1. Description of Our Team
Mrs. Karen Dooley is a history teacher at Cherokee High School and has held that position for nine years. She has a passion for education and has enjoyed working closely with students. Her desire to create an outstanding project connected us with interviewees that became the heart of our project.
Mrs. Dana Tritsch is a Business and Applications teacher at Cherokee High School and has held the position for six years. She has extensive knowledge of web design and of the Dreamweaver program. She has been available to answer our numerous questions and we thank her for her input in our project.
Patrick B. (17) is a junior at Cherokee High School. He is a very intelligent and motivated student and his commitment to athletics and to academics has given him the drive to succeed in this project. The research he has compiled from various Internet sources was crucial to achieving our end result.
William M. (17) is also a junior at Cherokee High School. He plays baseball for the school and participates in many other extracurricular activities as well. His writing ability was important to the project narrative, and he also worked tirelessly to research and obtain information about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
Derrick R. (18) is a senior at Cherokee High School and has helped our cause tremendously by using his expertise to set up a stunning web page for our project. Using his repertoire of skills, Derrick has utilized the following programs for our web design: Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Adobe Photoshop.
2. Summary of Our Project
After each passing day, more and more fatalities of innocent Iraqi citizens are reported on the American news. At this point in the endless conflict, it is easy to forget the ramifications of each death. There are no names, just numbers; statistics that we have come to expect as we sit idly by thousands of miles away, safe in our homes in the United States of America. However, almost as disturbing as the immeasurable number of deaths are the number of Iraqis with no home. The refugee crisis in Iraq has become a blatant blemish on the US’s involvement in the Middle East. Through our project, the members of our team hope to raise awareness of the dire situation. In our quest we have interviewed Capt. Michael Del Palazzo of the United States Marine Corps, who is currently serving in Ramadi, Iraq; Ms. Pamela Lewis, the Congressional Liaison of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration; Mr. Ryan Dooley, Regional Director of the Miami Passport Agency in the United States Department of State; Bassim, an Iraqi Interpreter, who was brought to the United States because he was targeted by Iraqi insurgents. These four remarkable contacts, as well as countless others, have made available to us invaluable information. We hope that by addressing the situation of the millions that have left Iraq for neighboring countries and the millions who are displaced and roaming within Iraq, we can have a positive affect on their lives by encouraging you and others to help.
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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
We feel very fortunate to have Internet access throughout our school and in our homes.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Unfortunately, we did not find out about this project until January, and therefore we started at least three months behind. We also had to work around our team member's busy schedules which posed a major problem towards the deadline.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our project, entitled “Opening the Doors for Refugees: The Crisis in Iraq,” explores the difficult situation faced by the more than four million refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003. As a team, we have been encouraged to raise as much awareness and publicity throughout our community as we possibly can. Our site is www.theiraqirefugeecrisis.com.
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our project follows all New Jersey state curriculum standards including: civics, world history, economics, American history, and geography. In order to complete the project, we had to learn many new skills. Derrick, our web designer, worked with many new programs, including: Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and Adobe Photoshop. For our bibliography, we used Citation Machine, a very useful Internet source that simplifies the citation process. We had never used this before and it proved to be extremely helpful. Our group met daily after school to discuss, research, and organize our information into the finished web page. In order to remain in touch with our contacts, we used phone conferences to conduct interviews and retrieve information. Since beginning our project, we have, as a group, become more knowledgeable about the needs of refugees not only in Iraq, but in many other countries around the world. This project was extracurricular and we had to arrange our schedules so that we could meet even on weekends. As a result of working on this project, we have discovered that we have access to very powerful software programs, such as Dreamweaver, and to numerous computer rooms in our school. The Internet has been a crucial asset to our project in many ways. The instant access to information and daily articles reporting events that are currently transpiring, are resources that traditional methods could never give us. Ten years ago, this project would have been impossible for us to accomplish, for the crisis we are reporting on is changing everyday.