CyberFair Project ID: 4272

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Golden Bridges: Connecting People to Peace
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Florida Virtual School
    Orlando, Florida, USA

3 students, ages 18, 16, and 15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 10, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): Intermittently 2-4 years

Classes and Teachers: Sherry McAuliffe (teacher), Felicia, Ashley, Katie

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Felicia, Ashley, and Katie all take Advanced Placement (AP) US History from Ms. McAuliffe at the Florida Virtual School. We are an on line Virtual school. When Ms. McAuliffe introduced the Doors to Diplomacy contest to us, we were extremely excited at the chance to enhance our knowledge of American history, particularly in diplomacy and to be part of a Global community. Felicia, 18, who dreams of becoming a judge, has served as the project manager. She started the project rolling and coordinated the efforts of her teammates. She also visited the Boston Model UN conference, gathering material and photographs for the project. Ashley, 16, was the only team member skilled in web design; she took the main responsibility of creating the website. Katie, 15, took notes, conducted interviews, exposed community groups of our involvement in this project and helped Ashley create the website. Ms. McAuliffe, aside from discovering the contest and creating the team, also coordinated communication, managed technical details, and served as editor.

2. Summary of Our Project

With our passion for foreign relations and international affairs, choosing category six seemed most appropriate to express our ideals. Quickly after imbuing in global events, our team recognized the promising rewards focusing on the United Nations (UN) as a key topic. Hence, our research and energies went to investigating prominent foreign affairs through the infrastructure and dealings of the United Nations. In this topic, foreign relations, diplomacy, and international wars truly enlivened the project, flooding our team with rich accounts of world history and present day events. Moreover, while our team’s website offers a lofty study of the United Nations, it includes a balanced account of other foreign relations material. As truly imprinting as this project was for our team, we cannot help but wish the same experience for our website viewers. For this reason, we hope that all Golden Bridges’ visitors will participate and enjoy our foreign relation quizzes and mold their own opinion of the effectiveness and impact of the United Nations in their area of life.

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:not sure

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):

Unlike a traditional public school, our group has spent time completing the project over the internet, by e-mailing, through the telephone and group conference calls. As students of the Florida Virtual School curriculum, we overcame a huge hurdle in communication, since we do not see each other or our teacher. However, the internet time also provided easy access to the project at flexible hours. Therefore, computer and internet access was a must-have from the start of the virtual school year to the moment we signed up for the Doors to Diplomacy Contest; it has aided us in the undertaking of research throughout our busy schedules.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Unlike a traditional public school, our group has spent time completing the project over the internet, by e-mailing, through the telephone and group conference calls. As students of the Florida Virtual School curriculum, we overcame a huge hurdle in communication, since we do not see each other or our teacher. However, the internet time also provided easy access to the project at flexible hours. Therefore, computer and internet access was a must-have from the start of the virtual school year to the moment we signed up for the Doors to Diplomacy Contest; it has aided us in the undertaking of research throughout our busy schedules.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

What do peace-promoting organizations hold for our future? Do they truly work in developing a round table for afar nations to settle war disputes, human liberties, and civil duties? It is time our world evaluates foreign relations and the people at its forefront. For many decades, the war between good and evil tugs on and peace becomes a worldly symbol instead of bringing people of all nationalities and cultures together... For these reasons, global organizations are developed for promoting coherency and pacifism, but in the end, peace will come down to the duties of the people and the minds of the leaders. Our team has utilized this opportunity to ponder these painstaking ideas; it has vividly affected our classroom experience, enhanced our learning experiences and overall outlook at our different international organizations and their vanguards. This project has had a major effect on the way we view the world and our place in it.

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

The Doors to Diplomacy Contest fell into a portion of our Florida Virtual School class, Advance Placement American History. It made us aware of the standards required the economic social and political impacts over the past 200 years. As far as American history entails, the United Nations has played a substantial role in recent international news. Appling our knowledge we learned the importance concerning the failure of the League of Nations, research on the U.N. helped us to better understand the gradual evolution to global politics. The United States is a world leader in international dealings, which is, in essence, what our project attempts to break down into laymen terms. For example, the United Nations is a large organization with various branches that the United States has a hand in. A section of our project refers to each organization and the role it plays in the greater scheme of the U.N. Compiling the massive research for this project has taught us about the delicate system of global politics; a daily force in our lives. We have also learned that the internet school community is a great way to come across this information and to spread the word quickly, as technology continues to be the main mode of communication in a high-tech world. There are numerous nations involved in the UN and we have learned of their place and role in the world and how it impacts the United States. It enhanced our knowledge of American history thereby enabling us to learn and apply our knowledge through out our course.

Project Elements

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

Technology played a huge part in the creation of our Doors to Diplomacy project. We used computers, telephones, a camera, computer software, books, the internet, a recording device, a projector, and a video camera. Since our team members live in different cities, hundreds of miles apart, we relied on telephones, email, and the internet to coordinate our efforts. We often held conference telephone calls, in which we could all talk on the phone at the same time. However, we more heavily relied on email, which we used to share notes, send ideas for the website, and coordinate our efforts. We also used the vast resources on the internet to find information for our project, although we still used traditional paper books. Felicia also used a camera to take pictures at the Boston Model United Nations (UN) conference. Ashley and Katie used computer software to create the website. Katie used a sound recording device, a digital camera, and a video camera while taping a debate in a local organization about the United Nations. The team utilized every available technology possible.

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

Our team used our unique online situation to communicate and act as ambassadors over the internet and through our community. Our ambassador work included numerous activities. We e-mailed our research websites to fellow online students in our classroom to make them aware of our project. In addition we wrote an article concerning our Doors to Diplomacy information to our school newspaper and newsletter. This newsletter reaches over fifteen thousand students plus families. It is also posted on the school website where it is visible to thousands of more people globally... We are also placing an article on the local Orlando newspaper to further reach the public.

Most importantly, the creation of our website sits as our key “ambassador”-type project. Our website uses quizzes, research, and resources for other people to educate themselves on foreign relations.

Indeed, our team members acted as cheerleaders for our project. So involved was oldest team member Felicia that she traveled to Boston for the United Nations Model Conference. Because of our ongoing project, Felicia picked up many souvenirs so that our website viewers could see a model conference face-to-face.

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

“Golden Bridges: Connecting People to Peace” is aimed at raising awareness of global politics. In a world that is so closely bound by economy, natural disasters, and health, the importance of an international force to confront a problem before creating a domino effect is essential to the continuation of the human race. We hope our project will inspire the next generation of would-be politicians and government officials to promote global politics around the world, as well as influence our generation to be aware and be a part of the solutions. For our short term goals, we also hope our site will allow students to acknowledge the work the United Nations has done and continues to do for humanity. The UN is a true collaboration of various countries from developing to developed to be included in the decision making process. This is a true democratic endeavor.

We spread word of our project through email, editorials, flyers, and the news. We first emailed our Florida Virtual School classmates to alert them of out website. Then we sent editorials to local newspapers about our website. We also posted flyers about our website at out local libraries. Finally, Katie got an interview with a local television station for the project.

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

As students of the online Florida Virtual School, we were able to tap into the diverse community of Florida Virtual School students in mostly Florida, but also in the rest of the United States. We created a questionnaire about the United Nations and American diplomacy for our fellow students to complete simply from their own knowledge, not from looking up the answers. This allowed us to determine what an average American high schooler does or does not know about American diplomacy, so we focused our website toward the areas they did not know. We also used their input to improve our site.

Furthermore, Katie involved a local student organization in the project. This organization, the Gavel Club, is a group of local homeschoolers who meet to debate pressing issues. Katie presented the website to the Gavel Club and started a debate about the U.N. and United States involvement in it. She then posted the debate on the website.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Never meeting our teammates accounted for the biggest difference in our group. Discovering that the web can be a place for overcoming distance barriers made our group feel more confident in our creativity. We discovered that it takes maturity to maintain an online relationship with fellow teammates so that project deadlines can be met and accomplished. Because doing such a large project through the web was new to all of us we learned time management skills and allowed for difference in opinions. Therefore, we were able to share techniques and words of wisdom with each other. This project humbled us all at first, with its minor difficulties, but, in the end, nothing was clearer than our team’s realization that all events can be met with a plan of action. Additionally we learned of the huge impact of the United Nations past and present, the importance of all people working toward a common goal. Perhaps most importantly we learned to work together virtually, respecting our differences and the art of compromise.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4272)

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