the existing curriculum requirements.
This project extended beyond the required Social Studies needs. It included developing communication and research skills, organizing ideas and photos with text; editing; writing; designing; and publishing skills. All of these are required curriculum outcomes under the Maine Learning Results. All of these skills were necessary for students to create their web page. In fact, it would be a very lengthy list if all curriculum skills incorporated in the CyberFair project were listed.
The most exciting aspect of this project was that students practiced and mastered so many skills while enjoying themselves. The idea of restating research in their own words was very difficult for these eight-and-nine-year-old students. For them, copying verbatim was writing their own work. They have learned a lot about report writing, as well as giving credit where it is due. The students have taken great pride in their work and are excited about seeing their work published on the Internet.
1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
A variety of tools and technologies were used during this project. Digital cameras, video camcorders, the telephone, traditional mail, email, PC computers, scanners, i-pods, a MacBook Pro and the web templates in it. Every student researched their individual on the Internet then typed his or her report independently of the teacher on their quick pad. Photoshop and i-photo was used to edit photos. The Ultimate Writing Creativity Center a word-processing program was used to accomplish this task. It took several weeks for all the work to be typed, revised, and edited, revise, and then transferred via a jump drive to the MacBookPro and into the web template. Parents rallied around this project being very enthusiastic and supportive throughout this project.
Students used cameras, video camcorder, and an i-pod to document interviews. They emailed state senators. They wrote letters to local individuals. Students used whatever technology they had available to them in order to complete their project.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Students behaved in a very 'grown-up' professional manner. They practiced questions to be asked during the interviews. Local businessmen were so impressed with students that they discussed praised students’ professionalism. CEO’s b took time to call and volunteer to do phone interviews with students. This was amazing. They wrote letters of praise to the principal and to the students. Community members were charmed by these students and by their enthusiasm to learn about the place they call home.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Students took to heart the messages given by all our speakers. Over and over they heard program directors, company CEOs, and politicians advocate “Giving back to the community”. Students began to challenge other students in the school to be incredible, with a Stepping Up To Be Incredible. They challenge all the class at school to collect sponsor donation and to walk 10,000steps a week. All money collected to be given to the Patrick Dempsey Cancer Center for Hope and Healing. They had the highest participation rate 87% in the entire school to collect money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake! Students learned to communicate with members of their community.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
This project was truly a cooperative venture between school-family-community. Thank You's to all: * Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles dug through family photo albums to find just the right photos for some of the sites. * Business people and company CEOs took time to be interviewed by students. * Mr. Beaulieu, Mr. Gorman, Mr. Jenkins, Senator Rotundo, Senator Craven, Senator Snowe, Senator Collins, and Mary Dempsey for taking time to be interviewed. * Ms. Gosselin who helped students revise and edit their work. * Mr. Patterson who helped students create a PowerPoint games..
The list of all the people who volunteered to help these students is extensive. Excitement and enthusiasm for the project was contagious, and people just came forward to lend a helping hand.. Our thanks also go to Mr. Jalbert, technology support , who came in without delay to install the software, revive crashed computers, coaxed printers to print, and who arranged for us post the final project on the school system's server. Without the cooperation of all of these people and the continuous support of parents and school staff, this would not have been possible.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
The children discovered many new facts about people who called once Lewiston home. From Nobel Peace Prize recipient to popular actor, individuals who called our community home at one time of their life still remember their roots and were giving of themselves their fame, their time, and even their money to make The children discovered many new facts about people who called once Lewiston home. From Nobel Peace Prize recipient to popular actor, individuals who called our community home at one time of their life still remember their roots and were giving of themselves their fame, their time, and even their money to make Lewiston a better place for all its citizens. Following this theme, students collected money for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Challenged the school community to walk 10,000 steps a week with all the money collected to be donated to the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in memory of all the Martel Staff who had succumbed to cancer. This project continues to grow in new directions developing students into life-long learners that are self-motivated! They set goals for self-improvement, community service, and meeting Mayor Jenkins’ challenge to “Dare To Be Incredible!”
View our CyberFair Project
(Project ID: 6015)