Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 6045

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: International Cooperation of Stem Cell Research
Category: 4. Science/Technology

School: Nysmith School for the Gifted
    Herndon, Virginia, USA

4 students, ages 12-13 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 22, 2010. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2010

Classes and Teachers: Jennifer Hogan/ Nikhil/ Nicholas/ Mitchell/ Chinmay

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our team has four members that shared the work very evenly. We all worked to our full potential and each got a lot of work done.Nikhil Gupta is in control of managing our team. He is a very skilful web designer and researcher too. He is a crucial element of our team. Our team relies on him for the technological help and suggestions on what to do next. He is somewhat of a planner or advisor to the team.Nicholas Hougland is our key writer. He takes most of the gathered information and puts it into his own words. He wrote most of the writing on this webpage. Sometimes, helps Nikhil Gupta with web design by placing the words directly into the webpage.Mitchell Pleasure is our main researcher. He gathers most of the information and does some writing. He is very good at searching the internet for important data. As I said before, he is a good writer, so he puts some of his research into words. He also made and edited the video on this site.Chinmay Dasari joined our team after we had begun. He is a good addition to our team. He is strong in research and writing. He helps us in the entire process of making this website.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our team created a web page that shows the possible health advantages and the international cooperation of stem cells. Stem cells have a huge potential to be the next medical breakthrough and could solve many health problems that are potentialy fatal nowadays. We also focused on international cooperation and talked about what needs to be done to increase stem cell research internationally.

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:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Many of the potentially helpful sites were blocked by our school's web filter.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had difficulty with finding reliable information because stem cells are a recently discovered subject. There are many rumors and politically inclined articles about stem cells online. We also did not have much knowledge about stem cells before we started this project because it is a very new subject.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The Doors to Diplomacy competition has given us an opertunity to learn about stem cells that we would otherwise not have had. It also has taught us teamwork, cooperation, and organization over a long period of time.

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

My students have learned research skills in Language Arts and Social Studies, and have become adept at properly citing sources. These students learned so much from this project, specifically to stem cells, but also many life lessons. For example, how to wrap your mind around such a complex issue, how to break up such a long term project into small bites, how to compromise and come to agreement. This type project is so large that it is not something I would be able to tackle in the normal course of 7th grade Social Studies.

Project Elements

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

We used many of the computers in our school's computer labs. They run on microsoft windows xp edition. They are about 2 years old. We also used video cameras and video editing software to make our video. We used many softwares like pinnacle video editing software and video chatting software. We used the internet for a large portion of our project.

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

Most importantly, these students are very proud of, and happy with, their work product. They've been e-mailing it to friends in other countries. This group, as well as the other Nysmith groups, have been really excited about their project, and I would expect another busy year of Nysmith participation next year. Another interesting story...many of my students do come from a priviledged background and this project has helped them realize that. It has opened their eyes to the situations of other students in other countries that don't have access to internet, e-mail, video technology etc. In fact we just had a conversation about how just because you're priviledged, it doesn't mean you're spoiled. Being spoiled means taking being priviledged for granted.

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

This project can help people in other nations without the benefit of great education learn about stem cells. Those who do not understand exactly what steem cells are, what they do, or their cooperation internationally can look it up on our website. It is convenient because ti compile all of the information about stem cells into one place.

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

Mrs. Hogan, our social studies teacher, suggested to us to send letters to members of congress. The members of congress also helped us by sending us informative letters regarding their policies on federal funded embryonic stem cell research.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 6045)

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