We live in Radauti, a small town (around 30, 000 inhabitants) in the county of Suceava, Bukovina, in Northern Romania. The ethnic composition is made of Romanians, Hungarians, Rroma, Germans and Jews. Our community is one of the oldest settlements in Moldavia, known since the 15th century. Radauti evolved due to its favorable location midway between the Carpathians and the tableland area (with traders from both regions establishing contact in the local market). The fairs at Radauti have been dated to the time of Stephen the Great. An important part of our community is the “Arcanul” festival, organized each summer, in which traditional folk dancers from countries like Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Georgia and others compete for the first prize, and march through the town centre, much to the delight of the locals.
The community in which we live in is one with friendly, welcoming people, that still respect the old customs and traditions, even being renown for these characteristics. The people here have always been hard workers, hearty and eager to help even a stranger. The landscape seems to be taken out of fairy-tales, with high mountains, imposing respect and admiration, and wide valleys in which we can see images of the perfect communion between man and nature, images heaven like, where everything is at it’s place, images of perfection. So, the community we chose, Bukovina, isn’t just a local one, it's part of a bigger ensemble of goodness.
Summary of our project:
The purpose of our research was to identify the youth’s knowledge concerning both traditional and imported customs celebrated in Romania. Also, we wished to find out the teenagers’ opinion on the importance and significance of the customs and in what measures are they celebrated by the locals.
We tried to analyze the conceptions that were revealed through the final results of our questionnaires. Our project was thought to be a tocsin for preventing the traditional Romanian customs from being forgotten.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our school's classrooms are not equipped with computers, and thus we couldn't access the internet in the classroom. However, our school has three informatics labs , where we had access to the internet and could conduct our research and build our project.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The greatest problem we had to overcome was the lack of cooperation from the church. Some of the priests we wanted to interview couldn’t find time and others failed to understand what we meant by our questions. At some points, the lack of proper equipment was a problem, but we solved it by borrowing what we needed from our colleagues (digital cameras, recorders). When we got involved in this project, we were aware of the fact that a great amount of work would involve computer and web designing skills, and since this is not included in our school curriculum, we thought we would have a hard time finding someone to help us with the site’s design. Fortunately, eleventh grader Laur helped Hrihor Adrian from our team to understand how web designing works. Unfortunately, after the first attempt of designing the web site, he had to redesign it because the design was utterly inappropriate.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
As soon as the students found out about our project they were really intrigued by it and wanted to see our work and give us some advice. In the end they were real happy with what we had done and suggested students from other schools to view our project.
6. How did your activities and research for this Cyberfair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
For this project, we improved our skills in almost every curricular and extra-curricular field, such as History, Geography, Web Design, English, Photography, Photo Manipulation, or Folk Traditions. We made sure that every member of the team had to work on a specific part of the project, according to his or her experience and knowledge about the subject. We developed skills in both Romanian text editing, as well as English translation, we perfected our abilities in conducting interviews and communicating with important people in our community and we also learnt a great deal about our ancestors and the old traditions of our people. As it is our school’s main goal to develop our personality and help us discover what it is that we like and are good at, as well as giving us the opportunity of researching almost any field we are interested in, this project fit perfectly in our school’s requirements. In the course of creating our web site, we realized that using the Internet would be a more useful way of learning, but, because we couldn’t have managed to complete our project without the use of traditional methods such as books and research, we consider that the ideal way is a mix between the two.
What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your Cyberfair project?
Because it’s a complex project, we needed solid information gathered throughout the Internet, from different web pages, but we also needed some statistics, procured from several books. We used 4 computers because each member of the teamdid his part on his own computer, using his own printer and scanner. To create the Web Page we needed the following programs: Adobe Dreamweaver, Fireworks , Photoshop ,PHP Designer 2007, Apache & Mysql Servers, Microsoft Office Suite (Word 2007, Power Point 2007, Excel 2007 ). Each part of equipment played a fundamental role, but the most important were the Internet and our PCs without which we couldn’t have succeeded.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Cyberfair project both on-line and in person.
As we considered our project to have a great importance for the local community, in terms of promoting a value that has never been fully appreciated, we felt it only came natural to us to inform the public of our intentions. We did this through newspapers, the school’s web page, an exhibition in the school hall and the questionnaires. We were very impressed by the reaction of our colleagues, as well as the support of people from our school. They seemed genuinely thankful and touched by our initiative, which , in turn, gave us the necessary strength to go on. As for our local community and local representatives, we were very happy to receive positive reviews and opinions about our project, leading us to believe that our idea was welcomed and appreciated.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
We are convinced that our project will truly make a difference in our community, in terms of reminding or informing both the young and the old about our traditions and customs, as well as promoting them on a national, and hopefully, international scale. The echoes of our initiative, will, hopefully, inspire students and other members of our town to take on innovative projects. In fact, our project already made a lot of difference, changing the way a school project is seen by the local authorities and proving to them that students must really be taken seriously. We were very pleased to see that after we started telling people about our project, more and more doors started opening towards us and we were able to conduct our research almost like real scientists.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
There was a variety of people who helped us to develop our web site. The collaborators to our project gave us new ideas and possible web links were we found new information for the site. We would especially like to thank Coajă Gabriela - computer science teacher - who coordinated us in completing this project, Loredana Cîrciu – English teacher, Dimitrie Roman and Anca Bujdei – arts teachers and Narcisa Botig – psychology teacher.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
A thing that had us by surprise during the project was the fact that we could so easily do team work overcoming any problems that occurred.