Robert was born on February 14, 1994 in Rochester, New York.
He is 13 years old and is in the Seventh Grade at Dake Junior High School.
Robby enjoys playing baseball, basketball and football.
Robby is one of two children with an older sister named Andrea who is a former ThinkQuest winner.
He also has a dog named Petey. |
Robert has no relatives on record as having fought on either side in the Civil War.
Sheila was born on July 17, 1995 in Rochester, New York.
She is 12 years old and is in the Sixth Grade at St. Margaret Mary School.
She has been taking dance lessons for eight years and has won many awards.
Sheila has two brothers, two sisters and a dog. Her older sister, Colleen is a former ThinkQuest winner.
Sheila also enjoys Instant Messaging her friends online. |
Sheila has at least six relatives that fought for the North and two that fought for the South.
Cameron was born on April 6, 1995 in Rochester, New York.
He is also 12 years old and is in the Sixth Grade at St. Margaret Mary School.
Cameron enjoys playing sports and pinball in his spare time.
Cameron has a younger brother and sister who are twins.
His favorite subject in school is Computer Technology. |
Cameron has no relatives on record as having fought on either side in the Civil War.
Hannah was born on December 28, 1994 in Rochester, New York.
She is 12 years old and is in the Sixth Grade at St. Margaret Mary School.
Hannah has been playing soccer for seven years. Her favorite position is Goalie.
She has a younger brother.
Hannah also enjoys skiing at Bristol Mountain. |
Hannah has no relatives on record as having fought on either side in the Civil War.
Taylor was born on August 16, 1995 in Rochester, New York.
She is 11 years old and is in the Sixth Grade at St. Margaret Mary School.
Taylor loves participating in gymnastics and instant messaging her friends.
She has an older sister and a younger sister.
Taylor also has a cat named Lucky, a bunny named Moe, a turtle named Bubba, a fish and a hermit crab. |
Taylor has no relatives on record as having fought on either side in the Civil War.
Chester J. Engert Jr. was born on August 15, 1979 in Rochester, New York. He is the foster son of Mr. H.
He attended School #23, School #12 and Monroe Middle School in Rochester and graduated from Bradford Area High School in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
Chet is the Installed Sales Coordinator for Lowe's Home Improvement in Warren, PA.
He is married with four children.
As an avid Civil War buff and former reenactor, he agreed to help act as an advisor on this project. |
There are at least ten Engerts that fought for the North and one that fought for the South.
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 popular children's books: Marvin and Ted, Marvin! Marvin! Marvin!, Hurray For Marvin! and Super-Marvin.
He is now the Computer Teacher and Educational Technology Coordinator at St. Margaret Mary School where he is known as Mr. H. |
There was at least one Hartmetz that fought for the North during the Civil War. Mr. H.'s great-great grandfather, Emory Burton also fought in the 49th New York.
A word from Mr. H. - Team Coach: |
After having entered the ThinkQuest competition three times before and receiving honors each time, some of the students began to mention that we should enter the competition again. I managed to clear some time in my schedule this year to act as coach one last time.
I decided to ask Sheila, Cameron, Hannah and Taylor from Sixth Grade who were really bright students and did well on their web site design projects the previous year. I had watched this group progress in HTML programming since second grade and was excited to give them a chance to enter this competition. I also picked Robert, who had graduated from Sixth Grade the year before.
After we finished assembling the team, we all had a discussion about which of the topics to pick. Initally, we began work on a project about animals. After about two weeks of research, we decided to change topics. We had been working on a Civil War project for Social Studies and became interested in the idea of preserving our nation's historic battlefields. After we worked out what they would be working on, and what the team name would be, we started discussing what the site would look like, and then the real work began...
As the Civil War is such a huge topic, one of our first challenges was deciding which sub-topics we would be covering in the limited amount of time we had to work with. The team all had ideas about the amount of information that could be included on the website, but were brought them back to reality when they remembered that after they did the research, they had to type it all in.
We then compiled a list of sub-topics, such as preservation, reenacting, famous leaders, weapons, etc. and divided them between the students. It took a bit of negotiating for everyone to get something that they were happy with. Then came the problem of picking which of the nearly 11,000 battles were the most famous or which of the 2,408 generals were most worthy of being mentioned. It took a lot of research just to decide which ones to include.
Hannah wanted to cover the Northern and Southern Leaders along with Civil War Music. Sheila wanted to cover Famous Women and Horses. Taylor covered Mascots and Famous Units. Cameron decided to cover the Famous Battles and Facts, while Robert decided he wanted to cover Weapons and Flags. Everyone did their fair share on this project.
Finding time to fit all this in was another problem. With everyone’s busy schedules, we finally settled on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch recess and once a week after school. There were also Saturday sessions and meetings over the school breaks. We also had thirty-one enjoyable team field trips and activities on weekends.
During the research part of the project, individual strengths started to stand out. Hannah was extremely fast at research, while Cameron was a perfectionist and searched endlessly for the last detail. Robert had some issues finding sites on Civil War weapons that were informational and not reproductions for sale. Chet came in during the second half of the project as an advisor. Having been a Civil War reenactor, he provided expertise in the area of ranks, insignias and pay.
After the research was over, it became apparent that the team members that were faster at research were not the fastest typists. Sheila finished typing in her information in just a few days and began helping Hannah type in her pages. Robert’s strengths were in HTML design and he helped create templates to use for each of the pages. Typing in the information takes as long as the research as our team does not use any website design programs such as Microsoft Front Page. Each student programs in HTML using WordPad.
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 This is the first class to have gone through the program from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade.
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 on several Saturdays for almost three dozen activities and field trips to totally immerse the group in this subject. They even held a fund-raiser and collected 52 dollars for the Civil War Preservation Trust. I was amazed at the level of dedication. How many students would actually volunteer to come to school on a vacation?
When we began researching the topic of the American Civil War, we had certain preconceived ideas about the whole thing. Having a decidedly northern perspective on the conflict, we all believed that there was a simple black and white reason for it. We all thought, as many do, that this was a war to end slavery and that the Union was the good guy and the Confederates were not.
As the team sorted through massive amounts of information, it became clear that the war was about much more than that. In actuality, slavery played very little part in any of it. Lincoln was not attempting to free the slaves when the war began and in fact was not even against slavery.
There are always two sides to every issue. In order to be of maximum educational value and not just a faucet for propaganda, we felt that it was necessary to delve a little deeper into the causes or the Civil War and the end results. Our site attempts to cover the multiple viewpoints involved: northern, southern and even the slaves.
Did the South have the right to secede from the North? Did Lincoln have the right to mobilize the troops to preserve the Union? Are there still hard feelings after nearly 150 years? The answers may surprise the casual historian viewing this site and the answers may have global relevance. It was certainly a learning experience for our team and has changed the way we perceive that set of events.
We also believed that the majority of the country's Civil War battlefields were preserved. How wrong we were.
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 March. Long hours and hard work 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 all over the world to find information about the history of the American Civil War, reenacting and battlefield preservation. We have also provided interactive puzzles, games and quizzes in order to facilitate student involvement.
CONTACT US - email@example.com