1. Description of Our Team
Team leader: Teddy C. (age 18) Team members: Michelle C. (age 18) Athena C. (age 17) Andrew H. (age 17) Coaches: Mr. Andrew Johnston Mr. Tom Bishop
On that fateful Saturday morning, Wego High School Senior Andrew was surfing the web when he found a link that said “Doors to Diplomacy International Competition”. Curious, he clicked on the link. After only fifteen minutes of looking at the content within, he excitedly called Ted, the local computer-whiz and a fellow student at Wego, and told him about the project. It turns out that Ted already knew about the competition and was looking for teammates. Together, the two of them called Athena and Michelle (both Wego students), and thus the Doors to Diplomacy team Ethereal Territory was formed.
Later, we asked our English teachers, Mr. Johnston and Mr. Bishop to be our coaches. We also sought the help of Wego student Addison L. who excelled in Chinese and history and who later became an “unofficial” team member.
As a team, we were attracted to the Doors to Diplomacy web design competition because it allowed us to enhance our knowledge of history and diplomacy, and also to reinforce our individual talents. Ted was, unquestionably, our leader and our expert on web making and computers. Athena, Michelle and Andrew worked on the English compositions and translations, using their language and analytical skills to create the content of the site. Addison, our history whiz, tackled and organized loads of historical information. Mr. Johnston and Mr. Bishop volunteered to take the most difficult job of coaching and supervising the five of us. To them we owe our thanks.
2. Summary of Our Project
Without the late president Chiang Ching-Kuo’s leadership, Taiwan’s economy might never have soared so miraculously out of recession as it did in the 70s. Nor would the blooming democracy the citizens of the island state enjoy now be possible. Needless to say, the Chiang administration (inherited from Chiang Kei-Shek) has greatly altered the course of Taiwanese history, and that is why we have decided to present the late president as our model of leadership. In our website, we aim to create a brief but vivid pictorial biography of the life of Chiang Ching-Kuo in the form of a diary, written as if the author was the late president himself. We have provided authentic pictures, intact with short descriptions of their historical background. Through this informal presentation of his childhood, his studies in Russia, his achievements in politics in both China and Taiwan, we analyze the many events in his life that may or may not have influenced his future policies. We also discuss the many leadership traits Chiang demonstrated during his long political career and the achievements and/or shortcomings of his presidency. We have chosen to take an informal, “secret diary” approach to make the content appeal to the greatest number of viewers. Nonetheless, we have not omitted historical facts and details from the site, and we have not forgotten to add lists of references and a short description of the students and teachers who have contributed to this project. It is our hope that its viewers will find it both informative and enjoyable to read.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:none
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
To begin with, we have only two weeks to finish the project. A lot of other problems have hence stemmed from our uncomfortably tight schedule.
Our first problem was that we have 5 team members, but the international competition limits the number to 4. That means that one of us cannot officially be on the team, meaning that if we win, one of us will not be able to receive the prize money or the trip to Washington. That was a huge problem at the beginning, and it threatened to break the team up. In the end, it was Addison’s volunteer to omit his own name that ended the crisis. From that moment on, Addison was our unofficial team member.
In addition, we chose “Soong Mei-ling” as our topic in the beginning, but after a whole week of researching and writing our coaches gathered us and told us, very frankly, that they believe Soong wasn’t the right person. After some grumbling on our part and a short discussion, we decided to take their advice. So naturally we had to start all over again.
The final, and most devastating, problem was the timing. Indeed, it couldn’t have been a worse time for exams to pop up. We had major exams on every subject from March 22nd to March 23rd. There was no way we could just give up on the exams, so we had to spare time for studying. Which, naturally, consumed a considerable amount of our working time.
All in all, there were lots of problems in the process of accomplishing this project. It’s really a miracle that we finished it. God bless us.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
This is a website intended to provide a pictorial presentation of the life and political career of the late Chiang Ching-Kuo, and also to promote understanding of Chiang, leadership, diplomacy and modern Taiwanese and Chinese history. We have taken care to present the information in a friendly, enjoyable format without undermining the credibility of the content. We have acquired, through the process of working on our project, a deeper understanding of history, a stronger grasp of the English language, and more importantly, the qualities that a good leader must demonstrate. All in all, it has been a very rewarding experience for us.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project wasn’t part of our curriculum. It was extracurricular and completely voluntary. However, we found ways to tie this project with current curricular activities. Andrew studies Taiwanese history. One chapter describes the island state’s handover to the Republic of China, and the many events that occurred afterwards. Naturally, it dedicates full sections to Chiang Ching-Kuo’s presidency, the Ten Major Projects and the lifting of the curfew. So it was basically pretty easy to consult our textbooks once in a while for information. Teddy, Athena and Michelle study world history. In one chapter, there is a description of how many Eastern Asian nations overcame their economic difficulties after the Korean War and became prosperous industrial powers. Taiwan is one of them. There is also a subject called Modern Society, in which there are references to the Chiang administration and the economic takeoff. As you can see, there are many connections between our project and our studies at school.