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Internet sending W.Va. kids to governor's mansion

February 17, 1998|By AMY WALLAUER

by Ric Dugan / staff photographer

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Bob WiseInternet sending W.Va. kids to governor's mansion

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Fourth-grader Trevor Herbert wants to know how big Gov. Cecil Underwood's mansion is. Later this month, he and his classmates at Valley View Elementary School near Martinsburg may find out.

The fourth-grade class at Valley View won an Internet scavenger hunt in a competition with the other fourth-grade classes in Berkeley County. The winners get a three-day field trip to Charleston, W.Va., with a stop at the governor's mansion for cookies.

U.S. Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va., was at the school Tuesday to congratulate the students, and to do a bit of research for a meeting with other members of Congress.

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Later this month, he will meet with Richard Riley, secretary of the U.S. Board of Education, to discuss what works in public education and to hold up Berkeley County as a success story.

That meeting could result in future legislation affecting schools, he said.

"It was Berkeley County that made me aware of the need for upgrading - not just upgrading computers, but training teachers. Berkeley County is one of the leaders in the state," Wise said.

Wise also visited the Pikeside Technology Lab, the only lab in the state used for employee training. The facility is open to the community.

Valley View Elementary had 100 percent participation in the scavenger hunt, in which students had to find facts about water on several different sites. Each of the 25 students e-mailed at least one fact to Twila Carr, environmental health supervisor with the Berkeley County Health Department and coordinator of the scavenger hunt.

"They were all enthusiastic, especially this class," Carr said.

Students said it was fun and educational.

"I learned how to search on the Internet and I learned about water - not to leave it running and stuff like that," said Amanda Homan, 10.

Trevor, 9, said he got more computer experience and learned to type.

"I used to have to type like this," Trevor said, displaying the two-fingered, hunt-and-peck method. "But now I can type like they do at Bell Atlantic."

He said he was honored to be among the winners.

"It's only a once-in-a-lifetime chance and here we are, the kids at Valley View, and we get to go to Charleston," Trevor said.

Wise said Berkeley County's success with computers is an interesting example for Riley because it shows the accomplishments and the challenges in keeping pace with ever-changing technology.

"You can find individual schools which are good examples, but Berkeley County is trying to do it on a continual basis," Wise said.

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