CyberFair Project ID: 4602

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Pal Chhin: Moments of Life
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Ryan International School
    Gurgaon, Haryana, India

4 students, ages 11-12 years worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2006

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Madhuri Parti, Dr. Manisha Vashisht, Sahil, Akash, Ruel, Rajas

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

“We are not artists, but we paint dreams. Yes we are dreamers and we dream our paintings.”

Our ‘team Pal Chhin’ consists of budding members, who worked together for fulfilling their dreams of designing a web site, to spread awareness using mass media as a tool for the betterment of mankind. We had lots of fun in creating our website under the guidance of our innovative and encouraging coach, Mrs. N.M Parti, who made “Pal Chhin: The Moments of Life” possible. Our assistant coach, Dr.M.Vashist organized all our meeting programs, interviews and visits to libraries and source-centers.

Akash: The Artist... The believer has a brain full of innovation and ideas and has a great vocabulary. He is good in extracting useful information from different sources. Akash who wants to become a tennis star when he grows up couldn’t give up his tennis classes in the evening. Thus, whenever we had an extra meeting in the evening, Rajas picked up Akash from his tennis class to the meeting place. Sahil: The technical WiZZard played the most important role in designing our site. Using his vast knowledge of designing and imaging software, he made the elegant layouts of our site and edited them. Though designing was his main work, he wrote informative articles too. He is a real computer whiz kid. But he had undergone a tonsillitis operation while making this site and could not speak properly for a few days. So Ruel, Rajas and Akash conducted the interviews and surveys that his responsibility, for him to recover well!

Ruel: The confident go-getter is a happy-go-lucky boy who has a gifted mind, from which, ideas burst out like lava from a volcano! Ruel is a creative child and enjoys music. He even plays the piano. So, while team Pal Chhin was developing its web site, he had to take some of his piano exams too, and could not meet us at our meeting points. So, he started finishing all his work at school and prepared for his music tests at home.

Rajas: The Creative Genius has a good knowledge of imaging software and wrote many thought provoking articles for the web site. Initially he was reluctant as he feared that he would not get good grades while working simultaneously on the project. Ruel’s mother who is a psychologist counseled him and made him realize that co-curricular activities are also important alongside studies.

So the dreamers and the believers got together to bridge the gap between vision and reality!!!

2. Summary of Our Project

A story we have, to tell you – the story of your life and the precious moments surrounding it! Over the years, man has only been caring for his own comforts and has threatened nature in the process. But nature is kind. She doesn’t want to wage a war against man and put lives at stake!

Yet, our greed for power and control has made nature burn with anger and rage. The fury was bound to befall on man. Nature sighed in anguish and the result was earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and hurricanes. She increased the death toll on human life and went to the extent of inducing a rampage.

Yes nature is kind! But in her fury, she can let the evil beasts out any time, anywhere. Is this what we were born for? No, we have the right to live and to enjoy the moments of life. We can try to calm nature’s anger and ask her for forgiveness for the doing of generations of men and women; and till then we can learn to save ourselves through skills of disaster management.

‘Disaster’ is a term that we use at various steps of life. ‘Pal Chhin: Moments of Life’ is an attempt to take you along a caravan, making insightful observations and fascinating discovery. Here you will learn to face disasters and overcome their might calmly, carefully and courageously!

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:2-3

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our School has pioneered in bringing the concept of multimedia aided education to classrooms. The school maintains “JIL” packages, which comprise clippings as well as textual tidbits related to the chapters. An assortment of videos from biological to theological and archaeological, have been made available. The most remarkable output generated from this package, has been the amalgamation of technology with regular coursework and the ease of adaptability shown by students and teachers alike.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Twelve years old students designing a website? Impossible!!! On an issue such as disaster management? Unlikely!!!

That is the response we received from most people who came to know of Team Pal Chhin. We were apprehensive too- could we do it? But our coaches instilled in us, belief and self-confidence and then every flash of lightning only made us more cautious and every drop of rain motivated us to overcome all odds. The greatest barriers and obstacles are in the mind!!! It was a major challenge for us to compile information from a diverse set of primary as well as secondary sources. We often found it difficult to decide what to include and what not to. But several editing sessions under our coaches’ guidance, sorted the problem. Examinations were approaching and we were worried if we could balance our academics with our project. We were involved in diverse activities but time was limited. So we sat together and prepared study schedules and project schedules to proceed systematically. The major challenge for us was to design an interactive and informative website. We began by attending workshops and reading tutorials on the use of Dreamweaver and Photoshop. One of our seniors, helped us a lot, for the same. We prepared several drafts before finalizing our layout and navigation. Finalizing the color schemes took up large parts of our time. In the process of building web-pages, we were bothered by virus and bug attacks, limited internet connectivity and problems of data transfer. However we proceeded one step at a time and learnt extensively from the project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The ships were rocking hard and the blue waters seemed like death to us although till a few hours ago they symbolized life. The attacking army could strike from anywhere, anytime. The defending forces had only their wits to battle, the rest was their fortune. What did the intruders have? 12 meters high waves of white water that had extended way beyond the binding coastline.

But the seemingly weak defendants had their strengths too- their disaster management skills! Their Commander instructed, “You are about to experience the greatest moment of your life. Do not count hours, do not count miles; count only the lives that you can save!”

When the battle receded, it was nothing short of relieving. Using their disaster management skills, ‘the army of calm, controlled and courageous men’ could defeat the wave of intruders and save their fellow beings as they had become an inseparable part of the Pal Chhin movement!

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

Content is a key factor in a project. As we began our project, we decided to first meet prescribed curriculum requirements and use the base they offer to broaden our skills and perspectives.

CBSE is the main educational board in India. We rummaged through many books on disaster management for classes IX and X and dispersed this knowledge to the junior classes as well. We got information about different disasters from our geography NCERT text-books. From science we got information on first aid, health and hygiene, which proved handy in spreading knowledge. The civics syllabus assisted us with the rules, laws and regulations and the social response. We also got loads of assistance from our English course in making the glossary.

In confluence with the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards, we tried to spread awareness on how technology can be used as a platform to bring meaningful change in society. We learnt the use of various means of communication and data collection. Adhering to these standards provided the right orientation for our project and the skills we gained extend beyond those gathered in the regular classroom.

Interviewing, and interacting with different people helped us bring out cohesive arguments and furthered our inter-personal skills. We learnt to overcome stress and to beat deadlines, not just meet them. As we took the initiative to prepare our community for the future, we could inspire our fellow mates too. We formed meaningful associations in our community and learnt to gain from the power of interaction.

We chalked out many group concepts and strategies so that we were able to work efficiently. Online conferencing and brainstorming gave us some wonderful ideas. We introduced the ‘test yourself with tasks’ system to challenge our abilities. This project strengthened our belief in synergism as working as a team produced better results. We even played confession games which helped us to explore the ‘familiar and unfamiliar’ territories of thoughts.

In the process of developing this web-project, we have advanced our understanding of different disasters and disaster management. Today we are certain we would be able to deal with any unforeseen disaster in our community efficiently!

Project Elements

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

Our group made use of advanced software and hardware to make our site user-friendly. We were particular to use only genuine software as we support the campaign against piracy vehemently. For designing our layout we used Adobe Photoshop & used Adobe Image Ready to slice our layout into tables. Macromedia Dream Weaver 8 was used to modify those into text enabled tables. We have followed a basic web designing approach and it can be seen in all parts of our site. Our logo was designed with the help of one of the alumnus of our school, who uses a Macintosh run computer. We used Corel Graphic Suite & Adobe Photoshop to enhance our pictures. Macromedia Flash MX 2004 was used to design our introductory flash. At the end, Cute Ftp was used to upload our site on the Internet.

We tried our best to harness the advantages of technology: We used our coach’s digital camera and Akash’s Play Station Portable to transfer our data. We used three computers in the classroom along with our coach’s laptop which was available for use to us whenever required. We used our ipods and the ‘Griffin iFM Radio and Recorder’ to record sounds and voices. The school Radio station was also handy. Last but not the least, telephones played a very important role in our project, from arranging library visits to connecting to the internet.

In the domain of content and research, we used both internet and print sources. We conducted several interviews. With two students of our team having been a part of the award winning Quality Circle- Crucial Moments, we truly had an edge over the others. We have tried to integrate a wide array of sources, to develop a unique, innovative, informative and user-friendly website.

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

Each drop contributes in the making of an ocean. We team Pal Chhin regard ourselves as drops in the huge ocean of ‘Disaster Management’ and our mission is to melt the ice all around us. Being children, our first priority was to shape the minds of kids in our school, only then we could head towards our community. We used the school radio station extensively and for this Akash received the ‘School Radio Jockey of the Month Award’ for his excellent campaigns. For the first time in the history of our school, a new ministry, ‘the ministry of disaster management’ was introduced and Sahil and Rajas were made Minister of Disaster Management and Deputy Minister of Disaster Management, respectively.

Akash and Ruel joined the school press and a column on disaster management was introduced in our school news paper. We gave disaster alert calls to practice and analyze the reaction of the students and the teachers. Our school now has an efficient disaster management system and so we were motivated to reach out to our community.

The interviews taken by the team were published in the local news papers. Pamphlets and posters on disaster management were distributed by us in the malls. A street play was enacted in the villages near our city in. Further, we worked at creating ‘disaster resistant neighborhoods’. The target of our project consisted of students of different ages for if the message reaches a child; it reaches his family, his friends and his neighborhood. A letter was also sent to all schools in the city and the 87 branches of Ryan all over India and to our network of e-pals the world over. We could in this manner prepare a large group of students committed to spreading awareness on disaster management. We feel proud of the fact that these students form a part of the ‘Pal Chhin Community, and they took on the role of ‘Pal Chhin Ambassadors’.

We hope through our efforts, we have carved out a niche where all people can enjoy the moments of life and can face the future with optimism and confidence!

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

Team Pal Chhin has repeatedly affirmed its commitment towards preserving the delicate balance of nature. Man’s wrath has evoked nature’s fury and natural disasters have been commonplace. Though as students, we have achieved laurels in academics and activities, our health and that of our 'home'- the earth, need to be cared for. Natural disasters like the tsunamis, earthquakes and fires maybe listed as the most lethal weapons, the human race has ever witnessed. We began with our own schools and families and then tried to reach out to our community. Several workshops have been conducted in different schools of our city and students now know what to do in case of different disasters. Knowledge of first-aid amongst all students has prevented many accidents from turning fatal. In association with the Rotary Club of Gurgaon Cosmopolitan, an ambulance was always kept on standby at a nearby crossing. This catered to not just school students, but also accident victims in the city. Many changes in the field of disaster management have taken place in our city after we campaigned on the same. New exit routes have been made in big malls since we campaigned in them. After reading the articles by us in the local newspaper, people are becoming more aware of what to do during earthquakes as they came to know that our city is in zone 5 of the seismic zones. Most residential complexes in the city now have efficient exit plans and regular evacuation drills.

We received great response from most schools that we had mailed. In the coming academic session, Team Pal Chhin would be making presentations and conducting workshops in several schools. Our website has not been loaded for long and we anticipate that it would only further our objectives of preparing people in all part of the World to face disasters of all kinds!

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

Our project was a concentrated effort, a coming together of individuals from diverse walks of life; it extended beyond our team of four and was formulated after a collective networking with individuals and research groups of national and international repute.” When Geese fly in a ‘V’ the flapping of their wings creates an uplift for the bird immediately behind, this adds at least 71% of greater flying range than if each bird was flying on its own…” in the same way the help and support and guidance our family, teachers and friends helped us in moving forward towards realizing goals and objectives and our project look shape.

Any project for its proper fruition needs support and this was provided by our dynamic Principal Mrs. N.M. Parti. She encouraged us all through and provided the much needed infrastructural, academic and most important the emotional support. Dr. Manisha Vashisht was committed to help convert this project into a reality and played the role of catalyst helping us to upgrade our skills and approach all challenges with enthusiasm. Invaluable help was provided by our parents, teachers and friends.

Our school alumni, who are now specializing in different fields and studying in different parts of the World, helped us constantly. We had made many friends at the International Convention on Students Quality Control Circle and they came forward with not just their ideas but also implemented our modules in their respective schools. A friend from Pakistan shared pictures that he had taken of the recent earthquake and a friend from Sri Lanka conducted interviews on our behalf with people afflicted by the tsunami. Our school’s network of e-pals helped us at every step with their inputs and creative suggestions.

We sincerely thank the Rotary Club of Gurgaon Cosmopolitan for their support. We thank the Panchayats (local-governments) of the near-by villages for helping us in conducting street-plays. We thank Team Efforts United for their support and motivation. Our sincere thanks to the local authorities who heard us reassuringly and to Gurgaon Explorer for voicing our concerns and allowing us to reach out to people in our community. The students of our school were a constant source of inspiration as they motivated us at every step, contributed posters, poems and slogans and stood by us. We invite students all over the World to join the Pal Chhin Community. FRIENDS… REJOICE… WE ARE SCRIPTING CHANGE!!!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

As we began working our project, we asked ourselves several questions. What causes disasters? What has man done to alleviate the pain of those afflicted by disasters? How can we ensure that the fabric of our community does not disintegrate in face of nature's fury? How can we make a difference? ...Are we prepared for the future? Finding answers to these questions meant sleepless nights, times when we felt like banging our heads against each other, loads of arguments, a lot of smile, some tears, a lot of work and some play too... But, as we discovered each answer, we discovered a new aspect of our own. We felt empowered as we realized that each individual can contribute to society in his or her unique way!!!


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