CyberFair Project ID: 4340

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Better World For Everyone
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Liceum Ogólnoksztalcace Nr XVIII
    Wroclaw, Lower Silesia, Poland

2 students, ages 19 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 17, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006

Classes and Teachers: Turska Alicja

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Our team members consists of three members, two boys and one teacher Elzbieta Wachowska-Karaskiewicz. Michal (19) is the main webmaster of our team. He intends to continue his education at the Wroclaw University of Technology and study computer science. He wants to be a computer programmer, working in the huge international projects, which can solve serious world problems. Michal’s great dream is to go to Japan, especially to Tokyo, but he doesn’t know now, what he will do there, without the knowledge of Japanese language ? Lucas is 19 too, he is our data manager, and a good ghost of the project, if all of us are ill or very busy and tired, Luke can work hard many hours, alone in the big school server room. Luke thinks about his future as a student of the Wroclaw University of Technology and wishes to study computer science with Michal. He would like to see European countries, get to know people and their culture. As you can guess they are friends. Luke sees himself as a skilfull diplomat or only modest astronaut ! Both boys are webmasters and authors of articles and photograps. Elzbieta is the Pedagogical Studies graduate, she organized our meetings schedule and worked on publicity. She’s also responsible for translations in English and she wrote some articles located in our project. She was a critical member of our team, because she guided our project in detail, and helped us through the difficulties. We all got together to make this project because we have some ideas to share, and because we want to do something for our local community to involve it to very important affairs and because we want to save in the public memory some very important events from the modern history as : The Orange Revolution, Polish Solidarity Movement, United Nations. It was a very big effort to do this – but the pace of work was very high besides outside the window was winter . We worked after lessons at school, and at the weekends. Everyone in the team played an important role in our project, and we made such a One team!

2. Summary of Our Project

We live in a country, where we have not any ethnic problems, Jew, Gypsy, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, German people – we all live in harmony, but sometimes in our history you can see something else. Sometimes, on the building walls in the cities appear a fascist sign, a picture or text. Sometimes we read in newspapers about events with beated Gypsy men. There are intolerant groups of young peole fighting with all communities which are not ethnic Polish. In our project we want to show that we are tolerant and understanding. We have the power to organize school debates, competitions, seminars, lessons, meetings - to change young people and their stereotype image of the world, to reduce their aggression and prejudice. Our web page can facilitate to join Human Rights organizations working in Poland, for example Amnesty International and Helsinki Foundation. Besides we promote 'European Circle' to our students, this idea is very popular at schools in Poland and did a lot of good things for the community. In many big cities we have Youth Parliaments, so we decided to describe how they work. What we need now is to find friends for our project, to develop the web page in the next year, for the next generation, because Michal and Lukasz will graduate from the school this year.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

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:2-3

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

We used 5 computers: School computers data: PC Pentium III, Pentium IV, equipped in HDD 40 GB, 128 MB RAM, colour screen 15'. In a computer room we have scanner, an ink printer HP 920, CD-RW recorder Private computers data: AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1,2 GHz, ASUS A7N8X Deluxe, 512 MB RAM, 3dprphet Radeon 9600 Pro AMD Duron 1,8 GHz, GigaByte 7VAXFS, 256 RAM, GeForce4 MX440SE The most work had to be done at home.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had no problem with choosing the category, because Human Rights are well known in Poland and we are very sorry to see that there are some countries close to us, where these rights are not properly respected. Michal:' We have a serious problem with finding the proper tittle of our work, which can facilitate to gain all what is the most important and interesting. We have some problems with planning our menu, we have just finished, but the layout of the menu items is still unknown. But luckily we have it, as a result of negotiations between the team members. The next problem was with design of the web page - how to find the graphic equivalent and power for the word Diplomacy. What we've fond you can see now. Because of a lot of school work, we started our project at the beginning of January. The biggest problem was to sort data to get consise and comprehensible articles. The next trouble was lack of punctuality of our interviewers, but of course we are happy to finish cooperation succsesfully and show effects on our website. Translating all the information was a huge challenge for us, we used many translating tools on the internet, dictionaries from the bookshelves in a library, the last check was made by our English teachers. We won't forget about hundreds of hours spent by Michal and Lukas on learning new programmes in order to do the best our work. We didn't manage to do everything on time, but we think younger students will continue this project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The theme of our work is very close to us, we spent a lot of time thinking how to choose material to get the most expressive effect, talking about it, how to keep anyone's attention on reading the web page. Of course the idea of multicolor scheme of the web page is one of our solutions. We are still working, so we have no time to promote it now outside the school, but we are planning to cooperate with organizations and foundations, ecpecially wth those that we have found. We want to find more people working for Human Rights in Poland – to create living page promoting the stream of activities in the country and in our school. We have our own European Circle, Volunteering Organization, Youth Parliament members. Every year many of our students take part in competitions and debates, they are young citizens of the Future World, where democracy isn't a distant idea but it is a real base for safe and good quality life for everyone.

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

Two people of the team are students of the state school, from the IT class, but the knowledge which is necessary to do this project exceeds really our school's programm. Making the project requires more than the obligatory IT and English syllabus. Students who decided to work on the project faced more difficult demands. They wanted to do it as well as they could-on the highest level so it developped their abilities in the area of page designing, English translations of the text, contacting the organizations, formulating questions for surveys and interviews. They learn to rely on one another in different tasks, without instructions from the teacher. Internet is a very important tool in education because it enables students to get the information in a short time, motivating them to bigger efforts. This Doors to Diplomacy project is a great work.The design, research and data analysis took much longer than we expected but the whole team worked hard to finish it in term. We collected, organized, evaluated and synthesized information from books, journals, interviews, and websites. Our social skills improved, we voted when we needed to decide what to choose from the ocean of information.It is a good method to avoid conflicts in a small group as in the country. We hope that young people around the world will benefit from our web page for Science, Society, Technology. Generally, we have got a greater knowledge of human rights in other countries and in Poland, whose organizations are trying to secure basic human rights, and of how many students at school are involved in activities propagating democracy. A great role played an advice and comments of the pedagogical staff of our school. During creating our Doors to Diplomacy project, we have learned how to work in group, how to respect other people's opinions and how to correctly defend own point of view.

Project Elements

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

We mainly used computers. Michal: 'To make the engine of the webside with PHP technology and templates in HTML we used Polish editor CS Pajaczek 2000. Design of the web was made by Adobe Photoshop CS, and animation was made by Macromedia Flash MX. We used other programs - to simple graphic works: ACDSee5, to upload data we used : Filezilla, to communicate between ourselves:Tlen, Miranda, as the internet browsers we used Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera. Besides, we often used Notepad.' In addition we used newspapers, and books. Two of our interviews were conducted with the use of email, so we were able to learn a lot about creating interviews and contacting people via the Internet. We used scanner to put photos and pictures on our website. We used digital camera for pictures of our high school. Michal: 'I wrote all the code of the site. I did, however,I have to learn how to work with these programmes, I had the book on code from which I learned the language for the code writing.' Lukasz:'It was very time-consuming pursuit for us – learn about new programmes and technologies.'

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

Our group had to change to be ambassadors of our school, community, and international peers. We'll present our site to our school's Eropean Circle, Youth Parliament MPs, and Volunteering . Our school's website moderator asked teachers to inform their students about new Doors to Diplomacy project prepared at school. We will inform our school environment by posters, presentations, conducted together with the school promotion in the city. Our next plan is to email all the people we know to urge them to visit the site, and inform others. Because altogether we know many people, this method of being 'ambassadors' will bring more people to our site. The next method to inform others about this event is to publish a school newspaper consisting of interviews with authors, and describing the idea of this competition. Our project is a very powerful tool to teach people about diplomacy issues they may have not much heard about before, and how to make the world a better place to live in. We hope young people in Poland will work for the Human Rights whenever they go and whatever they will do.

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

Our project will have an impact on our school community. The idea of organizing and bringing help and with the aid of website is very attractive to students. The European Circle at school also plans to ensure our website's quality over the years and educate incoming members in Human Rights problems . They have organized pre-elections to the European Parliament, and they took part in a literary competition ' I know and understand the European Convention of Human Rights and Citizenship'. Anyone who visits our website will see a brief history of Democratic Ideas in the world, will know significant organizations which are working for child's rights, women's rights, students' rights, and will see how Polish high school students organize debates at school. We have presented the graduate of our school, who wants to be a politician, the student of the Social Studies of Wroclaw University. We also want to share our project in our school newspaper.

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

We tried to inform about our plans all the community, including students, teachers, parents, grandmothers and all the neigboroughs. They wanted to help us giving a good advice or just good wishes. All these good deeds gave us strength and speed to get this aim. Our researches have led us to the Local and International organizations, which are focused on protection of the Human Rights.

Two of the biggest helpers for our group were teachers, Mrs. Klosowska and Mr. Rek who helped us to correct to our English translation. We are also grateful to the librarians and other people who helped us to find the materials we needed. Our Charity School Organization is very grateful for promoting them in our web page. No one before wrote about their hard work, and how they wanted to support us. The same we can say about students and teacher – coach of Social Studies Mrs.Zaborska-Skorupa, who organizes many interesting events such as educating younger students in the principles of Human Rigths and promoting democratic ideas. Great thanks to Amnesty International , The Helsinki Foundation, US Consulate in Cracow for their help and support.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Michal: I've worked for two years on the engine PHP for web page, and this is a perfect opportunity to use it, as my main input in democracy, before leaving high school in May 2006. What persuade me to make this decision? I think the most important was to prove my own skills, to compete with peers, and a wish to win... I became discouraged sitting till 3 am. the whole night fighting with programmes' mistakes, instead of sleeping or watching cartoons. Sometimes problems with the engine were solved so quickly, that I coudln't believe it ' Ooo... it works ?! How come?' So as you can see all the troubles with the technic side of our project have finished happily. In general such a great work requires very patient and trustworthy people, not only miracles. That's just what we needed! And look what we have! The project was an emotional experience, I have never known how many democratic activities were going on at school, since we began work on the competition project. Luke: 'Searching for the materials for this website provided me with a lot of new skills. I'm proud to be a part of this group, we've worked together for the last two years in the CyberFair projects. At least I could improve my webmaster's skills, I know this will be useful for me in the future. I hope to continue learning about creating websites.' Work for so long together, we were able to discover many new aspects of our government, people around us, and even ourselves. We were very surprised to see we got used to each other working in our team, and we hope we will be able to cooperate, even when Michal and Luke finish their school stage this year. We have understood that human rights are possible and it is necessary to protect them and so that we can make our green planet better a place for all of us, if we all will think in the same way.

Alicja Turska View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 4340)


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4340)

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