1. Description of Our Team
Joining web project competitions was a big challenge and a learning experience for us - an application of everything that we have learned in school as well as the underlying principles that have been instilled in us by life.
We, a group of 4 members, ages 14-15 and are studying at Saint Louis University Laboratory High School, Baguio City, Philippines, were first introduced to this competition by our T.H.E. teacher. Xenocentrism, or “colonial mentality”, became our main focus since we all wanted to showcase the pride we should have in our own countries, a fundamental step for diplomacy. Fhalin, an artist of all kinds, is the most knowledgeable when it comes to web development. She was the one who suggested xenocentrism to be group’s topic, and consequently, she served as our main leader in creating our website. Janella, a musician by heart, served as the compiler of all the researches made by our group. She diligently wrote and encoded, when needed, all the data, reports and narratives that were needed for this project. Nicole, friendly and cheerful, diligently collected data needed, informed each of the members of the needed tasks to be completed, the questions to be answered, and the goals to be met. She kept the group’s determination to succeed. Kimberly, although the youngest, gave her best effort to improve all the aspects of the project. In charge of editing most of the essays, she connected each focal point to the concept of diplomacy, morality and legality. We are ever thankful for the support of our T.H.E teacher, Mr. Vince Tabor, for teaching us the needed skills in web development. We also want to thank Mr. Elizer Jay Delos Reyes, for his ideas concerned with social issues.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our team came up with this project because we would like to help open the minds of our fellow Filipinos and help them realize that patronizing the foreign world, especially the West, does not mean that our country, the Philippines, is diplomatic. Filipinos are known throughout the world but most of the time, we are looked down upon as third world country citizens. As a result, there is the inferiority of the Filipino race implanted in our minds.
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:2-3
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Creating a project especially a website is not the easiest thing to do. Barriers or obstacles are already a common part of creating projects. The problems we had to overcome were the lack of time, commitment and patience from each one of us; we had to juggle our time with schoolwork, multiple projects, extracurricular activities and leisure time spent with our love ones with that of our time to complete this project. We had difficulty meeting up after school just to talk about and work on this project because most of the time we were urgently needed elsewhere. We are science students with different activities we had to join; moreover, we are involved in other activities concerning our interests such as being in the school band. Our coach and the other teachers expected a lot of things from us so we tend to be pressured by these high expectations. Doors to Diplomacy is an international competition and thus, we know that we have a lot of competitors, even some of our own batch mates and friends. Nevertheless, this did not dishearten us to continue what we believe in and in what we want to promote. We took crucial baby steps in order to complete this project and we believe that our sweat, tears and restless hearts would pay off.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
“We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” - Martin Luther King Jr. The members of our group have different point of views, different ideas and different beliefs and sometimes, these could be the reasons for the fall of the group. But we have tried to understand each other and used these differences to create a better project. Who knew that one day, four people would come together to promote the patronization of one’s country? We have combined these ideas and we believe our outcome is worth viewing.
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project is very important to our group. Besides the scholarship that we will get if ever we will win, we know that through this project we can understand international affairs and diplomacy better. This project required extensive researches, true-to-life situations, statistics, and of course, enough knowledge on the creation of websites. Doors to Diplomacy served as an overall application of the things being taught to us in Technology and Home Economics, as well as self-examination on what we have been really as Filipinos. Since we had to conduct such researches, this project had let us to be more close to each other. We chose to take our own pictures and videos, so we were able to practice our skills in photography, video and image editing. Through this competition, we realized that knowing the strengths and weaknesses of one’s country is a necessary and fundamental step in establishing diplomatic relationships. We need to know our own strengths so that balance will be maintained; we will not be too much overwhelmed by other countries since we know what we can be proud of. We need to know our weaknesses to be able to improve. Also, as students of SLU-LHS we realized that we really have an important role in our community or our school. Our website may be a small start, but at least we have done our role in creating a better community and a better citizen. Using the Internet is quite more effective than the traditional one because it presents a new method of learning that actually encourages more students to learn. Media such as flash videos, and colorful graphics could invoke their attention. However, we should not forget the importance of the traditional methods. We always need to compare so as to be sure of what to present.