Three UK schools have each won #10,000 in Microsoft's Road Ahead competition.
The schools were judged on the merits of the web sites they created using free Microsoft software. The competition for the web gurus of tomorrow was run as part of the Schools Election Online scheme, a nationwide project run by BT and Microsoft to help schoolchildren participate in the recent general election. There were three categories for entries: primary, secondary and special needs. All prize money came from the profits of Bill Gates' book, The Road Ahead.
Ellon Academy in Aberdeen (www.rsc.co.uk/ellonac/) staged a mock election using its web site. Judges were particularly impressed by the section in which pupils made clay models of the leaders of each of the parties, which were then photographed and placed in the site's Holographic Hall of Horror. The prize money will go towards an IT and video conferencing centre.
St Michael's School (www. metafour.com/smsa/) also impressed with its artwork. This time, pupils made drawings of the election candidates and put them on its site. With its prize money, the school is planning to convert a derelict house on its grounds into a science and technology centre.
Meldreth Manor school's site (www. rmplc.co.uk/eduweb/ sites/meldreth/index.html) was designed specifically for disabled pupils, who find it difficult to scroll down the page, by incorporating arrows into the page. The topics on the site are illustrated with sequential symbols that make it easier for pupils to find their way around with either a mouse or switch mechanism.
With the prize money, the school will increase the number of PCs it has and an ISDN line.
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