CyberFair Project ID: 2619

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Antiwar Pact: a lesson learned?
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Cardinal Newman College
    San Isidro, Buenos Aires, Argentina

5 students, ages 16-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 21, 2003. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: Teachers: Javier Rincón, Gabriel Rshaid Students: Alex, Felipe, Diego, Santiago, Lucas

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Link to Team Description

2. Summary of Our Project

The Antiwar Pact: a lesson learned? is an attempt to try to go back to the past, in particular the Chaco War, which has the dubious honor of being the bloodiest conflict in history for the Western Hemisphere, and try to understand how successful diplomatic intervention could be used to stop an armed conflict. At a time in which the role of diplomacy is being challenged as ineffective, we will try to look at how it was successful for this particular conflict and why it worked then. Are economic interests above political considerations? What is the role of the UN as compared to the League of Nations early in the century? By developing the project we will try to draw conclusions from the past that can be applicable in the present and future.

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:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

During our work in the project we had to face several difficulties and obstacles. Fortunately, we could find a solution for every problem, we could deal with them even though in some occasions we thought we were facing a obstacle we could not pass. A problem with which we had to deal was the lack of time, we started working just a month and a half before the day in which the web had to be published. Everything had to be done as fast as possible, we had no time to waste. In spite of this we could complete our work. Work became hard and exhausting sometimes, but our desire of doing an excellent work was stronger. We also had some technical obstacles. For instance we recorded an interview with the school’s video camera and after finishing it we realized that the sound had not been recorded. So we had to make an effort in order to remember what the interviewed person had said. On another opportunity we taped an interview we had in a video cassette, with a broken recorder. We also had some difficulties with the design of the web page, we had to learn how to use software we had not used before. Mauricio, our Computer Studies coach, taught us how to use new software or how to deal with some difficulties we had. Santiago spent hours and hours in front of his computer, trying to find the most appropriate design for the web page. Another difficulty we had to deal with was the lack of knowledge we had about the Chaco War, before starting to work in the project. We had to read books about the War, search information on the Internet, so as to know about the region, the battles, the War’s characters, its causes and consequences.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“Understanding our past, helps us to build our future”. “Diplomacy is us, it lives as long as we have faith in it”. These two phrases summarize what this project meant to us, to our school, and to the world. The fact that we try to comprehend and analyze the way in which diplomacy worked, shows our will to learn from humanity’s past errors, and with that knowledge, to build a new future. This question arose in our community, and we found in it the strengths and power to transmit our message. Modern outbreaks are constantly taking place in our world, diplomacy is constantly being tested. It seems that we are losing our faith in it, in its mythical power, in its peace. This is what we tried to change by means of this project. We hope that we will achieve this aim, and that diplomacy will reward us.

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

(Comments by coach) The content generated by students exceeds by far the curriculum and content standards of the National Program both for History and Computer Studies. Students essentially learned the skills required to complete the project and that have to do with documentation, citations, doing first hand research from primary sources, conducting interviews, having to access public archives, ministries, etc and in general being exposed to the real problems faced by researchers. On top of that, they blended in very well as a group, were able to divide the tasks among them and take responsibilities for meeting deadlines and completing successive stages in the project. With respect to traditional teaching, using Doors to Diplomacy made a big difference in terms of the incentive for students to succeed and go beyond what goes on in the classroom. Students had to work very intensely for two weeks during their holidays, period in which they went out to search for primary sources and conduct interviews.

Project Elements

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

Doors to Diplomacy Project involves working with a very big variety of materials. From a simple computer to a digital camera were used. We made use of computers, we used Internet and a lot of Design Programs such as Adobe Photoshop 10, Macromedia Flash 5.0, Macromedia Fireworks, Microsoft Front Page, Macromedia Dreamweaver and other software. To work with images we used scanners and digital cameras, this helped us to digitalize every moment we wanted whenever we wanted. Both, cameras and scanners were provided by the school that despite the situation of our country we are lucky to have. As you can see in our page we went to a lot of different places to search for primary data. We went to the National Library and used historical books and newspapers of the time. For this we had to search the archive of old newspapers that existed in the period studied. The group also received the donation of the book “Crisis” by his author: Santiago Luis Sanz. We carried out an interview that we recorded with a Panasonic Video Camera. We recorded in S-VHS and after selecting the scene we liked the most we digitalized it using the correspondent software and we also used a Minidisk Recorder to record the interview so as to make a more accurate report. There is no doubt that the technology that was most useful was the one of the computers, but we do not have to give less value to the other tools that we have used to develop our site, since all of them form the whole project.

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

(Comments by coach) Our students acted as ambassadors by contacting many people within and outside the community as part of their development of the project. They conducted interviews in person and through email with people in the country and abroad, went to archives and official institutions, etc. They were ambassadors in the true sense of the word. Regardless of the final outcome of the project, all the adults that have interacted with them have high praise for the work they have done. They have tried to generate interest by conducting a survey in the school, and now they plan to extend its reach by means of an online survey, discussion forum, chat, etc.

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

(comments by coach) Our goal is to be able to enthuse other students amnd the school community at large by implementing this type of project. Our goal as educators is to try to pass on to students our love of learning and a desire to rech out for the truth. The incentive provided by this contest and the fact that the whole school community is aware of the effort being made by the students will help us achieve this goal.

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

This kind of project helps people to understand the real value of group work. Hard work, arguments, discussions, anger, happiness, all unite to give what we can call a complete project, not only because of its content, but also because of the combination of different views that it contains. Nowadays, individual work is not enough to surpass the limits imposed by collective work. This was the message that our group understood, and could implement measures in order to obtain the best of each of its members. But that was not all, we also made use of the experience and knowledge of experts in this area, Felix Luna, Raul Vinuesa, Antonio Sapienza, just being examples. We offered them our most grateful thanks. Their opinions helped us to obtain a clearer view of the Chaco War, to see between the lines, to understand and comprehend what was not there. With that in mind, we were able to generate our personal opinion. Our college, Cardenal Newman College, was also a useful help. The headmaster, Gabriel Rshaid, was always there when we needed him. Moreover, he was the one went over what we wrote, and was a constant source of new and intelligent ideas. We also received help from our History teacher, Javier Rincon, who was the engine that helped the group to move onwards. We could organize our ideas thanks to him. Last but not least, we counted with the help of Mauricio Bertoldo, who helped us to design our web page, offering very attractive and complex ideas. We want to use this space, to give our special thanks to everyone that participated in the development of this project. Nothing could have been done if it was not for them, because each individual has unique abilities, which are in constant need of being discovered and used by others.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Throughout the creation of our web page, we had many surprises. We had to visit some historical places that we had never visited, so we learnt some new things. First, to every museum or library you go you need identification as your document. The first we went to the General Archive, we forgot our identifications and we could not enter the place. So, from that moment, we learnt that to every place we had to carry our document or any valuable identification. Another discovery was when he needed some old photographs from the General Archive. So, when we found the old photographs, and we were about to pay them, we had a surprise. In the General Archive, they told us that we had to buy them some batteries, instead of paying them with money. Another surprise was when we had to interview an ambassador. We went to his office, but the big surprise was that he did not want to be recorded. So, the ambassador did not let us to film the interview, because he considered that it was not necessary. To conclude, I want to emphasize that with this project, we learnt all the steps of a research work. We visited many historical places, as museums, libraries or archives. I think the project was very useful because we had to look for our own information, so we worked as historians. Furthermore, we learnt about diplomacy and its elements.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 2619)

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