1. Description of Our Team
The Haiti Ocean Project was formed after our teacher and mentor, Ms. Jamie Aquino, traveled to Haiti to explore the possibility of establishing a marine mammal eduation and research project there. This is the collaboration of youth from Haiti and Florida who, along with Ms. Aquino, believe in the project and want to see Haiti's ocean and marine life protected and valued. Now that we are in the process of designing our marine facility and in the final stages of enacting marine mammal legislation, we decided it was the appropriate time to create a website for the Haiti Ocean Project.
The website responsibilities are as follows: Chris (17) and Samantha (18), both students in Riviera Beach, Florida are responsible for writing some of the content, editing all the content and placement of the text, photos and video. Shadrak (18) and Mendy (16) live in Petite Riviere de Nippes, Haiti and have been responsible for writing some of the text as well as reviewing the website in French.
Samanatha (18) Chris (17) Shadrak (18) Mendy (16)
2. Summary of Our Project
The Haiti Ocean Project was initiated five years ago for the purpose of protecting the vulnerable marine mammals and marine life that are valuable to Haiti's marine environment and sustainable tourism development. We are developing a program of marine education, marine mammal research and ecotourism in Grand Goave, a small fishing village in Haiti. Our project is a collaboration between the youth of two countries, Haiti and the United States. The Haiti Ocean Project not only preserves and renews the quality of our oceans and its inhabitants; we are also reviving and nourishing the economy of a struggling nation.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
The computers used in Florida have high-speed internet and reliable. The computers used in Haiti were slower and less reliable, so it was necessary to rely on Samantha and Chris for the final editing of the website.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The biggest obstacle that we faced was that our team lives in two different countries and two of our team members, Shadrak and Mendy live in a country with limited internet access. Realizing this, we decided to give them adequate time to work on their portion of the website, which they did. The language was also a factor, as the native language of two team members is English and the native language of the other two team members is French. We solved that problem by allowing the French speaking students (Shadrak and Mendy) to work on the website being translated into French and the English speaking students (Samantha and Chris) to focus on the website in English.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Being involved in Doors to Diplomacy has given us the opportunity to really understand what the word diplomacy means. This was a website created by two different countries, two different cultures, two different languages. For us as students, this competition showed us the power of working together and for our school, Doors to Diplomacy gave us a chance to highlight the amazing Haiti Ocean Project that has become so important to us and to showcase our talents and those of our Haitian counterparts and what we can do if we work together.
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The project addressed a number of content standards including critical thinking skills, understanding how to analyze and synthesize information and practicing writing and editing of content material. Our curriculum guidelines emphasize writing and reading, and that was a major part of creating this website. We learned how to crop photos and edit videos. As a group, we practiced team viewing so we could work on the website together at the same time. The Haiti Ocean Project is part of our journalism class, so the website and competition fit perfectly into the class. We learned that we can become teachers and leaders, by showing our classmates and schoolmates what they too can accomplish if they put their minds and efforts together. This website taught us real world applications and something that will help us in the future.