1. Description of Our Community
Our community is Singapore. Even though Singapore is a small island with no natural resources, its rich human resources has enabled it to gain a stand in the world in its 42 years of independence. Being multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious, Singapore is a very unique country.
Singapore has, for a long time, been known as a “Garden City”. Therefore, wildlife conservation, which includes both the vast species of flora and fauna, has always been an important part of Singapore’s development. Many famous tourist attractions, such as Jurong Bird Park, which has the world’s largest collection of birds, has introduced many conservation measures and organized numerous programs to educate its visitors.
Our community also includes, naturally, the general public of Singapore. For our project, we are mostly focusing on Singapore citizens, ranging from primary school students to working adults, who has access to all the information provided by the parks.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our Cyberfair project looks into the wildlife conservation in Singapore. To be more specific, we are focusing on four different locations in Singapore, namely the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.
As the world continues to make progress in other areas such as technology, we are also starting to realize how important wildlife conservation is. Many species of plants and animals became extinct even before human appeared on Earth. However, at that time, other species developed and replaced the extinct ones. Nowadays however, many human activities are causing species to become extinct with no possibility of replacing them anymore. Thus, we hope to create a collective site with as much information on wildlife conservation in Singapore as possible, and to increase the awareness of it amongst Singaporeans.
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
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
One of our main problems is that we have never entered in any competition similar to Cyberfair, and we had no idea what were the requirements. Even though our seniors were very patient in guiding us and explaining to us what is required in our entry, we were still very clueless on the exact standard. Hence, the project started out very slowly, as we browsed through past winning entries to get an idea.
Another major problem faced was to find a way to juggle between our schoolwork, Cyberfair, assessments and other commitments we have. Due to our busy schedules, the group only had time to meet together on Thursday, which is the common co-curricular activity day. Furthermore, holidays sometimes fell on Thursday, which lessoned the number of session we had, and many group members could not even attend the sessions available due other commitments. However, we managed to solve this problem by utilizing the sessions available as much as possible, and having all other communications required over email.
We also had difficulty when constructing the web pages. Due to very strict filters used by the school system, we were unable to gain access to many resources, such as DeviantART, so the work had to be done at home, which also poses as a problem as some members had restriction on usage of the internet at home too. However, with proper allocation, we managed to over this problem. Also, the school server is an apache-based server, and does not run PHP programming language. Hence, our original coding of the website using PHP includes would not work on the school server, and we had to switch to server-side includes, which we were very unfamiliar with.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Participating in Cyberfair was an enriching experience. It enabled us to better appreciate the importance of the wildlife around us, as well as the gravity of fast rate at which many species of wildlife is disappearing around us.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
We learnt many useful new skills while working on our Cyberfair project, one of which being time management. Time management is very important in both schoolwork, as well as any other project work we take part in.
We also learnt the importance of flexibility when doing work. More often than not, in life, we will not be able to stick with whatever we had planned at first, and would have to make necessary changes. If we are not able to adapt and be flexible about these situations, it would be very hard for us to proceed with our work.
Our project also helped us to understand macro-concepts such as change and continuity, which are greatly emphasized in our school, as they are applicable to nearly everything we do in our life. Wildlife conservation promotes continuity. Yet, at the same time, we need to be able to change the conservation plans in accordance to the society that we live in, so that progress in human activities would not be compromised either.
In addition, we also learnt about the advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet as a learning resource. The Internet enables us to very quickly get the information that we need to get, as the range of the types of information we can get is much wider than that of tradition resources. However, the Internet, apart from not being credible all the time, also tend to have more general description and information, and it is hard to find very precise and accurate information on less explored topics.