Valley Local Leaders
Information About Our Site
to our CyberFair 2000 Entry
to our School Home Page
of Project: March 24, 2000
Carpinteria Unified School District
City: Carpinteria, California, USA
many students worked on this project? 335, the entire school
ages were: 8-11 years old
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:
2. Description of "Our Community"
3. Summary of Our Project
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.
4. Our Internet Access
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.
5. Problems We Had To Overcome
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.
6. Our Project Sound Bite
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
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.
1) How did your activities and research for this International School
CyberFair project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?
School, there is an emphasis in integrating the community and its history into
our social studies curriculum following the guidelines of the California State
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.
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.
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
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
5) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers
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
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.
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.
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.