1. Description of Our Team
Our team is a group of four girls aged 15,15,15 and 16. We all attend the same private school, Eastern Mediterranean Doga College, in N. Cyprus. The word ‘doga’ is Turkish for nature. When our coach, Sociology teacher Mrs. Efecan approached us with this project it sparked interest in all of us, and we jumped on board without hesitation.
Xiuyan Sule is 16, originally from China, she worked mainly on the web site and researched activist groups and organizations for the cause. Ruofan (Lilly) is 15, she is also from China. She was in charge of researching animals in Karpaz and how they will be affected by upcoming problems. Sevgi is 15, she is a native of Cyprus, she concentrated on the threats to the area. Ugfe is also 15 and from Cyprus, she researched the beautiful and diverse flora of Karpaz and how they are in danger.
Even though our team is very diverse, we have many things in common, the main one being our love for nature and especially the Karpaz peninsula in North Cyprus.
2. Summary of Our Project
Until recently, the Karpaz peninsula in North Cyprus, was virtually untouched and home to many types of flora such as endemic flowers, and animals such as wild donkeys, many species of birds reptiles and amphibians. The area is important to the Mediterranean ecosystem. We all thought doing a project on the Karpaz peninsula would be interesting to do, creating an awareness in our school, community, country and who knows, maybe it will have a ripple effect and bring an awareness beyond the borders of our country. If the Karpaz area is not protected it will soon be built up commercially and the eco-system will be changed forever, and that will have undesired effects on surrounding countries ecosystems as well. Therefore, one country's ecosystem will have an effect on another, the pollution or ecological destruction doesn’t know boundaries or borders therefore protecting the environment is a common part of diplomacy.
Included on our site is a page where visitors can find out how they can help protect this beautiful corner of paradise.
We all worked diligently to put this project together, we each took an important area to research. Our main research method was the internet, textbooks from the school library, interviews. We also took a trip to Karpaz, where we took lots of pictures and got to see things first hand.
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
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The biggest problem we had to overcome was that of time, we were literally racing against time. First, we found this project very late in mid February and decided to dive in head first, and give it all we've got. Second, we had such a busy schedule with school, exams, and other extra curricular activiities. Their were some days that we couldn't meet to work together.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Through Doors to Diplomacy the students gained great experiences in researching, collecting data, sorting through it all and presenting it to the school, community and beyond. This project helped them gain a greater self-esteem and confidence
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our project deals with Environmental Awareness and through our school curriculum we are aware of not only world wide issues concerning the environment but also local issues which need to be addressed. We wanted our focal point to be on the Karpaz Peninsula, which has been drawing much attention due to on going development in fact some foreign newspapers have mentioned it to soon become the new Las Vegas of this part of the world. We learned that we had to work as a team and incorporate each others ideas and to be able to let other ideas go. We also learned about how to design a web site to make it visually appealing to all audiences. On a larger scale we learned that yes we want to become a better developed country, but we must do it in such a way to protect the environment. We discovered that UNOPS has several projects to protect the wild life of Karpaz. We also learned that our school and education system are aware of the issues and very concerned about them. When you think about it people were not concerned about things like global warming until it was too late, so we need to think on a global level and act on a local level. Using the internet has proven to be a powerful and effective method for teaching and learning, but the traditional methods of presentation is just as powerful. We took a day trip to Karpaz with all the sounds, smells and sights that you can't get from internet. We saw donkeys hiding behind trees when they saw us, showing a child like shyness