CyberFair Project ID: 4273

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Living Singapore: Our Lives, Dreams, Hopes
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Raffles Institution
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

15 students, ages 14 to 17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 16, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Classes and Teachers: Mrs Aileen Chor, and Infocomm Club

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Singapore is a small island city-state located in South-east Asia, at the tip of Peninsula Malaysia. Singapore has about 4.5million people spread over a landmass of about 693 squared kilometers, making it one of the densest-populated countries in the world. Due to its limited landmass, Singapore has been building upwards to maximize land utility. As such, over 90% of the population resides in high-rise residential apartments that are built by the Government of Singapore. These characteristics contribute to the unique local flavour of Singapore, which is the main thrust of our CyberFair project.

Our local community is defined to be the citizens of Singapore, who are multicultural and multiracial. Our social fabric is made up of four main ethnic groups, the Chinese, the Malays, the Indians and the Eurasians. We are also a society that is metropolitan, having a constant high influx of tourists. Tourism is thus, a major industrial sector in our economy, contributing a significant amount to our Gross Domestic Product.

Our country experiences an ageing population, where the citizens are generally living to a riper age. This brings about many problems that the Government has addressed, including that of healthcare and transportation needs of the elderly. Our society emphasizes on the value of family as a basic unit of society. Hence, families in Singapore are very closely-knitted and kinship amongst family members is strong. Through our CyberFair project, one would be able to witness for himself the closeness of a typical Singaporean family.

The Global Internet Community would be the people who are looking up information on the Internet about the life of a Singaporean and how Singapore develops her own unique flair. The Global Internet Community also consists of people who are interested in finding out what it is like to belong to the Singapore society.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our CyberFair Project is about our country, Singapore. We would like to introduce our country, its culture and way of life to the rest of the people living around the world. Through our website, we hope that our viewers can have a better concept of our country and its unique characteristics.

Our CyberFair Project consists of two parts. The first part takes the form of fictional diary entries of three Singaporeans, each from a different age group. The typical Singaporean’s way of life is reflected in the diary entries. Through these diary entries, we attempt to show people from other countries the life and experiences of a typical Singaporean.

By writing diary entries for three different age groups, we hope that our visitors can come to understand how Singaporeans live their life through the years, and also witness the diversity of experiences and thoughts that they have throughout the years. We also hope that visitors can also see how similar or different their life is as compared to a Singaporean of their age group.

The second part comprises factual articles about the various unique characteristics of Singapore. Through this section, we hope that visitors can understand more about Singapore’s characteristics and culture in a more in-depth and detailed manner. These articles are meant to let our visitors understand how the characteristics of Singapore affect us in our daily life, as well as to clear any doubts that they may have on the subject.

Our CyberFair Project also includes interactive multimedia animation and games, which will be able to help our viewers get in touch and connected with our local culture in a fun and interesting manner.

We hope that our website would act as an informative and interesting read on the cultures and significance of our sunny island home, Singapore.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our Computers: Both in school and at home, we use Pentium III or IV computers that run on Microsoft Windows.

Our Internet access: In school, all computers are connected via a Local Area Network (LAN), which is on a dedicated line. At home, most of us use broadband internet connection.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

There were many problems and difficulties that we have encountered during the process of completing this CyberFair project.

As our CyberFair group is fairly large, problems of miscommunications are inevitable. Sometimes, group members were not informed of meeting times or the deadlines of their allocated work. These made discussions of our project progress and work consolidation difficult.

We dealt with this problem in several ways. Firstly, we created an e-group to enable work allocations and completed work to be stored in a common network where everybody can track the progress of our project. We also appointed someone within the group as the Communications In-Charge. This person had the duty of informing everybody within the group of meeting times, their work allocations and deadlines. Through these two solutions, communications within the group became much more efficient and group members were more on task as they knew what they were supposed to do and when they had to complete their work.

Another problem that we have encountered was the tight schedule and busy lives that we have outside of this competition. Throughout the duration of doing this project, we had a lot of homework, tests and assignments that we have to complete at the same time. We also had other competitions and co-curricular activities that required our attention.

Thus, with so many things to do and so little time, many of us had to stay up late in order to complete this project and we felt stressed with the amount of work. However, we encouraged each other to strive on and we started to plan and allocate the work to prevent it from building up into one huge task. Through peer encouragements, hard work and many sleepless nights, we managed to complete this project, and we are very proud of this achievement.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This participation in CyberFair meant a lot to all of us and is definitely an experience that we will never forget, for it has shown us the wonders of our country and made us more proud of it than ever. It has also enriched us with skills and knowledge that we will definitely never find in our classrooms. The project also allowed us to embark on a unique and different learning journey, letting us explore more about our own country.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Through the activities and research for our CyberFair Project, we managed to learn several new skills and acquire more knowledge.

The content and nature of our website helped us learn much more about our country than what we already know. Through doing this project, we saw the different sides of our island home and how diverse and interesting its culture is. A sense of national pride was fostered within us as we learned more and more about Singapore. The desire to tell the world how great our country is became larger and larger. This is important as it supports our country’s curriculum standards by fostering national pride, which is part of our National Education.

Our school places a lot of emphasis on inter-disciplinary learning and research skills. The knowledge and research skills of various different subjects are often used together during school projects and we have to take research education as a subject. Thus, by doing this project, we were able to put into practice the skills that we have learned from our various subjects. This once again, supports the curriculum guidelines of our school.

Being members of an Information Technology club in school, this project also gave us an opportunity to improve on and enhance our IT skills. The web designing, template coding and multimedia aspects of the website allowed us to improve on our skills using software such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Flash.

This being a group project, we also learned much about the importance of team work and how it helps us to work together more effectively. We learned to tolerate each other’s shortcomings and to appreciate each other’s talents. We learned to work together by covering up each other’s weaknesses with our strengths, which is an important component in our character development and moral education.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used about 15 Pentium III and IV computers in our course of completing this project. We also used a Mac G4 cube as a Server for our files and 2 Digital Cameras for photo-taking. The server allowed us to collect contributions from team members efficiently and quickly while the digital camera played a crucial role in ensuring that our website was not dry with text only.

The Software that we have used in our project includes Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Notepad and Adobe Photoshop. The software allowed us to create interactive and interesting webpages, contributing to the overall look of our website. With Macromedia Flash, we were able to create interactive web elements such as games and animations, which were beneficial in encouraging the understanding of concepts. With Adobe Photoshop, we designed our overall layout template and the many buttons and graphics that guide our visitors through the site. And lastly, through Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, we were able to type out the information that we have garnered. Notepad and Macromedia Dreamweaver are tools that we have employed in our website-building process.

We used an online e-group to enable better communication amongst members. Files could be shared easily amongst members through the e-group and it facilitated the checking of the amount of content done. Section leaders could easily go to the e-group to check up on each member’s progress.

We also used resources in our school library, such as certain related books and newspapers for references. This provided us with the essential knowledge that we needed to complete the project. As our website is pretty heavy with content, the books proved to be an awesome source of information. The newspapers also supplied us with current affairs knowledge, helping us to craft the diary entries.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

We acted as 'ambassadors' for this project both online and in person through the use of surveys, and also through our website itself.

In our surveys, we contacted members of the community and asked them to input their opinions about what they think of our website and whether they feel proud of Singapore’s local specialties. In this way, we have indirectly sparked off the general public's concern for the often-neglected Singapore specialties and increased their awareness in preserving our unique local culture. Through answering the questionnaire, the community will realize how big a role they play in preserving Singapore’s local culture and the importance of our local specialties. We have also generated interest in our CyberFair project at the same time, providing the people we have surveyed with our project details to let them explore further should they want to do so.

We have also asked people from both online sources and our school to evaluate our website and give us feedback on our content and design layout. They generally gave us positive feedback and feel that the layout design is very appropriate for our theme. Some reflected that navigation around the website was a tad difficult at first. This was promptly rectified in later versions of our website by our webmasters so as to enable easier and smoother navigation through the website.

Also, by setting up our website, we are presenting to the public the unique specialties that Singapore currently possesses and striking them with the possibility of these specialties dying out as we continue to neglect them. Indirectly, we encourage the public to take a more active role in preserving our local culture and specialties. We believe that people will feel more compelled to play a role in preserving our local culture and specialties after viewing our website.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our project has impacted the community as it has shown and reminded the local community of the diverse and unique cultures that our country possesses. Through viewing our website, they will be reminded of the various interesting experiences that they have had with certain specialties of our country. We hope to invoke these memories and remind the people of the unique specialties of the place that they call home.

We believe that our website would have a great impact on them as they would see the charm of Singapore through our website. They would also be reminded of why they call this place their home, for this is the place that holds their most precious and deepest memories.

Our project can also show the people a side of Singapore that they have never seen before, egging them on to know more and to experience more of our country’s culture. We hope that people from our community can learn more about their very own country, learning to love and to appreciate Singapore. We hope that through this, citizens would develop a stronger sense of pride and belonging to Singapore, and that they would recognize their country as one that is of interesting and diverse cultures.

Our project will be able to make a difference not only locally, but also internationally. It will show the communities of other countries the reason as to why Singapore is so unique and the reason as to why we are so proud of our local culture. We hope that our website would interest visitors such that they would want to know more about Singapore’s diverse and rich culture, even to the extent of coming down to Singapore themselves to experience our specialties first-hand.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

The people whom have helped us the most and whom we would like to thank most are, first and foremost, our teacher mentors, Mrs Aileen Chor and Mr Leong Kok Weng. They provided us with much valuable guidance and advice. Without their constant guidance advice, this project would definitely not have been as successful as it is now.

We regretted the departure of Mr Leong, who had to leave our team halfway through our project due to personal reasons. His help and care for us during his term as our teacher mentor is deeply appreciated by all of us in the team. Mrs Chor, who is also our teacher mentor, did her part by continuing to provide the support and guidance that we needed, always ensuring that our work is on schedule and is of high standards. We would like to hereby extend our gratitude to our teacher-mentors for their undying support.

We would also like to thank our parents and our fellow friends and peers, for lending us their support during the period of completing this project. With our enormous workload coupled with growing schoolwork, we often needed a helping hand from our friends. To our gratitude, we have always found our parents and friends there, ready to help us in anyway they can. They have also shared with us their experiences and knowledge on our research topics, which proved to be extremely valuable in helping us to complete our project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Through the completion of our website, we have learned and discovered much. Every single member of our CyberFair team has learned that Singapore’s specialties are precisely the ones that are contributing to our country’s uniquely-brewed culture. We have also learned that should efforts not be put in to preserve these specialties, these local specialties may easily vanish in time to come.

Hence, we were delightfully surprised to find out that the Government had in place policies, to safeguard places of heritage and culture. This is no doubt a gratifying discovery for us, for we were all apprehensive as to the fate of our cultural hubs. It is heartening to find out that efforts are being made to ensure that Singapore’s culture is preserved and that our culture and flair would be maintained for many years to come.

We encountered several surprises during the course of completing the project. During our overnight stay-over in our school’s computer laboratories for CyberFair, we found ourselves stuck with computers that were lacking internet access. Work came to a standstill as we were unable to continue with our website-building without the internet. We were puzzled as to why internet access was removed as computers in our school are supposed to be connected to the internet at all times. Eventually, we found out that it was a prank and that the LAN cables to our computers were all plugged out. This incident had led to us losing precious hours, of which could be spent researching and completing work. Through this incident, we learned that we should always check the status of our computer and networks, so as to ensure that we are able to work at maximum efficiency and not waste precious hours of time that were supposed to be dedicated to finishing this project.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4273)

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