1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
For this project, we used a total of 7 computers, 3 of which were desktops and 4 of which were laptops. Of the 4 laptops, 3 were Pentium II’s while the last was a Pentium II. As for the desktops, all were Pentium III’s. All of the desktops were equipped with 512kbps ADSL connections while the laptops were not connected to the Internet.
For the actual building of the webpage, Macromedia Dreamweaver 3 was the most commonly used tool. This program sped up the process as we did not have to do manual coding which is a long and tedious process. Adobe Photoshop 5.5 was the graphics program we used to edit the scanned images and create the graphics for our page. Both of these programs belonged to one of our team members.
Throughout the course of this project, we communicated with our fellow team members via Email, ICQ and the telephone.
Lastly, we conducted face-to-face interviews where we personally met officials from the park and used a tape recorder to record their responses to our questions. We later typed these responses out from the information that was stored on the tape.
One unusual way in which we used Email was to send questionnaires to people whom we were keen to interview but could not meet up with due to clashing schedules.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Our Method of Contacting People: First of all, we normally started off by sending an introductory Email that described who we are and what we were doing.
The person would normally then Email us and give their telephone number.
We then called the person and fixed a meeting time to discuss whatever matter was at hand.
At the meeting, we would use a tape recorder to record the person’s responses to our questions.
We would then go home and type up the information stored on the tape.
You can view our interviews in the People Section of our Webpage.
Reaction: Many of the people we contacted were very enthusiastic about our project and offered us much assistance in the way of information, resources and pictures. We are very grateful to them indeed.
An interesting Story: On one of our visits to the park, we were in one of the observation hides watching the plovers and sandpipers pecking at the mudflats when a gentleman approached us. This gentleman said he was from the Nature Society of Singapore (NSS) and we struck up a conversation. From this conversation, we learnt how the NSS played a role in the setting up of SBNP and hence, we managed to learn much about the history and evolution of the park. This was extremely useful as until that time, the park’s history had been somewhat of a mystery to us. This chance encounter certainly enlightened us!
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Intended Impact: When we started out on this project, our main aim was to raise environmental awareness and appreciation in our local community through an informative and educational page on Sungei Buloh Nature Park that showcases the wonders and great beauty of nature. Throughout this project, we have taken great pains to ensure that our webpage and all of its content are consistent in keeping with this aim. Therefore, we sincerely hope that our page will impact our local community in a manner that will fulfill this aim.
Relationships: This project has seen the building of an excellent working relationship between the Raffles Institution CyberFair team and officials of the Sungei Buloh Nature Park. In fact, we would even go so far as to say that we have become friends. It is our sincere hope that this working relationship will be a long-term one that will continue even after CyberFair 2001 has ended.
Also, this CyberFair project has helped the members of our team to build closer bonds of friendship with each other, our teachers, our families and our friends as it required all of us to come together and share our knowledge and experience, so as to produce a quality CyberFair entry.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
Mrs. Ria Tan – A Volunteer Guide at SBNP: We met Mrs Ria Tan quite by chance as she happened to be the guide on duty when we visited the park one Saturday morning. When we told her about our project, she was very enthusiastic and offered us much help and assistance in the form of information and pictures. Patiently, she taught us precept upon precept, line upon line, about mangroves and their wildlife. She gave us the address to her website, and the information at her website answered most of our queries. Besides that, she promptly replied our questionnaires as well as our queries through email. She often encouraged us to strive for excellence, and thus, she became our source of inspiration.
Ms. Linda Goh – Senior Education Officer at SBNP: We got to know Ms. Goh when we contacted the Sungei Buloh Nature Park officials to ask them for permission to use several of their photos. She arranged a meeting with us to further discuss our project and helped us by providing information and photos. She also had a look at our site and gave us valuable feedback on how to improve our content and webpage.
Mr. N. Sivasothi – A lecturer at the National University of Singapore (NUS): We got to know Mr. Sivasothi, who helped us publicize our page to the nature-lovers of Singapore through Miss Ria Tan.
Mr. Tan Kiat Choon – A photography enthusiast: We got to know Mr. Tan through one of our parents. He was kind enough to lend us his powerful camera for the duration of this project.
We would like to thank all the above people for their help and assistance.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Discoveries: We have learnt a lot about mangrove forests and their flora and fauna. We have also learnt much about migratory birds and local birds of Singapore. We have come to a greater appreciation of nature and her many wonders.
Lessons: Besides being a very educational experience, this project has also taught us many invaluable interpersonal skills. We have learnt how to work together as a cohesive team, accepting each other’s differences and making full use of our strengths. Ultimately, the independence and initiative of each group member had to go hand in hand with functioning and cooperating as a team unit.
Surprises: Before we did this CyberFair project, most of us regarded Singapore as an “urban jungle” with very little to offer in the way of nature reserves and the like. Therefore, we were all extremely surprised to discover that an ecological gemstone such as Sungei Buloh Nature Park existed in urban Singapore, right under our very noses! It was, I must say, a very pleasant surprise indeed!