Oregon 4-H project brings Oregon, Australian students together

May 10, 2004

CORVALLIS - An Oregon 4-H project called "Corroboree" is helping Oregon elementary school students from Salem and Milwaukie reach around the world to share results of natural resource science projects with school children in Australia.

"Corroboree – 4-H Across the Seas" is a recently launched 4-H Youth Development educational website. It is a collaborative project bringing together elementary school children from different continents to exchange information via the Internet on science projects in water quality and wildlife habitat.

"The term 'corroboree' is an aboriginal word for a gathering or meeting of the people," said Virginia Bourdeau, Oregon State University Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Specialist, and project coordinator. "It is also the name of a tiny yellow and black frog native to Australia that we use as the symbol of the web site."

The web site (www.4hcorroboree.org) features an interactive database and discussion board in a secure area where students from participating schools can compare their research data and communicate about their natural resource science projects. The web site also includes an open access area offering viewers information about the Corroboree project, the 4-H Science Inquiry in Action Model, and sample natural resource science lessons for kids such as the Water Detective and the Rosa Raindrop Water Cycle Board Game.

The first schools to participate in the Corroboree 4-H project are Brush College Elementary School in Salem and Seth Lewelling Elementary in Milwaukie. Morwell Primary School in two different locations and Yinnar Primary - all in Morwell, Victoria – are the Australian partners, said Bourdeau.

"This is a unique and innovative project for our children to be able to have their data and interpretations valued by students from across the other side of the world," said Gay Higgins of Yinnar Primary.

Dave Price, a teacher at Brush College Elementary School, added that the project provides a wonderful opportunity for his students to get to know and work with children in other countries and promote international understanding.

Development of the 4-H Corroboree web site was funded jointly by the OSU Extension Service and a grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Initiative to Internationalize Extension, a three-year program aimed at helping states bring a global focus to Extension educational programs.

For more information about the Oregon 4-H Corroboree project contact Bourdeau through the "Contact Us" link posted on the Corroboree web site.

Author: Bob Rost