Technological Progress: Drifting Towards...
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness
School: Tashkent International School
Tashkent, UZ, Uzbekistan
two students, ages 17-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 16, 2006.
They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Classes and Teachers: Sheryl Krengel, Andrew Shelokov, Jin, Natalia
Our School's Web Site:
1. Description of Our Team
Our Doors to Diplomacy team members are students from Tashkent International School with diverse backgrounds. Jin is 17 years old and Natalia is 18 years old. We joined together to do this project, because we are both taking Information Technology class and found out that we had the common interest and desire to participate in this project. We made a good combination, because we had different educational backgrounds. Jin is in AP Biology class and has learned about many environmental issues and their causes and effects in more scientific terms. She was responsible for much of the research. Meanwhile, Natasha is involved in the Model United Nations, and therefore is more familiar with the actions taken by the world and how the environmental issues should be addressed and solved internationally. She was very helpful in working with the images and building the web pages as well. First, we divided the topics in half and did research according to them. Then, each of us contributed to the theme of the project, design, layout, and content according to our knowledge, interest, and ability. Sheryl Krengel, our coach as well as our school IT teacher, provided us with the class time to work on the project, and also kept us in track. Andrew Shelokov was our assistant and technician, and gave us advice and help from building the websites to uploading the web pages. This project couldn't have been built without each one of our teammates and coaches.
2. Summary of Our Project
The purpose of our project is to provide information on the major environmental issues that have been caused by anthropogenic factors and human activity. These include global warming, deforestation, desertification, genetically modified products, and pollution. As the industry and technology are developing worldwide, the human activities are proving to be a greater threat to the environment surrounding us. Burning of fossil fuels, clearing of forests, wasting or misusing energy, and many other anthropogenic factors bring about serious disasters. These in turn pose great threat to humanity with various diseases, scarcity of resources, and a world that is dangerous to live in. Everyone should be aware of the fact that what we do to 'improve' our life is actually causing harm to ourselves. Thus we have come up with the title 'Technological Progress: Drifting towards...' Where our world is drifting towards is a mystery and is for all of us to decide and direct. The fate of our world to come lies in the hands of those in our generation. We wish to trigger the minds of the young and old to see the reality of these environmental issues and take action at national, community, and individual level for a healthier, stronger world.
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
Our team had a few problems in the process but we were able to overcome them. The major obstacle was time pacing. Our team has a junior and a senior, and therefore they had many challenging and demanding classes. It was difficult to find enough time to complete the project while being also committed to academics and other extracurricular activities. Nonetheless, the teammates were able to find time by giving up some of their personal desires. With great determination and persistence, they completed their research, worked on the content, and built the websites all by themselves in time.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Our participation in Doors to Diplomacy has been a great challenge and experience for the students. They have become more aware and knowledgeable of their environment and have learnt to look at things from a wider perspective and to see the need of their community, country, and the world.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Our project in Doors to Diplomacy strengthened content standards by carefully researching the topics, combining the information from many sources according to the causes, consequences, and solutions for each environmental issue topic. We were careful to include information from credible sources and cited all the sources that we used. This project also fit into our curriculum, because many of the environmental issues were covered in AP Biology class, and gathering and organizing our thoughts and information were important part of English classes and essay-writing. Also, building the web pages and researching how technology influences us was also part of the IT class. We also learnt to be able to divide up the work of any group project and to understand each other more in a group. We discovered that our education system was open to wide variety of opportunities and encouraged students to challenge themselves and participate in projects like this outside the normal classes. Finally, we were able to reflect on the roles that we play in our school community and found out that we could share information about the global issues with other international students through an opportunity like this, and contribute to the well-being of the society and the world.
1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
To complete our Doors to Diplomacy project, we used our school computers to research and work on our content and web pages, telephones to discuss amongst the teammates, and digital cameras to record our interviews and take pictures of us and those we interviewed. We used the Internet and the library for obtaining necessary information. These tools were very helpful in successfully gathering, organizing, and presenting information and analysis of our project. Our most valuable tools as well as technologies were computers and Internet, because without them, it would’ve been impossible to accomplish any of the research or web-building needed for this project. Computers and the Internet are amazingly powerful and vast resources and can do many things. This proves the fact that the technology has developed greatly so far and will continue to change and affect the way we live.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
Our team has certainly acted as 'ambassadors' for our web project and were active in trying to promote, inform, and invite people to learn about our Web project. As we interviewed our school teacher and the manager of World Bank, we promoted and informed them of the project we are working on. They were both very interested and eager to help us. Other teachers and students at our school peeked at our project from time to time, giving us advice or compliments. The families of our teammates were very impressed and proud, because they didn’t realize their children could do such a nice job in coming up with the theme, getting the content ready, and building the web pages all by themselves. Once the project is ready, our team is planning to act as even more active ambassadors and spokespeople of the project and of the environmental issues as well. It is our duty not only to create the web pages, but also to be capable of sharing the work we have prepared through high-quality international affairs and diplomacy both on-line and in person. We wish to encourage many people of our school as well as other participants of this project to visit our website and learn from it.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Since our web site has not been up very long, the full impact of our project on our community is yet to be awaited. However, our involvement in this project did strengthen the 'relationship' between our school and our local community. While working on this project, we contacted many organizations in Uzbekistan that are involved in environmental issues, such as the UNDP and the World Bank. We also discovered how they were working to improve the environment both at community and global level. It was a pleasure for all of us to make such friendly and helpful relationships through this project. Our website has helped in publicizing the World Bank and their activities to our school and to the community. Our school, TIS, has been actively participating in many fundraisers and charity events, and we could certainly work in partnership with some of the local organizations to promote the environmental activities and support each other. This project has also been a motivator for our teammates, and thus has encouraged many others at school to work hard and participate in such projects next time. Among our parents, this project has shown them their children’s unseen capability to produce an information-filled web page by themselves. It was truly a shock to them! We believe that this project will further influence our community by promoting and educating the people of the environmental issues through our web pages. Although this project was produced by a couple of students, this will make a difference by influencing the way people think and act, and by educating them of the global issues. Education is the most powerful tool that can be used to bring about changes.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
First Thanks go to our mentors who helped us a lot by giving us valuable advices and being ready to help us at any minute we needed the help. Our coach was Mrs. Sheryl Krengel, IT coordinator at Tashkent International School. Mrs. Krengel comes from the United States and is working in TIS for two years. She is a woman who is reliable and trustworthy because she can always give an advice if you need one; she is very open to contact and it is never possible that she is not ready to help. Our assistant was Mr. Andrey Shelokov, IT manager at Tashkent International School. Mr. Andrew (as everyone calls him) comes from Uzbekistan; he is relatively young but he knows so much! In terms of technical support he was #1. Also, Thanks go to these friendly people who agreed to give us an interview: Mr. Martin Raiser and Mr. Tim Getter. It would not be possible to have the website the way it is now without their help. Mr. Martin Raiser comes from Europe. He was extremely helpful to us with his concise phrases in which you could find lots of useful information. His interview strikes the very heart of the problem. Mr. Tim Getter is the Secondary Sciences Teacher at Tashkent International School and he comes from the United States. His interview is very interesting because it gives very detailed information on topics that were discussed: his answers go deep into the issues. We thank all of you so much!
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
At the very beginning of our research, we were faced with a great paradox, which was reflected in the title of our project. It was 'Technological Progress: Drifting towards...' Drifting towards...what? That is a very controversial issue. From one side, people create more and more 'comfortable', more and more 'technological' environment around themselves by using natural resources, cutting down the trees, and polluting water. But this can lead to eventual collapse. And that is where the paradox lies down. This is what we actually learned and what we were really surprised with.
View our CyberFair Project
(Project ID: 4398)