NC Info High and kids in Chapel Hill, NC

S. A. Modena samodena at
Wed Jul 7 01:46:07 EST 1993

I picked the following up from a local freenet newsgroup: I thought it
might be of interest to's long and not suitable for anyone
too busy to read through a loaded emailbox with patience.  :^)  I really
missed seening any mention of biology in there...I'm going to make a
point to contact Ms Pedersen and let her in on the treasure of Una
Smith's biological partition on, right there in Chapel
Hill.  :^)  If any of you can think of something on the network that
these childern should be aware of, you can use Ms Pedersen's email address
down there by the '<<<====='.


------Cut Here-------

Article: 210 of triangle.freenet
Path: taco!!concert!!oit-mail2news-gateway
>From: hallman at gibbs.oit.unc.EDU (Judy Hallman)
Newsgroups: triangle.freenet
Subject: Pedersen's letter to Gov. Hunt
Date: 6 Jul 1993 23:37:41 -0400
Organization: TriangleFreenetPeople
Lines: 95
Reply-To: <hallman at>

>From pedersen at Tue Jul  6 23:22:33 1993  <<<=======
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 93 19:54:10 -0400
From: Barbara Pedersen <pedersen at>
To: hallman at

June 27, 1993

The Honorable James Hunt
Governor of the State of North Carolina
116 West Jones Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603-8001

Dear Governor Hunt:

I have followed with great interest your proposals for an Information 
Highway for the State of North Carolina.  I teach science on a 6th and 7th 
grade team at Guy B. Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill, NC. Two years 
ago the North Carolina Supercomputing Center made a connection to the 
Internet and user training available to us  in a pilot project to see what 
could be done with such a connection at the middle school level.

At this point we never again want to live without it!  I am enclosing a 
summary of just some of the activities we have engaged in the past two 
years. It did take time to become comfortable with using e-mail and to find 
sources of activities appropriate for our kids.  While this type of use is not 
exactly what is spelled out as the objective for the Information Highway, it 
is another application, the effectiveness of which (in my opinion) should 
not be overlooked.

We began with a commercial package, the AT&T Learning Circle, and 
gradually became more proficient at making use of the non-commercial 
network activities offered through FrEd Mail, Academy One (the Cleveland 
Freenet), and Kidsphere.  

The benefits of these activities ranged widely.  Middle schoolers are very 
concerned about who they are and what their roles in the world will be. 
Being able to communicate "instantly" and discuss issues of immediate 
concern to them with children their age all over the United States and 
Europe  gave them a perspective not available through any means other 
than world travel.   We participated in the election last fall.  While Chapel 
on computers in the classroom and sent the tallies to the network election 
central to be counted with those from across the country.  You know how 
Chapel Hill votes; we were true to the colors!

We participated in a Space Shuttle Simulation project and had kids here at 
school online from 8 a.m. till 10 at night, who later said that was the most 
exciting experience they had all year.  The amount and depth of physics we 
were able to explore because of excitement of the Shuttle Simulation never 
could have been accomplished under ordinary circumstances.

I have been teaching for a little over 20 years, but these past two have 
been like starting all over again - this time with much more excitement!  I 
have colleagues and resources all over the country who and which can be 
accessed very quickly as needed, not to mention electronic bulletin boards 
when we want to know something fast and don't know who to ask.

Several times this spring our children gave presentations to different 
people and groups on their use of the Internet communications.  If you are 
interested, I would like to invite you or anyone designated from your office 
to come and see what some of the possibilities are for classroom use of a 
network connection.  In my opinion, this may be the easiest, cheapest, 
quickest, most reliable way to upgrade education across the board by 
simply making information  equally and instantly available to all.  Come 
and see for yourself!  

Several of the children indicated they would be happy to come back to 
school to make a presentation during the summer, or it could take place 
during the fall when school is once again in session.

We are very grateful to the North Carolina Supercomputing Center for their 
generosity, educational outreach, and vision in making network 
opportunities available to us. We share a deep conviction that this resource 
should be made available to all the students of North Carolina through the 
State Department of Public Instruction.

I look forward to your reply.


Barbara Pedersen
6th/7th Grade Science Teacher


>Subject: Pedersen's attachment to letter to Gov. Hunt
>From pedersen at Tue Jul  6 23:22:38 1993
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 93 19:54:28 -0400
From: Barbara Pedersen <pedersen at>
>To: hallman at

Telecommunications Activities on the Megabyte Team

Guy B. Phillips Middle School
June 3, 1993

AT&T Learning Circle - a commercial program linking nine U.S. schools 
and one Canadian school for nine weeks.  Each school exchanged descriptions 
of their school and posed questions to be researched by all other schools.  
The results were compiled at the end of the nine weeks.

*One specific event I enjoyed was writing the questions to the different
schoolsand receiving letters back.  We discussed religious, social, and
ethnic problemsin each of our nine states. - Lavetta B. 7th grade

*I enjoyed the AT&T Learning Circle.  I enjoyed learning about other kids.  We 
learned about their lives and thoughts.  I felt awed that we could talk to
people across the country, even across the world in a day and get back a
response.  -Colleen F.  7th grade

Ask questions of the "experts" - Math and science questions arising 
from classroom activities and discussions were posed to "experts" Bob 
Panoff and Tom Munk at the Supercomputing Center, NASA, and Tom Hocking 
at the Morehead Planetarium.

*I did like writing to Bob.  I thought that it is cool that we can write
to someone and he answers us back. -Carrie R. 6th grade

*I think telecommunications was very helpful in math when we
telecommunicated toBob Panoff because he could give answers to questions
that we didn't know. -Ben H. 7th grade

*Telecommunication has helped me see how modernized math and science are
getting.  It has been handy to have communication whenever we've needed
to ask questions throughout the year. -Wendy P. 7th grade

Post questions to electronic bulletin boards - Questions from 
science fair projects on electronic bulletin boards, viscosity, and surface 
tension experiments yielded helpful responses from as far away as western
North Carolina, California, and even Australia. 

*For my science project I got all the information I needed (over the
network) without any problem. -Steve C. 7th grade

Communicated and received homework assignments from a student 
on an extended visit to Australia  with his parents.

*Now that we have telecommunications at school I sent letters back
here to my friends when I was in Australia. -Lance M. 7th grade

Received plans for substitute teacher from faculty member snowed in 
in Pittsburgh during blizzard of '93.

Participated in space simulation activity - Each location decided what 
its role in the simulation would be.  There were orbiting space stations, 
shuttle launches, dockings, research facilities.  Schools communicated 
information to all participants at simulation locations, posed problems
to be solved, and exchanged greetings.  Students participated at our
school from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

*Most of all I liked PASA (Phillips Aeronautics and Space Administration).
It was fun and educational. -Lauren B. 7th grade

*My favorite activity we did with the telecommunications was how we
communicated with other schools in the space activity.  It was really
interesting in the way that we could kind of play a video game on the
network, but with more than one or two players.  We could also make up
problems and help other people with their made up problems.  I think this
is a great part in the teaching.  This made it more interesting for the
students.  -Lynda G. 7th grade

*I helped Mr. Wicker and I liked that.  I liked watching him work all
the time trying to figure everything out.  -Daniel C. 7th grade

*I liked PASA because we did different things that we normally wouldn't
do. -Court W. 7th grade

*The PASA program taught me a lot about space and telecommunicating. 
-Ian B. 7th grade

*PASA, I loved it!  I would love to do this (telecommunicating) next
year. - Morgan H. 7th grade

*PASA is one of the funnest things that ever happened in school for me.
Staying up late working on the computer telecommunicating is really a treat.
I work on telecommunication a lot at home, but PASA was better than
everything! -Chris A. 7th grade

Access up-to-the-hour weather data when taking sports teams to 
"away" games in Virginia.

Daily automatic collection of earthquake data from University of 
Washington Geophysics for use in science fair projects.

Information requested through bulletin board about development of 
nuclear industry in Soviet Union provided material for a video conference 

TeleOlympics - A track and field event activity.  We exchanged 
descriptions of our school and community with participants from the U.S. 
andEurope.  We participated in opening ceremonies and e-mail "graphics" 
(letter pictures on the screen), witnessed the lighting of the torch, and 
parade of "flags" from other nations which scrolled across the screen. We 
exchanged greetings and well wishes with other schools, held a field day, 
telecommunicated our results and waited to see if we made the Leader 
Board (the top 3 out of all contestants in that age group). We exchanged 
"goodbyes" at the end of the event.

*I think the TeleOlympics was fun. I got on th

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