Maggie was born on August 14 in Rochester, New York. She is in the Sixth Grade at St. Margart Mary School. Maggie is very athletic. She enjoys playing soccer on an Irondequoit Travel Soccer Team and she also plays soccer and basketball for St. Margaret Mary Church. Maggie is one of four children with two older sisters and an older brother. She is an altar server for St. Rita’s Church. Maggie was in many plays at school including Annie where she was an orphan named July. In the summer she swims and goes camping.
Cole was born on January 6 in Rochester, New York. He is also in the Sixth Grade at St. Margaret Mary School. He enjoys skateboarding, basketball and building models. Cole also enjoys playing with his dog Chelsea. His favorite subject in school is Computer-Technology.
Louisa was born on February 6 in Rochester, New York. She is in the Sixth Grade at St. Margaret Mary School. Louisa enjoys acting. She shared the lead role in Annie with Colleen. Louisa takes a weekly sign language class and enjoys talking to her friends online. Louisa has a younger sister and spends time visiting relatives in France every year. She has two pets, a dog named Saddie, and a guinea pig named April. Louisa likes to learn new things each and every day and thinks her teachers at St. Margaret Mary School are very nice.
Colleen was born on October 4 in Rochester, New York. She is in the sixth grade at St. Margaret Mary School. Colleen likes playing soccer, acting and dancing. She shared the lead role in Annie with Louisa. She has four brothers and sisters and a dog and is an altar server for St. Margaret Mary church. Colleen likes playing with her friends and talking to them online. She also likes learning new stuff in school.
Richard Stephen Harmetz was born on February 9, 1965 in Rochester, New York. He attended Pardee School, Norwood Middle School, Eastridge High School, Monroe Community College, SUNY College at Brockport, and Nazareth College. Richard has degrees in Computer Science and Education and is the author of the four Marvin books. He is now the Computer Teacher and Educational Technology Coordinator at St. Margaret Mary School where he is know as Mr. H.
After having entered the ThinkQuest competition twice and receiving honors both times, a few of the students began to mention that we should enter the ThinkQuest competition again. I managed to clear some room in my schedule this year to act as coach again.
I decided to ask Maggie, who was a really bright student and did well on her web site design project the previous year. Maggie was excited about the idea of entering the contest, so I decided to go ahead and start recruiting the other members of the group from the Sixth Grade.
Cole was the second member to join. Next came Louisa and original team member, Tim. Unfortunately Tim moved and left the school before the contest started and we replaced him with Colleen. Each of the students had known each other since they were three years old, as they had attended Preschool together at St. Margaret Mary School.
After we finished assembling the team, we all had a discussion about which of the topics to pick. As this is the 35th anniversary of the first moon landing and also the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight, we decided to take a look at the history of space travel from the very beginning. After we worked out what they would be researching, we started discussing what it would look like, and then the real work began...
Maggie, Cole and Louisa had an equal share in doing the initial research for the information on the pages for the airplanes and space program. Colleen concentrated on researching the famous people. Then they began to branch off into their own areas. Maggie worked on the overall design of the page, the Gemini space missions and aviation from 1916 throught 1946. Cole worked on the Word Search and Hangman games, along with the Apollo space missions and his love, modern airplanes. Louisa worked on the birth of aviation and the Mercury space missions, while Colleen continued collecting information for biographies on the aviators and astronauts. Colleen also did a great deal of research on "the moon hoax". Each team member then had the daunting task of typing in their information. Our team does not use any website design programs such as Microsoft Front Page. Each student programs in HTML. Maggie's natural showmanship made her the perfect choice to play the role of quizshow host.
Another issue, was the fact that St. Margaret Mary School did not have a computer curriculum until a short while ago. In September of 2000, a new $50,000 computer lab was opened with state of the art equipment and an actual program in which students learned web page design and various other computer skills. I also began teaching here that September and was the first person in the school with an actual computer background. This had placed the students at an even greater disadvantage, as we had much more ground to cover.
One of the most difficult aspects of the project turned out to be deciding on a name for the team. Eventually we settled on The Aviators, and added an e-mail address to our school's account.
Time constraints would keep us from doing a number of interesting extras with the site, but the overall results were pleasing to everyone. We worked on the project two days a week during lunch and recess, spending every Tuesday after school for an hour. We even came in over February Recess and several Saturdays. I was amazed at the level of dedication. How many students would actually volunteer to come to school on a vacation?
Putting together a project of this proportion is not an easy task. It takes determination, teamwork and a great deal of patience in order to work with the individual pieces and then watch them begin to come together. And come together they did. After many long weeks, the project was finally assembled and tested in February. Long hours and hard work had paid off at last.
We believe that this site has a great deal of educational value and will be very useful to students. While looking for some of this information, we found that it was not easy to find it all in one place. We hope that we have been able to provide an easy to use site which will make it easier for students and teachers to find information about the history of space travel and aviation. We have also provided interactive puzzles, games and quizzes in order to facilitate student involvement.
The final project ended up consisting of almost 475 separate web pages, about 430 pictures, 20 sound files and 25 movies. It was quite an undertaking for everyone involved.