CyberFair Project ID: 4408

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Old Ford Motor Factory
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: River Valley High School
    Singapore, N/A, Singapore

5 students, ages 15 and 16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2002

Classes and Teachers: Kolot Suriakumar Menon

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Singapore is situated at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in South-east Asia. With a population of about 3.5 million people spread over a land area of 684 square kilometres, Singapore is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Owing to Singapore's small land area and large population, Singapore's skyline is dominated by many high-rise buildings. These buildings are common due to the importance of maximising land usage in Singapore. More than 90% of our population lives in high-rise housing estates constructed by the Housing Development Board.

Singapore consists of mainly four major races - Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasians. We live in a multicultural global city with cosmopolitan ideals. Our society is based on a democratic and meritocratic system. There are few natural resources to be found in Singapore, hence we rely on exports of of electronics and manufacturing from our ports to sustain our economy.

Historical heritage also makes up Singapore's local community. Despite being a young island nation, Singapore has a rich history. Many buildings of historical value can be found in Singapore. These buildings are scattered throughout Singapore and each has an interesting story of its own. The Singapore government is doing its best to preserve these buildings to protect our historical heritage so that they will not be lost with time.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our Cyber Fair 2006 project is about the Old Ford Motor Factory, which is a historical landmark in our country. This is a building of tremendous historical importance as it was the site of the British surrender to the Japanese in Singapore during World War Two.

Our group decided to work on this historic landmark due to its significance as the link between the Japanese invasion of Singapore, one of Singapore's major historical events, and the Japanese Occupation, another major historical event as well as the darkest period of Singapore's history.

Through research of the materials that were available to us, we have compiled an informative website on the Old Ford Motor Factory. Our website covers the three major aspects of the Old Ford Motor Factory's history: The history of the factory itself, the Battle of Singapore and the Japanese Occupation. Historical context is also presented in the form of the Battle of Malaya and Singapore's importance as a British colony.

We hope our website will enlighten and educate the younger generations of Singapore of the hardships our forefathers faced. Through this, we hope to learn from our past so as to prevent a catastrophe like the British surrender of Singapore from happening again. Hence we included a section 'Learning Points' which is a summarisation of all that we have learnt through this project.

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:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had our fair share of surprises while working on this project, and this has taught us invaluable lessons. Along with data losses and crashes, we had to deal with a sudden change in plan. Our original plan of working on another attraction had to be changed at the last moment due to several reasons. This took us completely by surprise as we had already done quite a fair bit of research on the topic. This sudden turn of events has taught us that adequate planning is essential to any project, and we are certain that we will not commit this mistake again.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our project has allowed us to take history as a lesson and learn from the past. These learning

points and lessons will help us in preventing the mistakes of the past from repeating


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

Through the course of this project, we have learnt of the demands of project work as well as the

importance of team work and good time management.

Participating in Cyberfair has showed us how demanding project work is. In order to obtain

sufficient information for our site and present to viewers our point of view and ideas, we had

to think about the different perspectives that our website will be viewed in and work towards

conveying our ideas accurately. This has taught us how to look at things from many different

perspectives and to better understand and appreciate the opinions of others.

Team work is very important as without good team work, our project would never have been

completed on time. Each member worked to finish their assigned duties and helped each other out

when needed. There were times when we lost our focus, but our fellow members helped keep us on


We also learnt of the importance of good time management as we were short of time and had to

finish this website by the assigned dateline. Thus we practised good time management and

organised our activities more efficiently. Balance between our Cyberfair project and our studies

also had to be achieved as our exams were held a few weeks before the dateline. Thanks to good

time management, we were able to juggle work and studies and produce satisfactory results for

our exams and continue working on our project at the same time.

Taking part in Cyberfair has also taught us many useful things that cannot be learnt from a

textbook. Through this project, we have learnt how to sort data and find them efficiently.

Sitting down and brainstorming ideas as well as voicing our opinions have gone a long way

towards helping our group complete this project. Uncertainities were addressed and problems were

solved more quickly when we are thinking as a group rather than as individuals.

We have also learnt to appreciate the historical landmarks of Singapore. No longer will they be

seen as just another building in our city. Instead they will be seen as a piece of the great

jig-saw puzzle that is Singapore's history; small but critical. Without them, Singapore will be

missing alot and future generations will no longer be able to appreciate their beauty and

richness, as well as the lessons that can be learnt from their histories.

Project Elements

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

We used 5 P4 computers to type out our content, design our websites, sort our photos and conduct

our internet research.

Software used include: Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Notepad

Telephones and handphones allowed us to contact each other quickly and discuss our project. They

also allowed us to contact the organisation in charge to ask project-related questions.

We used digital cameras on our visits to Memories at Old Ford Factory to take photos so as to

obtain pictures for our websites, allowing our websites to appear more vibrant and less text-


Adobe Photoshop is used to edit our photos so that they can be used on our website. We also

designed our own graphics such as banners and buttons using this software.

Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver were used for editing our website quickly and easily. Advanced

coding for our site was done with Dreamweaver.

Notepad was used for basic HTML coding and editing. We also typed and stored our information

using notepad before putting them on our website. Notepad was used for information storage as it

can be accessed with any computer and did not have a large file size.

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

During the course of our project, we had to contact the management of Memories at Old Ford

Factory, describing our project and conveying the objective of the website. This allowed

Memories at Old Ford Factory and our contact to learn of our objective. In the end, we managed

to gain their support for our website.

By setting up our website, we are encouraging the younger generation of Singaporeans to learn

more about and from their history. It is our belief that we will only be learning history if we

know about the historical events that happened as well as the learning points that we can get

from them.

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

Our community will learn more about the important events of Singapore history as well as those

of the Old Ford Motor Factory through our project. We hope that our project will trigger off

Singaporeans' interest in history, causing them to take the initiative and learn more on their


By visiting our informative website, people can learn about the Old Ford Factory as well as the

historical events that are directly tied to it. We hope that this can provide visitors with an

understanding of these historical events.

Through our website, people can learn of and from history, and students can understand the

purpose of studying history in school. We hope that the knowledge that they can gain from our

project as well as the learning points can allow them to learn from the mistakes of the past and

prevent a repeat of such incidents.

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

Firstly, we would like to extend our gratitude to Stella, our contact at 'Memories at Old Ford

Factory' for her support and patience in answering all our queries despite her busy schedule.

Feng Run, our co-ordinator, who introduced us to Cyberfair 2006 and shared his previous

Cyberfair experiences with us. The advice he gave helped us tremendously as we had no prior

experience with Cyberfair.

These two key persons, along with our teacher-in-charge, Mr. Suria, have allowed us to complete

this undertaking. The effort and time they put in to help us in this project will not go


5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We had our fair share of surprises while working on this project, and this has taught us

invaluable lessons. Along with data losses and crashes, we had to deal with a sudden change in

plan. Our original plan of working on another attraction had to be changed at the last moment

due to several reasons. This took us completely by surprise as we had already done quite a fair

bit of research on the topic. This sudden turn of events has taught us that adequate planning is

essential to any project, and we are certain that we will not commit this mistake again.

Along the way, we also discovered the rich history that Singapore has. Before this project, most

of us had imagined Singapore to be a dull country due to its short history. Our visit to the Old

Ford Factory truely opened our eyes to the rich history of Singapore. What we discovered there

was the sufferings and hardships our older generations had to endure for Singapore to be what

she is today - a prosperous cosmopolitan city with a bustling economy. This changed our mindsets

- we no longer thought of the older generation as outdated and boring. Now when we look at

them, respect is all we have for them.

Furthermore, we now understand the importance of having a strong defence, as illustrated in the

country's Total Defence plan. A strong defence acts as a deterence to potential aggressors and

prevents future generations from suffering the same fate as the generation who went through the

Japanese Occupation. This is why a strong defence is vital for the country's survuval.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4408)

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