Winter ON-LINE PRELIMINARY PROJECTS CALENDAR SUMMARY

January '97 - March '97

The following projects represent a selection of the curriculum based K-12 student projects that will be conducted during the Winter '97 cycle.


CRISIS

Curricular Focus: Social Studies
Grade Level: Grades 7 - 12
Moderator: Tim Goss
Project Duration: 8 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

CRISIS! brings student teams from different schools together to solve an international crisis. Each student team is given a country to represent and background material about the country's needs, resources, alliances and political world view. Each team also has a summary of the other teams' (countries') background information. Certain information will be made available only to the team representing that country.

The simulation begins with the announcement of an international crisis. Teams brought together via telecommunications to resolve the problem. Each team (country) has at its disposal certain resources that can both help and hinder the process to resolving the conflict. Teams are awarded points for implementing some resources and debited points for the use of others.

Technical difficulty: Advanced

Fish QUEST

Curricular Focus: Research relating to Religion
Grade Level: Grades 3 = 10
Moderator: Jenny Ritzel
Project Duration: Eight Weeks
Conference opens: January 6 - 24

This project is an easy way for students and teachers to involve themselves in telecommunications for a short period of time while learning to use reference books, research techniques and their own natural desire to compete! Fish QUEST is similar to the TV show Jeopardy and is also similar to the Iris Challenge. The focus of the questions will be religious in nature.

Technical Difficulty: Students will be asked to asnwer questions in four categories with different degrees of difficulty.

I Am

Curricular Focus: Language Arts - Poetry
Grade Level: All
Moderator: Joan Winsor
Project Duration: Offered Year Round
Conference opens: Join anytime during the year

"I AM" poems are written in a format designed to express each student's feelings about him or herself. Students create a word picture of who they are by finishing the sentences given in the "poem starter" which are arranged in (non-rhyming) poetic form. Take a look at the samples posted in Item 2 of the conference. Students of all ages can have a successful experience at writing a poem, while getting to know each other as a new school year begins. To join I AM, type "join I_AM" (without quotes) at any main prompt. Be sure to use an "underscore" between the "I" and the "Am."

Technical Difficulty: Intermediate

Iris Challenge

Curriculum Focus: Research Skills Grade Level: Two divisions (5-8 and 9-12)
Moderator: George Willcox
Project Duration: 5 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

Iris Challenge is similar to the TV show Jeopardy. Students will be asked to answer questions in four categories with different degrees of difficulty. Iris Challenge allows students to work in small teams (maximum of four). Teachers who have a lone student eager to see the wonders of telecommunications can get instant involvement with a minimum of preparation. During the first four weeks students download the categories on Monday, upload team choices on Monday, down-load the questions on Tuesday and upload the answers on Friday. The fifth week is Double Challenge where all questions are work double value.

Technical difficulty: Entry level

Kiosk - Classified Ads For Student Projects

Curricular Focus: Any
Grade Level: All
Moderator: Iris Staff
Project Duration: To be arranged by participants
Conference Opens: Join anytime during the year; Join Now!

In our offerings here on Iris, we attempt to provide a well-rounded "curriculum" of student projects, but we realize that many teachers have creative ideas that they'd like to use this medium for, or that our existing time schedules may not meet their needs. To address this need, this conference is being offered so that people with similar needs can hopefully find each other more easily. Do you have an idea for a student project that you'd like to find another class(es) to join you in? Or, are you interested in additional options for your students to participate in online activities? If so, check out the KIOSK!

Technical Difficulty: Varies

Cross Cultural Newsletter

Curricular Focus: English and Social Studies
Grade Level: 5-10
Moderator: Iris Staff
Project Duration: 8 weeks
Conference opens: January 6 - 24

Classrooms create an online newsletter using a variety of set topics such as recipes and/or food common to your area, seasonal traditions, clothing, sports, recreational activities, school activities, learning strategies, and technology. Results of a survey on a topic of interest will be reported. Articles can be written individually or cooperatively.

Technical Difficulty: Intermediate (Participating teachers should have learned in advance how to combine separate files created by their own (or their students') work processing software into a single text file which can be transmitted by their own terminal software in order to upload writing from all students in a single response or mail message online.)

Plant It

Curricular Focus: Science, Writing Skills
Grade Level: K-8
Moderator: Bill Hay
Project Duration: 8 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

What does it take to have a green thumb? Young gardeners search for the optimum combination of light, food, water, and "special (sometimes secret) touches" to make their plants thrive. Shared growth data with other classrooms provides math opportunities for taking measurements and constructing, keeping, and interpreting graphs. Working in teams, students enter their observations and strategies into their logs. To add to the challenge and fun of the project, there are plaques awarded for the tallest plant, heaviest vegetable, and most thoroughly maintained observation log. A packet with seeds, graphs, and tips is mailed to each registered classroom. (Registration by Oct. 1 is required to allow time for mailing of seeds.

Technical Difficulty: Entry level

Postcard Geography

Curricular Focus: Language Arts and Geography
Grade Level: 2 - 12
Moderator: Steve Simon
Project Duration: All Year
Conference opens: Join anytime during the year; Join Now!

Reach out and touch, teachers! Join classes from all over the U. S. A. (and the world) in extending a global 'hello'! By signing up and committing to sending a postcard from each one you receive, you are entering into an exciting and informative exchange with the global community! Put big maps up on the wall... mark all the wonderful places form whence you receive cards! Make a display or scrapbook of your cards for the students/parents/ other classes/administrators to enjoy! Great possibilities exist for creative expansions, too!

This is a wonderfully easy, student managed project that yields amazingly great results. Try it...but be prepared to deal with hundreds of cards and the constant question, "Did we get cards today?"!

Technical Difficulty: Entry level

Make Your Mark - The Fingerprint Conference

Curricular Focus: Science
Grade Level: grades 5 - 10
Moderator: Bill Hay
Project Duration: 7 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

Students are actively involved in building and analyzing a large database. In the classroom students observe each other's fingerprints and classify them according to the predominant shape of arch (a), whorl (w) or loop (l). From this data, a student formula is made based on the 5 fingers of the left hand. An example of the formula would be alwwl or lwaww. The data is uploaded to Iris to be part of a large database. Students then analyze the database by predicting how common each formula is and search the database to see if other variables, such as age or hair color, are correlated to fingerprints.

Technical Difficulty: Entry level

Shape Up - The Fitness conference

Curricular Focus: Physical Education, health and fitness
Grade Level: Grades 5-10
Moderator: Bill Hay
Project Duration: 8 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

What is the fitness level of your students? In this conference, students measure their fitness using a standard fitness scale and post the results online. The students then devise a plan to increase their fitness. At the end of the project, the students measure their increase and discuss the success of their plan. This conference is designed to motivate students to increase their fitness level by making a commitment to themselves and others.

Technical Difficulty: Entry level

Make Your Fortune

Curricular Focus: Social Studies, Math
Grade level: Grades 5-10
Moderator: Tim Goss
Project Duration: 8 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

Make Your Fortune is a simulation in which students, work in teams of 2-4, will be given a "virtual" $1000 to invest in the BESTNet Stock Market. Each week stock prices will fluctuate and students may sell or buy stock. As you might expect, the team with the most money at the end of the simulation will be declared the winner. Make Your Fortune reinforces students' knowledge of current events reinforces basic math skills.

During the first week, teams will determine how to invest their $1000. They will send their investment choices to Tim Goss as email. Each Monday following the first week, four questions will be posted in the conference. These questions will be about current events and most questions can be answered by looking at the national section of your local newspaper or by watching the TV news. Teams will attempt to answer as many questions correctly as possible. Correct answers will result in teams receiving confidential "Insider Trading Tips" (not to be shared with other teams) to assist them in selling and buying stocks.

General tips and assistance will be posted each week for all teams to see. New stock prices will be posted Monday mornings. Teams may buy or sell stocks at any time, but the prices in effect at the time of sale or purchase will be used.

Technical Difficulty: Intermediate

Put_It_Back: The Carbon Dioxide Project

Curricular Focus: Science
Grade Level: Grades 5 - 10
Moderator: Bill Hay
Project Duration: 7 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

In this project, students complete an activity which increases awareness of their contribution to the build-up of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. Each student compares 2 factors. The amount of CO2 produced by the family car is compared with the CO2 absorbed by the trees and grass surrounding his/her home. The results are posted online and students take part in analysis and discussion of the results.

Technical Difficulty: Entry level activity

Treasure Hunt

Curricular Focus: Language Arts, Geography and Social Studies
Grade Level: Grades 2-4 and 5-8
Moderator: Bill Hay
Project Duration: 7 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

Do you like solving a mystery? Teams of students hunt for clues in a on-line scenario describing a famous person or event. Each week, a passage and questions are presented on Monday and the students have until Friday to research the clues and answer the questions. During the 5 week contest, the students have to search for the overall theme that is common to all the scenarios. The student answers are evaluated each week and at the end of the activity the winner receives the "treasure" (first place certificate and ribbon via US mail).

Treasure Hunt is an excellent beginning activity for teachers and students new to telecomputing. They emphasis is on problem solving and history. Treasure Hunt often involves over 50 teams from throughout the U. S.

Technical Difficulty: Entry level

Whither Weather?

Curricular Focus: Geography, Science (weather), Math (graphing)
Grade Level: Elementary & Middle School
Moderator: Steve Simon
Project Duration: 8 weeks
Registration: January 6 - 24

The purpose of this geography/weather unit is to collect real data from student scientists to determine the relationship between weather and geographic areas. Student may form hypotheses about weather regions regarding how the weather will be different in each region. This unit will give your students the opportunities to make these kinds of predictions and test them.

The unit's geography strand will focus on the locations of the participating schools and their communities. Clusters of classroom will study their communities and upload a letter describing their community to others in the conference. These will be used to compare the communities.

The weather strand will start with an experiment designed to teach students how to use a thermometer and collect data. Your students will then focus on weather by collecting daily data on morning and afternoon temperatures, sky condition, wind speed, humidity, precipitation, and air pressure and uploading it for 3 weeks. The final part of the unit will be analyzing, comparing and graphing the weather data collected from all participating schools.

Technical difficulty: Entry level

For additional information about Iris student project send email to: Bill Hay (bhay@iris.org), Iris Director for Student Projects.

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