CyberFair 2003 Winners


Contact: Yvonne Andres, Global SchoolNet, 760-635-0001


Educate and Unite: Kids Use the Internet
                   to Tell How Education Unites Communities

[SAN DIEGO - May 16, 2003] 260 schools worldwide representing 300,000 students from 45 countries participated in Global SchoolNet's International Schools CyberFair competition this year, including 135 schools from the Asia/Pacific region. Regional affiliate programs were run in New Jersey, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.

The theme for CyberFair 2003 was 'Educate and Unite!' and aligned with 'Friendship Through Education,' a White House initiative. Students used the Web to publish stories about how people or programs in their own local communities use education to help make the world better, friendlier or safer. The stories were inspirational and heartwarming, with five of the top projects originating from Taiwan, two from Hawaii, and one Australia.

“The creative energy of these global student story tellers is truly amazing,” said Yvonne Andres, co-founder and executive director of the Global SchoolNet Foundation. "They are talented content producers - who excel at communicating, collaborating and celebrating learning."

Taiwanese projects ranged from "trash to treasures," as students discussed the importance of recycling, while others described the beauty of Mountain Lera of Balon, the historical Tau Tung Academy, and the legacy of traditional Chinese writing. And, at another school, students learned compassion and wrote about St. Anne's, a nursing home for seriously retarded children. Students aged 6-10 in Warrandyte, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia used the web to illustrate how their local leaders use education to make their community a safe place. And, representing the USA, 350 elementary students from Honolulu researched the Hamakua Marsh to demonstrate how long-term protection of native wetlands is essential, while students from Enchanted Lake celebrated Hawaii's unique multicultural blend and spoke of how diversity can bring about peace and harmony.

Clearly, collaboration and activism were the most important lessons learned, however, as one student stated, "There's nothing we cannot do, if we work together." And, according to one parent, "CyberFair was by far the most meaningful social studies activity of my daughter's entire high school career."

International Schools CyberFair, now in its eighth year, is an award-winning, authentic learning program used by schools around the world. Students conduct research about their local communities and publish their findings on the World Wide Web. Recognition is given to schools for the best projects in each of eight categories: local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. Competition judging also takes place online. Students evaluate the projects of other schools by using a Web-based assessment tool designed by Global SchoolNet.

Top entries were reviewed by a panel of distinguished international judges from countries such as Israel, Australia, Germany, and the USA, and included People to People CEO, Mary Jean Eisenhower, granddaughter of former President Dwight Eisenhower. This White House-endorsed competition encourages students to become ambassadors for their own local communities by working collaboratively with community members and using technology tools to publish a Web site that displays what they have learned. The annual contest has involved more than 750,000 students from 2,800 schools in 90 countries and is the longest running international cyber event for schools. For more information about CyberFair visit www.globalschoolhouse.org/cf


Global SchoolNet is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit education organization, who partners with schools, universities, businesses and communities to co-develop free or low cost programs to help students become literate and responsible global citizens, and to prepare them for the workforce. Global SchoolNet combines smart teaching ideas with web publishing, video conferencing and other online tools that bridge geographic gaps, allowing young people around the world to learn together. Global SchoolNet is a growing international network of 70,000+ online educators, who engage in online project-based learning activities and has reached more than a million students from 25,000 schools across 100 countries.  For more information about the services and programs provided by Global SchoolNet, please visit www.globalschoolnet.org


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