1. Description of Our Team
“We are not artists, but we paint dreams. Yes we are dreamers and we dream our paintings.”
Our ‘team Pal Chhin’ consists of budding members, who worked together for fulfilling their dreams of designing a web site, to spread awareness using mass media as a tool for the betterment of mankind. We had lots of fun in creating our website under the guidance of our innovative and encouraging coach, Mrs. N.M Parti, who made “Pal Chhin: The Moments of Life” possible. Our assistant coach, Dr.M.Vashist organized all our meeting programs, interviews and visits to libraries and source-centers.
Akash: The Artist... The believer has a brain full of innovation and ideas and has a great vocabulary. He is good in extracting useful information from different sources. Akash who wants to become a tennis star when he grows up couldn’t give up his tennis classes in the evening. Thus, whenever we had an extra meeting in the evening, Rajas picked up Akash from his tennis class to the meeting place. Sahil: The technical WiZZard played the most important role in designing our site. Using his vast knowledge of designing and imaging software, he made the elegant layouts of our site and edited them. Though designing was his main work, he wrote informative articles too. He is a real computer whiz kid. But he had undergone a tonsillitis operation while making this site and could not speak properly for a few days. So Ruel, Rajas and Akash conducted the interviews and surveys that his responsibility, for him to recover well!
Ruel: The confident go-getter is a happy-go-lucky boy who has a gifted mind, from which, ideas burst out like lava from a volcano! Ruel is a creative child and enjoys music. He even plays the piano. So, while team Pal Chhin was developing its web site, he had to take some of his piano exams too, and could not meet us at our meeting points. So, he started finishing all his work at school and prepared for his music tests at home.
Rajas: The Creative Genius has a good knowledge of imaging software and wrote many thought provoking articles for the web site. Initially he was reluctant as he feared that he would not get good grades while working simultaneously on the project. Ruel’s mother who is a psychologist counseled him and made him realize that co-curricular activities are also important alongside studies.
So the dreamers and the believers got together to bridge the gap between vision and reality!!!
2. Summary of Our Project
A story we have, to tell you – the story of your life and the precious moments surrounding it! Over the years, man has only been caring for his own comforts and has threatened nature in the process. But nature is kind. She doesn’t want to wage a war against man and put lives at stake!
Yet, our greed for power and control has made nature burn with anger and rage. The fury was bound to befall on man. Nature sighed in anguish and the result was earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and hurricanes. She increased the death toll on human life and went to the extent of inducing a rampage.
Yes nature is kind! But in her fury, she can let the evil beasts out any time, anywhere. Is this what we were born for? No, we have the right to live and to enjoy the moments of life. We can try to calm nature’s anger and ask her for forgiveness for the doing of generations of men and women; and till then we can learn to save ourselves through skills of disaster management.
‘Disaster’ is a term that we use at various steps of life. ‘Pal Chhin: Moments of Life’ is an attempt to take you along a caravan, making insightful observations and fascinating discovery. Here you will learn to face disasters and overcome their might calmly, carefully and courageously!
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:2-3
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our School has pioneered in bringing the concept of multimedia aided education to classrooms. The school maintains “JIL” packages, which comprise clippings as well as textual tidbits related to the chapters. An assortment of videos from biological to theological and archaeological, have been made available. The most remarkable output generated from this package, has been the amalgamation of technology with regular coursework and the ease of adaptability shown by students and teachers alike.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Twelve years old students designing a website? Impossible!!! On an issue such as disaster management? Unlikely!!!
That is the response we received from most people who came to know of Team Pal Chhin. We were apprehensive too- could we do it? But our coaches instilled in us, belief and self-confidence and then every flash of lightning only made us more cautious and every drop of rain motivated us to overcome all odds. The greatest barriers and obstacles are in the mind!!! It was a major challenge for us to compile information from a diverse set of primary as well as secondary sources. We often found it difficult to decide what to include and what not to. But several editing sessions under our coaches’ guidance, sorted the problem. Examinations were approaching and we were worried if we could balance our academics with our project. We were involved in diverse activities but time was limited. So we sat together and prepared study schedules and project schedules to proceed systematically. The major challenge for us was to design an interactive and informative website. We began by attending workshops and reading tutorials on the use of Dreamweaver and Photoshop. One of our seniors, helped us a lot, for the same. We prepared several drafts before finalizing our layout and navigation. Finalizing the color schemes took up large parts of our time. In the process of building web-pages, we were bothered by virus and bug attacks, limited internet connectivity and problems of data transfer. However we proceeded one step at a time and learnt extensively from the project.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The ships were rocking hard and the blue waters seemed like death to us although till a few hours ago they symbolized life. The attacking army could strike from anywhere, anytime. The defending forces had only their wits to battle, the rest was their fortune. What did the intruders have? 12 meters high waves of white water that had extended way beyond the binding coastline.
But the seemingly weak defendants had their strengths too- their disaster management skills! Their Commander instructed, “You are about to experience the greatest moment of your life. Do not count hours, do not count miles; count only the lives that you can save!”
When the battle receded, it was nothing short of relieving. Using their disaster management skills, ‘the army of calm, controlled and courageous men’ could defeat the wave of intruders and save their fellow beings as they had become an inseparable part of the Pal Chhin movement!
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Content is a key factor in a project. As we began our project, we decided to first meet prescribed curriculum requirements and use the base they offer to broaden our skills and perspectives.
CBSE is the main educational board in India. We rummaged through many books on disaster management for classes IX and X and dispersed this knowledge to the junior classes as well. We got information about different disasters from our geography NCERT text-books. From science we got information on first aid, health and hygiene, which proved handy in spreading knowledge. The civics syllabus assisted us with the rules, laws and regulations and the social response. We also got loads of assistance from our English course in making the glossary.
In confluence with the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards, we tried to spread awareness on how technology can be used as a platform to bring meaningful change in society. We learnt the use of various means of communication and data collection. Adhering to these standards provided the right orientation for our project and the skills we gained extend beyond those gathered in the regular classroom.
Interviewing, and interacting with different people helped us bring out cohesive arguments and furthered our inter-personal skills. We learnt to overcome stress and to beat deadlines, not just meet them. As we took the initiative to prepare our community for the future, we could inspire our fellow mates too. We formed meaningful associations in our community and learnt to gain from the power of interaction.
We chalked out many group concepts and strategies so that we were able to work efficiently. Online conferencing and brainstorming gave us some wonderful ideas. We introduced the ‘test yourself with tasks’ system to challenge our abilities. This project strengthened our belief in synergism as working as a team produced better results. We even played confession games which helped us to explore the ‘familiar and unfamiliar’ territories of thoughts.
In the process of developing this web-project, we have advanced our understanding of different disasters and disaster management. Today we are certain we would be able to deal with any unforeseen disaster in our community efficiently!