Press Release:

HP Connects Students from Around the World with Global Photo Essay

Participants from Eight Countries Unveil Photo Essay at American Museum of Natural History
NEW YORK, May 5, 2003

Created and presented by students from around the world, a global photo essay representing cultural connectedness was unveiled today at the American Museum of Natural History. The photo essay is the culmination of the HP Digital Cultural Exchange program, which focused on promoting cultural and environmental awareness among the world's youth.

Students involved in the program learned about each other's countries, customs and cultures by creating and exchanging photo essays using digital photography products provided by HP (NYSE:HPQ).

"At the beginning of the program, we expected that our photo essay would show how different we are from everyone else involved in the program," said student Eric Brown from Wells Junior High School in Wells, Maine. "Instead, when we looked at the other students' photo essays, we learned that while we come from different backgrounds and live in different places we have a lot of things in common."

The final photo essay depicts this discovery and conveys, from the students' perspective, the elements of life that bring people together.

Today, the photo essay is being shared for the first time during YouthCaN, an annual student-run conference and the world's largest youth environmental gathering. Held at the American Museum of Natural History, YouthCaN brings together students to share how they are using technology in local, national and global environmental projects.

The HP Digital Cultural Exchange program is one of the highlights of this year's conference. Twelve schools in eight countries -- Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, India, Lebanon, Senegal and the United States -- participated in the program.

Over the last three months, teachers guided students through a series of interactive lesson plans. Students were asked to answer questions visually either by taking digital photographs or scanning images. These exercises prompted reflection among the students about how their perceptions of other countries contrasted with realistic interpretations of their own lives as well as discussions about environmental issues and their hopes for the future. Through these exercises, students reported learning that they were more connected with other students around the world than they originally thought.

To answer the questions posed in each exercise, students captured images using their digital cameras or scanners and uploaded them to individual class photo albums on Students created a photo essay by adding a caption explaining what was taking place. Students from other countries and classrooms involved in the program were encouraged to log on and view the progress of each class's photo essay.

"We are pleased that these students have discovered the enjoyment that digital photography brings to learning," said Chris Morgan, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, HP Imaging and Printing Group. "The HP Digital Cultural Exchange has proven to be an important program, demonstrating how technology can allow students to gain a greater understanding of different cultures."

To help the participating classrooms share a snapshot of their world with each other, HP provided them with a suite of digital photography products, including an HP Pavilion desktop PC and 15-inch monitor, five HP Photosmart 720 digital cameras, one HP Photosmart 8881 camera dock, one HP Photosmart 7550 printer, one HP Scanjet 5500c scanner and HP photo paper and ink.

"Never have we needed to build an understanding of different cultures more than we do today," said Brenda Stoltz, 6th grade teacher from Menomonie Area Middle School in Menomonie, Wis. "The HP Digital Cultural Exchange project has given my students the opportunity to use digital photography in the classroom, which has helped open their eyes to the fact that they are not so different from students in other countries."

Upon completing the exercises, each of the 12 participating schools was invited to send one student representative, one teacher and one chaperone to New York to help assemble and present the final global photo essay. Students selected the best photos from their collective essays and printed and displayed the images in a photo exhibit.

HP partnered with iEARN, a nonprofit education organization made up of more than 4,000 schools in almost 100 countries, to recruit a dozen schools to participate in the program and assist with the development of its curriculum. The schools are:

  • Argentina -- CPEM No. 3, Zapala
  • Australia -- Bairnsdale Secondary College, Bairnsdale
  • Canada -- Agnes L. Mathers School, Sandspit, B.C.
  • Czech Republic -- Gymnasium Teplice, Teplice
  • India -- Balshikshan Mandir Medium School, Maharashtra
  • Lebanon -- Thanwiyat Bikfaya El Rasmyah Beit, Chebab
  • Senegal -- Martin Luther King School, Dakar Medina
  • United States -- Alderwood Middle School, Lynnwood, Wash.
  • United States -- Horace Mann Middle School, San Diego, Calif.
  • United States -- Menomonie Middle School, Menomonie, Wis.
  • United States -- Robert F. Wagner, Jr., Secondary School for Arts and Technology, Long Island City, N.Y.
  • United States -- Wells Junior High School, Wells, Maine

About HP

HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its acquisition of Compaq Computer Corporation on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at

About HP

HP Inc. creates technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere. Through our portfolio of printers, PCs, mobile devices, solutions, and services, we engineer experiences that amaze. More information about HP Inc. is available at