1. Description of Our Team
Christian H (age 14) is our tech savvy who has various skills in web design and flash animations. He was no doubt a driving force in this project and a major source of motivation. Jerson B (age 14) is technically skilled but also has a very comprehensive knowledge of foreign affairs and politics. He has various organizational skills which kept this project together. Dan S (age 14) has various interests in both music and medicine and a source of the various knowledge and soundtracks accompanying this project. His undivided attention when it comes to working is a major benefit. Michael L (age 13) is the project’s main artist and graphics designer. His interests in art and design are invaluable when it comes to aesthetics and the website’s layout. He is a source for stats and research for all environmental issues. The four of us joined together as a team because of mutual interest in the project and our already strong friendships. We wanted to make a difference to the world especially on such an important matter and we four fast friends believed we could do it together. The division on different jobs was decided based on our interests. For example Michael is quite artistic so he worked on designing graphics, while Jerson the more organised one out of the four became the group organiser. With these interests and skills in mind we divided the project accordingly. Our coach Mrs Yager contributes to this project in a number of ways. Firstly she acted as our guide giving us tips and other points of advice; she also went out of her way to give us all the resources we required such as time out of school.
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project aims at highlighting past and present international affairs and the role diplomacy has in international negotiations and relations. We hope to raise awareness about peacekeeping efforts, combating terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In the past, Diplomacy has taken wars off the battle field and into rooms, where peaceful negotiations between parties take place without the cost of lives, military resources or financial means that could be used for more humanitarian issues; however, with the rising threat of Nuclear Arms, the whole practice intended to maintain peace is being threatened. Firstly we want to show people the past and how war has tainted the world. Then what the status quo currently is regarding the various systems in place and the existence of weapons of mass destruction. Then we wish to highlight the role of diplomacy in this and show how it is the solution to all issues regarding international security. Finally we want to establish how diplomacy can lead to peace. The purpose of our project is to bring awareness to this issue and recognize the role diplomacy will play in our future.
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):
We had quite a lot of access to the internet in each different location we worked at. The connection speed was quite fast despite having a lot of people using it. However, there were some connection difficulties when we visited each other’s houses where some laptops would not connect to the server. In away such fast connectivity also became bad because of the temptation and distraction that came with it.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The main obstacle we had to overcome was the amount of time we had. Our team only had two weeks to complete the project which became a massive restriction on the amount of detail and perfection that we could use. To deal with this we had to make time, even pushing aside assessments to complete the task. We spent a lot of time at each other’s houses on each day of the week we could manage. There were also opportunities in school where we could work on the project. In the end making this project the priority and putting less effort into other aspects of our lives we managed to overcome this obstacle. Another issue that we had to face was technical obstacles which mainly were the difficulty of creating our own website without templates or help and also the fact the majority of the team had no previous experience. Again this meant further time spent on research and learning how to use flash. The lack of inexperience was overcome by allocating people jobs to that were tailored to their interest and skill and not out of their comfort zone.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our participation has expanded our understanding and knowledge of diplomacy and aspects of international security. Through our medium of the website we hope this impact spreads through the school and our local community as well using some of the publicity mechanisms like our school newsletter.
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
• Our project did not have direct relation with our curriculum although it definitely explored aspects that would be covered in the future. In a way this was an extension course of our learning. It addressed standards such as Technology skills, the ability to create coherent information, keep viewers engaged and write substantial documentation. The project also reflected our English course that requires students to use technology to inform and persuade, and our History course where we use the skills of investigation. Although not tailored specifically to subjects or guidelines there are aspects that would be incorporated throughout life and there are some aspects running on the same idea through it. The new skills that we learnt we’re mainly website design. We learnt how to successfully create a website and display information in a coherent manner. Our researching skills were also developed our so were our understanding of Diplomacy. Despite having a good knowledge on international issues and current diplomatic actions we only had vague and less detailed knowledge on the past. This project expanded our knowledge our understanding of these two. Using the internet has been better than traditional methods. This is because of the efficiency and accessibility of information and the speed that it can be accessed. It makes the time taken to research easier. Although there may be incidents where research is not accurate by using cross referencing and trusted sources, this can be averted.