CyberFair Project ID: 3552

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Diplomacy Without Boundaries
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: Northwest High School
    Omaha, Nebraska, United States

3 students, ages 18,16,16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 21, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Haas, Dan, Rick, Cara

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project attempts to take a unique angle to solving the problem of international terroism. We will propose a the problem as a whole, educate readers to the topic, and then propose teenagers' possible solutions to this problem. We have recieved community input in the forum section of our site and we appreciate your input there as well.

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

During our project only a handful of problems arose. On the technical side of things, we had just a few slight problems with the forum being the main part of our headache. Due to issues with our school district’s firewall system, our teen forum for solutions took an extra week or two to complete and caused quite a bit of last minute rushing. Our site is programmed in HTML as well as PHP, a programming language that nobody in our group was familiar with. After learning the new code we found that we could overcome most of our obstacles if we put our minds to it.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This project has given us real life challenges and has made us feel like we better understand what building a website is all about. We are taking out of this project a greater admiration for the members of our team as well as a greater appreciation for who we are and what we, together, are capable of.

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

Our project fit into our class and district requirements in many ways. The writing and research that we did, fit neatly with the Six Traits of Writing taught throughout our district. These six traits focus on voice, mechanics, and word choice among other things, in writing. Each subject or class is supposed to incorporate these things into assignments throughout the course of the year; Doors to Diplomacy took care of those requirements. During this project we also learned different types of programming. Our site incorporated HTML, PHP, and CSS among other things. We had to learn a great deal of these new programming languages to be able to properly use them in our site. Doors to Diplomacy has forced us to learn time management skills that will be beneficial for all of us in the future. We also learned a great deal about teamwork and focusing on the skills that an individual can contribute to the group.

Project Elements

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

For our project we tried to make use of many forms of media to help research and create the pages of our site. Last year our school received, from our district, four new computer labs all with state of the art 2004 Gateway computers. Our school also owns digital cameras that we used for our site and bios. The computers we used were equipped with Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash, and Microsoft word. This software was a crucial element in our site’s completion. We used the Internet, our local library, newspaper, magazine articles, and even a little bit of television news broadcasts to form our research and complete our writing. Using different types of media to gather our information allowed us a less biased viewpoint but still maintaining a dynamic perspective. We worked on our site through Macromedia Dreamweaver. This software is extremely user friendly. It combines visual elements as well as a unique programming application to aid the users in developing large-scale web projects such as Doors to Diplomacy. All of our programming was done using this application. Adobe Photoshop is a graphic arts program that Rick used regularly for all of our design needs. The rollovers on the side bar were also designed in Photoshop. We used Macromedia Flash to develop our introduction and the War on Terror timeline. This program is also very user friendly and allows for games, videos, and other animations to be created. We hoped that our use of flash would better facilitate our thoughts on terrorism in our introduction. Making the timeline in flash was a more creative, user-friendly decision to, again, express ideas quicker but also in a quick, neat way.

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

Through our site we hope to reach out to not just our community but the global community as well. We wanted to find an easy way for people from anywhere that have visited our site to be able to express their opinions in an open arena where debate is welcome. However, reaching to the global community can be difficult if you don’t start small and build to a larger thing. So we started our community input at a local area, our High School. We had AP American Government classes write responses to our website and then post the responses on our forum. By doing this we hope to spark further debate on a larger scale. We challenge every reader of our site to come up with a response to our thoughts and opinions and to give others food for thought. The classes who have viewed our site have come back to us with a lot of support. They appreciate that we tried to take a very unbiased stance on this project but still maintain an educating and somewhat opinionated website. They were very impressed that we were able to achieve so much; overall they really enjoyed the design of our site and got a lot out of the information we compiled. When reading our site, people from our school would come up to us in class and argue with us on why one solution was better than the other and how our ideas on one thing were overshadowed by ideas expressed on another part of the page. Overall I believe that the members of our team did a great job of reaching to the community and promoting our site locally and hopefully internationally.

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

We hope that our website addresses one of the largest and fastest growing problems in the world, a problem that hits home for many, terrorism. Terrorism is a problem that will affect our children and our children’s children. It is not a nuisance in some far off land; it is something that is at home for everyone no matter where they live. We want to open the eyes of the people reading our site to this huge project. We hope that others will take away from our project as much as we have. It was an experience we enjoyed and hope that others will as well. Again, we hope to receive feedback to our work in our forum section.

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

It is said that most Doors to Diplomacy sites need help from individuals from the community. Our site went along with this theory. We had help from our teachers, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, and classmates to develop our site. The help that they have given us has been a necessity to produce a high quality web page. We thanked everybody who has helped out or given input to our site on our credits page. When viewing a site daily there are a number of things that you overlook. Regularly overlooking items on the site can be a critical problem that could possibly undermine the educational value of the project. With the assistance of all of our helpers we believe that we were able to produce a website of superior quality.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3552)

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