Exploring Internet-Based Collaborative Projects


Partners Around 
the World

Local Environments
Data Collection
Student Reports

Developed by the
Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)


Data Collection

Recreating a Square

Written Reports


Written Reports

Older students can write reports comparing and contrasting the environments found in different locations around the world.  Two such reports can be found below...


Madison Middle School #1, Phoenix, Arizona 

In Phoenix, AZ we do not have the dramatic seasonal changes that some of the rest of you enjoy. We went through the seasonal changes with you by imagining what it must be like! In our square we did notice some subtle seasonal changes since we plotted our square. The aquatic plants that were so beautiful are no longer in bloom, and the bulbs planted by our 8th grade students are popping up and growing. The class chose the pond area because they felt it was the most beautiful part of the school. Our pond area was built by the 8th graders at our school two years ago.

Our partner school was the Acorn Hill School in Asheville, NC. We were fascinated with the comparison of our squares.  Although a couple of thousand miles away, we found that both of our squares had spiders and beetles living in them. We both had soil and rocks as part of the landscape. In each of our squares we enjoyed moss, flowers and grass. We enjoyed hearing about Acorn Hill's acorns, fungus, lichen, big roots, Jack Pine, Rhododendron, berries, saplings and the fallen trees.  Our square was so different in our desert location. We have so much dry soil and rock. Our plants are not lush and green like those in North Carolina. 

After studying the NC square we decided that NC: had a cooler climate, had more precipitation, had different types of plants that grow there which would not survive here (such as the Rhododendron), enjoyed different animals such as bears, and that the landscape is very different to look at when you are outside. Many students decided North Carolina would be a great place to visit. Thank you for sharing a part of your world with us. We hope the remainder of your school year will be a very pleasant and a successful one.

Suntree Elementary School, Miami, Florida

This has been an interesting, fun, challenging project for us. Most of us had not completed anything this big before. We have studied lots of living and non-living things in science this year. We also studied different communities in social studies, so this made us see things from a different point of view. Using a "bird's eye view" was different for many of us. We re-constructed squares from several schools. We were amazed at how many different environments were on the project!

One group reconstructed a square from Orchard School in Cleveland, Ohio. They found the potato bugs interesting since we didn't observe any here. Another student found that a bush could be over 5'7" tall from the information given by Miller South School for the Visual & Performing Arts. He also learned about poke berry bushes from them. A student in our class moved here from Missouri, so he was able to tell us more about what they look like.

Crescent Park in Bethel, Maine had lightning bugs and we don't. They also have mica, quartz, and granite. It was interesting to look them up in books to see what they look like.

At Wolf meadow Elementary in Concord, North Carolina, they had chestnuts and sap from a tree, which we didn't. 

We learned that some places have clay for dirt like Harold Wilson Middle in Newark, NJ, and we just have sand.

We saw ants, but didn't see them gathering food like Bell Elementary in Tulsa, OK.

We learned that St. Barnabas School in Bronx, NY has roses along a concrete path. We have a flower "garden", but all of our plants have to be able to live in the hot sun. People who have roses here have to water them every day. 

Most of the schools we learned about had dirt instead of sand, and rocky soil. A few had clay.

We made our squares 25 meters by 25 meters square because of the size. We didn't have paper big enough to make 50 x 50. Now we all know what a meter is, and we can remember what it means to draw something to scale. 

All the places we studied have a cooler (brrrrr) climate than us. 

We would like to go to ALL the places we learned about, and hope to some day!


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