Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7308

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Cyber Security Diplomats
Category: 4. Science/Technology

School: Raffles Institution
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

4 students, ages 16 to 18 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 7, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2011, 2012

Classes and Teachers: Mr Eric Koh, Darren Teoh, Park Han Min, Liu Yilin, Clarence See

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

We are Darren Teoh (16), Liu Yi Lin (17), Park Han Min (18) and Clarence See (16) from the Raffles Institutiton. We have come to know about the Doors to Diplomacy through our Social Studies teacher Mr Eric Koh. Mr Koh is our teacher-mentor. All of us are active users of the Internet services like Google Docs and have keen interest in cybersecurity. To share our knowledge on cybersecurity and its increasing importance in a globalized world, we have decided to take part in the Doors to Diplomacy competition.

2. Summary of Our Project

“If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology.” - Bruce Schneier, global expert on cybersecurity

The key aim of our project is to educate the people around the world about the importance of cybersecurity and the growing threat our cyberspace faces in the 21st century. Nowadays, many of us are connected to the Internet and it forms a vital part of our life. Due to the increasing connectivity to the Internet, the threat of cyberattacks grows equally as much.

We explore the various types of cyberattacks and the importance of cybersecurity from various perspectives: political, economic and individual. Additionally, we also explore how various international organisations are coming together to combat the threat of cyberattacks and what the Singapore Government and private sectors are doing to ensure Singapore’s cybersecurity.

Most importantly, we look at limitations of what the so-called cybersecurity “professionals” can do to mitigate cybersecurity threats, and we explain what each individual can do to protect himself/herself from the growing threat of cyberattacks. The key message of our project is that cybersecurity is a collective issue which concerns everyone of us, hence everybody has a part to play in ensuring the global cybersecurity. We believe that cybersecurity is just like ensuring the security of neighbourhoods: police patrols the area for criminals like thieves while each household has their own security measures to prevent breaking in.

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:4-6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

A. Time management As the seniors of the school, we had to meet increasing numbers of responsibilities both academic and non-academic. This put huge pressure on us since we had to allocate as much as we can squeeze out of our daily schedule for our Doors to Diplomacy project. It was a new challenge for us to deal with. We learnt better time management skills from parents and teachers and hence were able to commit better to the Doors to Diplomacy project.

B. Scheduling group meetings When we became the Year 4s of the school (equivalent to Grade 10), we were not given separate curriculum hours for our Doors to Diplomacy project (which is part of the Year 3 curriculum called Research Education). Hence, we had to find ways to meet up and complete the project. This was when the technology proved to be the solution. We used the online collaborative tool Google Docs to hold online meetings and to edit our works simultaneously from our home. This erased the need for us to meet physically unless absolutely necessary. Also, it provided us the opportunity to better manage our time and increase productivity since physical meetings can sometimes turn out to be unproductive for various reasons.

C. Learning Despite having the interest and knowledge in the Internet and cybersecurity, some of us lacked the in-depth technical aspects of the issue. We referred to various books on the Internet and security so as to gain better understand of the technical knowledge. Also, Darren was very helpful in teaching us various technical concepts. He had much more prior knowledge on the issue due to his interest in computer software and gadgets.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Cybersecurity is a collective responsibility and we are here to promote the awareness of the importance of cybersecurity in our daily life so as to make our online world a safer place for all. “If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don't understand the problems and you don't understand the technology.” - Bruce Schneier, global expert on cybersecurity

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

Our project is in line with the Raffles Institution Social Studies curriculum which emphasizes on the value of active citizenry. Active citizenry is an act of a citizen to raise an awareness of an social issue and to improve the society. Our project aims to educate the public about the importance of cybersecurity. Additionally, the Social Studies curriculum requires us to make a social documentary. The documentary is based on our Doors to Diplomacy project. As a result of the social documentary, we have learnt video shooting and editing skills which will be useful as we further our studies.

In addition, our Doors to Diplomacy project is part of the school’s Research Education (RE) Programme. Through our project, we were able to apply the research skills we learnt from the Research Education such as literature review, note-taking, APA style citation, etc.

Project Elements

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

a. Hardware: School computers, personal desktops and laptops, tablet PCs

b. Software: Google Docs, Weebly (free-webhosting and website creation site), Microsoft 2007 and 2010, PowerPoint 2007 and 2010

c. Media: YouTube, TED Talks

d. Literature review: online articles, library books, TED Talks videos, expert websites

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

We presented our project during the school’s Research Education Congress. This was an opportunity for us to inform our schoolmates about the importance of cybersecurity. We acted as the ambassadors for our project by raising the awareness of the issue of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is not an important issue among the student population hence the Research Education Congress provided us to share our knowledge on cybersecurity with the rest of the student population.

At the same time, we also promoted our Doors to Diplomacy website to our friends and schoolmates to view and give feedback. Through this exercise, we were able to engage with them on-line and to educate them on the importance of cybersecurity. All their feedback was valuable to us since it helped us make the content easier for people to understand. Through this online engagement, we acted as ambassadors for our project.

In future, we plan to reach out to a wider audience through the use of social media like Facebook and also by giving voluntary talks on the issue of cybersecurity. Furthermore, we are in the process of making a social documentary video on the importance of cybersecurity and the liability of cybersecurity. We hope to share this video with the global community through platforms like YouTube and Dailymotion. In general, our future approach will be done mainly through the cyberspace.

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

Our project was able to educate our immediate community (i.e. schoolmates) about the importance of cybersecurity and methods to ensure one’s cybersecurity. We were really glad to receive compliments from our fellow students for our awareness project. They previously had limited knowledge on the issue of cybersecurity. Through our website, they had come to know more about the issue and how to better defend themselves from the threat of the cyberattacks. They even informed their friends of our project so that they could read and learn from it. Even teachers expressed their appreciation at a concise and informative presentation.

We were happy to know that our project was making positive impact on our community. In future, we hope to reach out to more people through the use of social networks like Facebook and YouTube.

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

Our greatest thanks goes to our teacher mentor Mr Eric Koh. He guided us throughout the entire project which stretches about one and a half years. Whenever we were on the wrong paths, Mr Koh always guided us back to the correct direction. We would also like to thank our senior Calvin Chang. He had taken part in the Doors to Diplomacy before and provided us with genuine feedback on our project. His experience was valuable to us. Lastly, we are grateful towards our school librarian who provided us with a wide range of resources on cybersecurity. The resources formed the basis of our project.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7308)

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