Project 1: Search USA

General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Resource Connections

  General Information

Project Leader(s): Bill Butt, Department Head

John Oldford, Teacher and Computer Systems Operator

Leslie Butler, Learning Resources

School: G.C. Rowe Junior High School
St. John's Avenue
Corner Brook, NF
A2H 2E5
Internet Address:
Grade Level: Grade 7 (Approximately 150 students)
Project Start and Finish Dates January/98 - Febuary/98

  Project Overview

At our school, students in the seventh grade are learning about North America and its cultures. The intent of the STELLAR project is to enhance an existing resource-based unit on the United States, by integrating the use of the Internet as a another resource available to the students.

The resource-based unit is an ongoing project. The unit has been developing over the years by the inclusion of sources that are more varied, current and motivational. The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will enable the most up-to-date resource information to be immediately accessible to the student. The new resource will doubtedly prove interesting to the user.

Specifically, pairs of students focus on one of the states of the USA in order to select particular information pertinent to the objectives of the resource-based unit.

  Curriculum Connections

STELLAR Project 1: SEARCH USA is very closely integrated with the objectives of the Grade Seven Social Studies curriculum. The project also addresses the development of skills in the use of computer and communication technology via the Internet.

The student will:

  1. Develop (or further develop) a basic understanding of what is involved in an Internet search
  2. Learn how to access the Internet through our school facilities
  3. conduct a search for information related to an identified U.S. state
  4. Locate a Web Site of the identified U.S. state
  5. List some of the kinds of information available at the Web Site
  6. Select specific items of information by discriminating between relevant and irrelevant information
  7. Record the information in jot-note form
  8. Record the source of the information
  9. Follow the proper procedure for exiting the Internet connection

The STELLAR project addresses the provincial Intermediate Social Studies Outcomes in a number of areas. These include:

  • Determining the relative location of a U.S. state
  • Examining the physical characteristics of the state and how they influence human activity
  • Describing the range of natural resources provided by the environment of the state
  • Relating human activity to the natural resources in the state
  • Describing the political factors that influence the state
  • Examining how the local culture contributes to the larger culture of the United States
  • Examining the origins and history of the state
  • Assessing past contributions of selected individuals and groups to life in that particular state
  • Demonstrating that global interdependence and technological change affect cultural understanding

The STELLAR project also addresses the intended learning outcomes for Technological Education at the Intermediate level. Included in these outcomes are:

  • Developing a basic understanding of the nature of modern technology, notably the use of the Internet
  • Exploring new and emerging communication systems
  • Using communication tools to access, evaluate, and select appropriate information
  • Developing technological literacy related to using the Internet

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will enhance the resource-based project in Grade Seven by providing a resource which will assist the student in attaining the curriculum objectives. In addition, the student will be accessing information that is probably the most current available. The hands-on approach will be motivating and foster interest in students. Through the development of active learning strategies employing technology, the Internet connection will contribute to lifelong learning, thus enhancing the overall learning process.

Other resources being utilized in this project include electronic databases [PC Globe/PC USA] and an encyclopedia on CD-ROM. Atlases, almanacs, and print encyclopedias are also used as resources in the unit of study on the United States.


While participating in the project, the student will:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of how to conduct an Internet search through our school facilities
  • Conduct an information search about an identified U.S. state
  • Locate the Web Site/home page of the particular U.S. state
  • Select relevant information about the state
  • Record the information in jot-note form
  • Record the source of this information
  • Demonstrate the proper procedure for exiting the Internet connection
  • Include the Internet information in a report on the state

The general impact of the project on the school and the curriculum could probably be evaluated by various means. The attitudes and feelings of the participants can be observed as they go through the process of conducting the search. [A checklist could be constructed for this purpose.]

A post-search questionnaire can further assess their attitudes and feelings. Skill development in using the technology can also be observed. Finally, the knowledge and understandings can also be evaluated through the curriculum objectives.

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