CyberFair 2000 Project
Main School
Carpinteria, California, USA

Carpinteria Valley Leaders
Arts & Entertainment
Sports & Recreation
Community Services

About This Site
Who Made This Site?
Why an Avocado Tree?
Project Narrative Information Sources

Project Narrative

International Schools CyberFair 2000
Project Narrative

Carpinteria Valley Local Leaders

Information About Our Site

  1. Link to our CyberFair 2000 Entry
  2. Link to our School Home Page
  3. Date of Project: March 24, 2000
  4. School: Main School
    District: Carpinteria Unified School District
    City: Carpinteria, California, USA
  5. Teachers or Classes:
  1. How many students worked on this project? 335, the entire school
  2. Their ages were: 8-11 years old
  3. Project Contact Email:

Project Overview

1. We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:

Local Leaders

2. Description of "Our Community"

Main Elementary School is located in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara County, California, in the United States. Our school serves 335 third through fifth graders. Our school is less than half a mile from the ocean! Carpinteria is a small, ocean-side, rural community located about 80 miles North of Los Angeles in Santa Barbara County. The main industries are tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and service occupations. Research and development in high technology fields are also an important part of Carpinteria. We are known as having the World's Safest Beach! Avocado fruit trees cover the hillsides and sandy beaches stretch for miles. Our valley is home to approximately 15,000 residents. Our valley covers 11.6 square miles.

3. Summary of Our Project

Our project involved the students exploring just who are our "local leaders." The project began with brainstorming from a massive list, to focusing on 130+ leaders from all paths of leadership in our city. Many students volunteered their time outside of class to contact and interview local leaders that they would feature. The students participated in "hands on" and authentic learning by visiting leaders at their worksites, interviewing and photographing them. Many leaders volunteered their time by coming to our school to make themselves accessible to the students who would otherwise not have had the opportunity.

Our students shared information on the Internet with the local and global community. They created a friendship and appreciation for the many people that make up our community.

4. Our Internet Access

Our access is through the Santa Barbara County of Education Office. We our currently being upgraded from a fractional T1 line to a full T1 line which is on a wide area network. The change-over started on the day before the deadline March 24th and will be concluded well after the deadline for our project. Our project is served through the Linux web server of a parent, John Callender.

5. Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest problem we faced was coordinating the involvement of the Carpinteria community and organizing the sheer volume of information gathered. Although the students tried to include every perceived leader in the community, they soon realized that this was an impossible task. This was disappointing and frustrating to our students and community. For example, Fos Campbell, Executive Director of the Carpinteria Education Foundation, who contributed to the development of our school's computer lab, was not featured in the project. He expressed his desire to be added to the site when judging of the project is completed.

Another major challenge was trying to accommodate all the students in the computer lab with the necessary resources to create our web pages, scan pictures, and resize our images to load on the web page quickly enough to be easily read. In addition, the server in the lab froze numerous times and all newly done work was lost. Many students, having only one lab period available per week, had to wait for an entire week to come back into the lab and continue working. Although the students were able to get their interviews written, some students were unable to get them typed in time. We overcame this challenge as a handful of parent volunteers stepped forward to complete this task.

Another difficulty we faced was sharing one digital camera and scanner amongst all the students. The students would have liked more pictures of their leaders at their worksites. With so few resources and working within the time constraints of our interviewees we were unable to acquire as many photos as we had hoped.

Another overwhelming obstacle we faced was the time constraint for continual editing and revising that needed to take place on the leader pages. In addition to the changes on the leader pages, students needed to make additional changes to their pages as well. At that point, students needed to print the pages and make all the needed corrections by hand, so that they could be loaded up to the site.

Even though the leaders were great about faxing, phoning, and emailing the necessary changes for their pages, those changes still had to be incorporated into the site by our parent volunteers and two teachers, after which the process began again with more editing. We worked right up until the end.

6. Our Project Sound Bite

We are excited because we learned a lot about the people in our community. We are happy that the community is as excited as we are and we hope that other kids visit our website and can learn more about our special town.

Project Elements

1) How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?

At Main School, there is an emphasis in integrating the community and its history into our social studies curriculum following the guidelines of the California State Framework.

Our CyberFair project helped us incorporate the many skills students are learning at Main School - civic awareness, writing, history and technology. These are major elements of the 3-5 curriculum strands.

Main School's curriculum focuses on the writing process as a whole. Students learned how to craft meaningful and relevant interview questions and incorporate the information into their writing. Next, this information was organized, edited, reedited, and finally published. In order to accomplish this, the students used MS word, Notepad (for HTML pages), digital camera, Adobe Photoshop, email, scanners, tape recorders and the Internet.

The students were unanimous in their belief that the project worked only because it was a group effort. They enjoyed collaborating, and all agreed that they had fun "even though it was a lot of work." Our students are looking forward to using the CU-See Me technology as they share their final project with their friends and the community. They feel that this has been a wonderful contribution to the community, and even the world, because now people have another way to visit Carpinteria and learn about the people who live here!

2) What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your CyberFair project?

Our lab is equipped with 21 networked IBM Pentium compatible computers, a scanner, a digital camera, Zip drive, fractional T1 line for Internet access, two telephone lines, and a laser printer. We used our lab to work collectively with each class. Our parent volunteer John Callender, an expert in html web design, was instrumental in teaching the students how to use html. The students worked as a team designing the layout and content of the project. Debbie Hosseini, MIS Manager and parent volunteer, was instrumental in co-teaching with John so the students could learn all the necessary skills.

The computer teacher Julie Cole had the on-going task of teaching the hardware and software skills to the students. In addition to learning these skills the students had the incredible task of file management so that all files could remain in a central location and all students could access their files each week. The video projector was a huge help so everyone could see the project and demonstrations.

Students learned the "ins and outs" of these tools and then used them to build their project. The telephone, email and fax made getting information quick and accurate. Our digital camera was extremely valuable to the project. These pictures were easily transferred to the computer and students could import them into Adobe PhotoShop and edit them. The students relied on the network to transfer information from the scanner to their projects, which allowed for larger pictures to be transferred. The students held an original drawing contest of avocado trees for the homepage. The Internet access in the computer lab provided students email access for contacting their local leaders, and the ability to search for facts about avocados. Finally, students gathered the greatest amount of information from oral interviews with all leaders and residents throughout the community.

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

The students worked together to decide what categories to have for the web project. They then decided which category they would like to help create. Each team photographed and interviewed people for the information they needed. Many students were able to interview family members and close personal friends who they viewed as community leaders.

Part of the CyberFair team gave a demonstration to the Carpinteria Unified School District Board of Trustees at our school site. The students were able to share their web pages on a big screen with a video projector. The members of the board really enjoyed the project and were very supportive of the students. Parents and the community were able to read about the project in an article, written by a CyberFair participant, in the school newspaper which was distributed throughout the Main School community. The article included photos from the project's home page and a web address to visit the site. The CyberFair home page is linked to the Main School home page, so anyone visiting our home page can also see our CyberFair project. We have received lots of positive feedback from the local community supporting our project.

We have been invited to showcase our project at the Carpinteria Unified School District's Cyber Kids Cyber Show in May. Our local news station, KEYT News 3, will televise interviews of participating students in a feature story a week after the project is submitted. We have had numerous community leaders thank us for the opportunity to be included on Main School's web site. Students were both happy and proud that their web project was a wonderful showcase for the leaders of their community.

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

We have received a variety of positive feedback about our project. Students that have moved away visit our web site and email us to say "Hi" and keep in contact. Each classroom has epals that circle the globe. Our epals have written that they enjoyed meeting and getting to know the wonderful people in Carpinteria. A response frequently made from our own community members is that they can't wait to share our site with their friends in and out of the city.

The project has brought a greater community awareness about our students and school. We have received several inquiries from businesses as to how they can further support our school. Von's Supermarket, for example, has established a financial partnership to increase the technological expertise of our staff to pass along to our students.

More importantly, the greatest impact has been at our school. As the students on the project have shared their pride in their work with other classmates, interest for joining next year's project has been overwhelming. We are a small town with a lot of pride already and this project will bridge the gap between the pride of the students and that of the adults. Ownership in one's community is the first step in preserving that community and the values that result in productive lives. It is never too early to begin formulating that ownership. The adults in our community are thrilled to see the students are taking a deeper interest in what they treasure as a very unique and wonderful hometown. Our site is still fairly new, and we are looking forward to providing a continuing valuable resource to our local and global community.

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

The student team would like to send a big "Thank you" to John Callender and Debbie Hosseini for all the technical support they gave to us. They provided valuable web page design classes to all of us. They spent countless hours uploading our project and maintaining all the changes for us. They provided moral support, supervision, and encouragement to the team. Thank you John Callender and Debbie Hosseini!

We have all the community members, parents, and friends to thank for offering information and support for our project.

Thank you to Dr. Jimmy Campos, our principal, who proofread, typed, and gave us his undying support. Thank you, Dr. Campos!

Thank you to all the interviewees for their time, effort and support!

A special thank you to the last minute team! Angela White, Mary Foley, Julie Soto, Leslie Gravitz, Jim Pigato, Annette Davis, Dr. Jimmy Campos, Debbie Hosseini, Lori Pearce, John Callender, and Valerie Campos!

Thanks to the typing team volunteers - Helen Alvarez, Rosemarie Topham, Sally Van Der Kar, Terri Roy, Suzy Dobreski and Lori Pearce!

Thank you to the template team and their parents.

Thank you to Matt Murray, our technician, who has been there to solve our district server problems, which houses and maintains our project still. He has provided us with technical support and programs to complete our projects.

Thank you to Mrs. Cole, our technology teacher, for all her time, support and dedication in getting the project up and running and seeing it through to the end.

6) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises

* Optional Question 6: Were there interesting discoveries you made, lessons you learned, or surprises that occurred as a result of this project? If so, take the time to share these insights and observations with your audience.

The team had many surprises and discoveries. Students were surprised that the community members of their "little town" had so many interesting experiences to share, and how much they cared about Carpinteria. Suddenly, what was once "a sleepy little town" for many students came alive through the rich experiences of the people who live here. Parents were excited to see their children taking an interest in what they and their friends do for a living, and how they contribute to their community. Students were so excited that they continued to add community members to the site right up to the last day.

Many of the students' "discoveries" are of a life-long nature: some have developed an interest in web page design; several want to work at local businesses; all learned about hard work and its rewards as well as the fun of working hard at something you enjoy. New friends were made amongst the students and with the adults they interviewed. All students increased their technology, social and group skills. Most importantly, all students learned how they can become contributing members of their community and what they can look forward to in their adult life.