Project 1: Project Newfoundland Seal Info.

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Everett Pitts - Principal and Science Teacher
(epitts@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

Ed Reid - Grade 6 Classroom Teacher
(ereid@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

James Starkes
(jstarkes@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca)

School: Indian River Elementary
P.O. Box 459
Springdale, NF
A0J 1T0
Tel: (709) 673-3715
Fax: (709) 673-4419
Grade Level: Elementary Grades 4 - 6
Number of Students: Potentially 30 students from the grade 6 class will initialize the project in access groups of 8 - 10 students. The project will extend to the grade 4 and 5 classes as the project develops.
Project Start and Finish Dates: February, 1998 - June, 1998. However, the project is expected to be evaluated, refined and updated by subsequent classes. As familiarity with the Internet grows within the student population, opportunities to extend linkages to related areas will undoubtedly present themselves.

  Project Overview

Students from the grade six class will create a data profile on the seal population frequenting the coastal waters of Newfoundland and Labrador. This data profile will include accurate statistics on population, information on the seal harvest and seal products, historical importance, fishery impact, and the protest controversy. This information will be added to the school's Home Page. when the data profile is completed, the goal will be to solicit interaction with schools both within Canada and Europe. The intent is to provide students with unbiased data on the Newfoundland seal population. Students will be encouraged to respond to specific questions or simply correspond with students at Indian River through e-mail connectivity.

As additional statistics become available, the data profile will be updated. Every effort will be made to establish controls on bias through accurate statistics. Links will be established with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, various sealers' associations, and protest groups such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Green Peace International.

Students will also be prepared to survey schools on student opinion of the seal harvest, both before and after the data profile has been made available.

  Curriculum Connections

The following curriculum areas will be addressed by this project: (Specific learner outcomes directly linked to the provincial curriculum are listed under each curriculum area. It is a goal of the school to enhance curriculum areas utilizing technology. The practical uses of technology must be shown students; teaching technology skills in isolation is not sufficient.)

Science:

This project will develop science skills in the following areas:

  • Initiating and Planning
  • Performing and Recording
  • Analyzing and Interpretation
  • Communication and Teamwork

In developing the data profile students will fulfill the following attitude learning outcomes related to scientific inquiry:

  1. Consider their own observations as well as those of others during investigations and before drawing conclusions.
  2. Appreciate the importance of accuracy and honesty.
  3. Demonstrate perseverance and a desire to understand.

Language Arts:

Language Arts skills will be reinforced in the following areas:

  1. Reading and Interpreting
  2. Online and Oral Communication
  3. Writing Reports and Information Sheets
  4. Accessing Information (both offline and online)

Mathematics:

Students will be expected to deal with a wealth of statistical information mostly in table or graphical format. The following outcomes should be realized:

  1. Students will collect data from a variety of sources
  2. Students will organize the data and provide appropriate pictorial representations (graphs)
  3. Students will interpret data represented in the various tables, charts and graphs.

Social Studies:

Social Studies skills will focus on developing an understanding that people in other provinces and countries may exhibit differences in opinion because of their social structure, political organization, education and religion, and values and ideology developed over time.

Technology Education:

Students will develop a number of technology skills related to:

  1. Home Page Development
  2. Internet Connectivity
  3. Information Access
  4. Statistic and Database Software
  5. Word Processing and Presentation Software

  Resource Connections

Currently, Indian River has only one computer with Internet connectivity. However, with the addition of 8 new computers with network capabilities, a STELLAR Schools Internet connection will greatly enhance the potential for groups of eight or more students to access information through the Internet, and in particular, information related to this project.

The schools through its teaching personnel, has established connections with a marine technologist studying seals. Further connections will be sought with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Northeast Sealers Cooperative, and protest groups. An Internet connection has been made with an elementary school in Wales (Indian River has a teacher originally from Wales), and the intent is to pursue this link through the project.

  Evaluation

Evaluation of the learning outcomes listed under each curriculum will be used to determine the level of achievement by students. Lead teachers will monitor the project and provide reports on a monthly basis to school administration and technology committee. Students working in teams will be expected to keep electronic portfolios and journals as the project continues. Students teams will be assigned project sub-topics to search and develop expertise.

The project will focus on the beneficial applications of Internet information access, and on the provision of accurate unbiased information. Its worldwide focus is in complete harmony with the school's designation as a Global School.

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