1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
The information tools that we used include Internet, libraries, three PC computers, 2 digital cameras, scanner, Microsoft FrontPage website builder, Microsoft Image Composer photograph editor. Other software we utilized were Neighborhood Mapmaker and Timeliner, both from Tom Snyder Productions. We learned how to access and use photographs from the Library of Congress. We also took two field trips to gather information we needed. One field trip was to Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home at Lincoln City, Indiana. Another field trip was to Springfield, Illinois in order to visit the Abraham Lincoln Museum there. Those two trips were probably the most valuable in our researching Abraham Lincoln's life because they gave us so much more insight into his growing up years and how they influenced the great man that he became. We felt like we took a step back in time at both places. We felt as if we knew him so much better after those trips. The Internet resources were wonderful also because we found that the Lincoln Bicentennial site, among many others, kept up-to-date lists of resources that they recommended for people to learn all they could about Lincoln's life. We found several people who allowed us permission to use their photographs and artwork to help enhance our site. (see our Bibliography 'Resources' section of our site) We did also interview a local lawyer, John Hargis, who told us many interesting facts about Lincoln that helped us create our comprehensive timeline of Lincoln's growing up years. Many books and videos on Abraham Lincoln's life were helpful in our research as well. (again, view our Bibliography - Resources section of our project).
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
In researching our project we were ambassadors when we visited Lincoln's boyhood home in Lincoln City, Indiana and asked the park rangers there questions about Abraham Lincoln's life. We told what we were doing and they were very helpful in giving us information and resources to use. We also were ambassadors when we visited our local libraries and museums to find out what we could about Abraham Lincoln's time in Southern Indiana. We were ambassadors when we used e-mail to ask for permission to use photos and other resources (see our bibliography/resources section of our website). We also contacted a local lawyer, John Hargis, who had researched Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer and told us many facts that helped us put together a comprehensive timeline. Upon completing our project we were ambassadors in many ways. Probably the biggest way is when we published our site and shared it with our school and school board. We also have presented it at the International Student Media Festival which was held in Louisville, Kentucky in October, 2009. We are happy to have our website listed in Global SchoolNet's Cyberfair because we know it also will give our website a worldwide audience!
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
We know that our project has had a positive impact already in that it has been featured in our local newspaper, The Perry County News, and has received many accolades from our fellow students, families, and our school system. During our research we entered our class and school as a Lincoln Legacy School (through the Lincoln Bicentennial website) and were able to be part of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission National Teach-In. That gave us the opportunity to be a part of a live online webcast of noted Lincoln scholars discussing Lincoln's life. That was so wonderful! We entered our project in the International Student Media Fair and it won Best in Festival for website grades 4-6. This was an honor for our school and community. We have heard from several people who viewed it who have told us how much they learned and enjoyed our site. Our teacher, Mrs. Goble, has been contacted by several people who viewed our site and gave positive feedback. We are sure that entering our project in Global SchoolNet's Cyberfair will give our project an even better chance to be shared with people around the world. We are proud of our work to teach people of Abraham Lincoln's growing up years and how they helped to form one of our country's greatest presidents.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We had many volunteers who helped us in our research. These include the many park rangers at the Lincoln Boyhood Memorial in Lincoln City, Indiana. They not only helped us understand the relevance of Abraham Lincoln's growing up years in Indiana, but they gave us access to books and even Lincoln's Trunk, a traveling exhibit that we were able to take to our school and share with our fellow students. We interviewed several other people including a local attorney who has done much research on Lincoln's life, John Hargis. He even came to our school to do a presentation on Lincoln's birthday! Others who helped out include our late friend Michael Rutherford, Perry County Historian and author of the book Perry County, Indiana - Then and Now. His research gave us what we needed to tell where Abraham Lincoln's family crossed from Kentucky into Indiana, and so much more. Using the Internet we were able to e-mail several photographers and ask permission to use their photographs on our website. These photographers are Raymond Bial, Dave Berry, and R. J. Norton. We thank all of these people and everyone else who helped us in any way. A special thank you goes to our parents! Their encouragement went a long way in helping us to accomplish our goals and get our project finished.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
There were so many lessons learned, and in fact we are still learning them! We learned that history is important in that it can show us how we became what we are today. The lessons learned in the past can help us know the paths to take in the future. One specific fact that we learned was that Abraham Lincoln's youth did not offer him much of a chance for formal education, but his will to learn and to never give up is what kept him going to become the self-taught scholar and great president that he became. We know that education is the key to success and we feel that by sharing our project with others it will help others to know this also. Another idea we have learned from this project is that what we are to be in our lives we are now becoming. In other words, our future is what we make it, and we have the ability to become whatever we wish to be, if we have the ambition and the drive and the fortitude to 'go for it'. We hope that everyone who visits our website project will feel the same way. Everyone can have their own 'greatness', in their own way, and it is up to each one of us to strive to be the best we can be.