Florida's portal for kids is international finalist

Florida's portal for kids is international finalist

Miami-Dade County's Web site for children, kids.miamidade.gov, is one of 19 finalists in the e-government category of the 2002 Stockholm Challenge. The international prize, sponsored by the city of Stockholm and the European Commission, is presented by the king of Sweden to IT projects that benefit people and communities.

A jury of 31 technology professionals from around the world judged 515 entries from 80 countries in six categories: culture, e-business, education, e-government, environment and health.

Visitors to the Miami-Dade Web site see an undersea world filled with whales, manatees, dolphins and crabs. A feature on the site activates a visitor's cursor so that it leaves a trail of animated bubbles. Sea School gives homework help and information about museums, history and the environment. The Fun House offers games and puzzles, and County Castle has links to government programs.

Despite the dancing crustaceans, the site does not compete with the Disney.coms of the Web, county manager Steve Shiver said. 'It focuses on very specific subject matter,' he said. 'Nowhere else can children find information about our government presented in a way that is entertaining.'

Final winners will be announced in Stockholm in October.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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