CyberFair Project ID: 1864

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Chek Jawa
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Raffles Institution
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

18 students, ages from 14 to 16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 29, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001

Classes and Teachers: Mr Leong Kok Weng, Raffles Institution Internet Club

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our community consists of the students and teachers of our school, Raffles Institution, the people of Singapore, and the nature lovers who are currently working together to save the coastal life in Chek Jawa. These people come from the Nature Society of Singapore(NSS), the National Parks Board and the residents of Chek Jawa.

The Nature Society of Singapore (NSS) is a one of the non-government organizations in Singapore. The founding of the NSS dates back to the 1940s. it is dedicated to the study, conservation and enjoyment of the natural heritage in Singapore, Malaysia and the surrounding regions.It currenly has about 2020 members.They were the ones who interceded with the government's decision to reclaim Chek Jawa and help document the organsims there by presenting a full proposal recommending other actions that could be taken. They are currently working with the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and the National Parks Board to coordinate research and conduct surveys.

In charge of regulating the number of visitors to Chek Jawa are the representatives from the National Parks board. Due to the immense pubicity that Chek Jawa has attracted, members of the public have flocked to Chek Jawa. This has damaged the fragile ecosystem in Chek Jawa. Thus, the National Parks Board has put a cap on the number of visitors per month.

Another important group of people are the Pulau Ubin residents. They have been living on the island of Pulau ubin for a considerably long time and therefore are the first few to know about the valuable wonder. These people are some of those nature lovers who have written to the government for the conservation of Chek Jawa.

2. Summary of Our Project

The CyberFair entry for 2002 features Chek Jawa, which is probably the last natural beach and marshland left in Singapore. Chek Jawa is situated on the eastern tip of the offshore island of Pulau Ubin. Many wildlife enthusiasts often visited Chek Jawa , due to its wide range of marine life. Most of the fascinating marine organisms can be easily observed when they are exposed on the beach due to the low tide. However, Chek Jawa was to be reclaimed to give way to certain land usages.

The main objective of our website is to increase the awareness of our fellow school students in our school about preserving the few remaining rural areas left in Singapore. Our secondary objective is also to educate our fellow Singaporeans as well as the world about the threats which such places face. The government had planned to reclaim Chek Jawa, thus the website may also act as a deterrent to the government. Our website also promotes Chek Jawa to the rest of the world, by introducing the various interesting flora & fauna on Chek Jawa, however, we would like to urge the public not to harm the flora & fauna (Please note that some of the organisms are very fragile and will perish if their habitat is destroyed.)

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:none

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

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

Although the computers we used were rather new, they are low RAM (Random Access Memory) and thus our work progressed slowly. Also, the dedicated Internet connection in our school was very unstable and thus our progress in uploading and downloading information was also hindered.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We encountered various obstacles during the course of the project. One of them was the unpredictable weather at Pulau Ubin. Sometimes it would rain and we would be forced to abandon our visit. On our second visit, we arrived on the beach at high tide so we saw nothing. However we learned our lesson and always check the tide times before going to Chek Jawa.

As Chek Jawa consisted mainly of mudflats, we had to get off the beach before the tide comes in, which meant that we have only the time interval between low and high tide, which was around an hour.

We also had problems trying to take photographs of the living organisms there without destroying, disturbing or hurting them. Due to this, we had to handle the organisms with the utmost care and try our best not to step on any of them.

We had technical problems too. We had to setup a server to test out and store our website and information, because we could not save our work on our school desktops due to the presence of a protection card in almost every school computer. These cards delete all newly added data from a computer's hard disk when it is shut down.

Other than that, we also had to deal with copyright issues. This was because we had few pictures from Chek Jawa. Fortunately, we enlisted the help of Ria Tan, a nature enthusiast, who had many photographs from her trips there.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our project has educated our fellow Rafflesians in our school about their environment, and we have heightened their environmental awareness as to be able to understand the importance of exotic and fragile ecosystems such as Chek Jawa's. We also hope that this project will reach out to Singaporeans and enlighten them too.

Our project can be best summed up by a quote from fellow Rafflesian Liang Kaicheng - "Truly an educational gem for those lacking in environmental awareness.".

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

Our project had made us realize that the wildlife around us is dependent on us, and vice versa; every single action of ours changes the ecosystem. For example, the release of poisonous gases from factories results in acid rain, which will erode the soil. The project has also required us to do research on the many aspects of Chek Jawa.

It also enabled us to realize that we should take the initiative, as every individual can make a great difference to his or hers surroundings. Hence, we were motivated to visit Chek Jawa to learn more about its situation and teach the world what we had learnt from our experiences.

Regarding our curriculum, over the past few years, Singapore's education system has transformed largely from a text-based form of learning to hands-on learning. Singapore's education system plans to equip every single young Singaporean with the necessary skills in life. Students now not only learn in the classroom, they also learn out of the classroom, from field trips, the Internet, and a whole host of enrichment materials. Thus, it had not only stressed on the text-based learning but also the hands-on approach. This CyberFair project gave us experience of working as a group on a large project. Also, it allowed us to learn while working. We learnt about the problems Chek Jawa is facing while working on this large-scale project.

Project Elements

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

We used 9 PCs which have Pentium 3 processors at 800mHz and 2 iMacs. One of the iMacs is a G4, and is used as a server for us to store our files and to test out our website. The other iMac and the 9 PCs are used for general work purposes.

Two main applications were used for building the website. Adobe Photoshop is used for creating the buttons, banners, and other graphical components in the website. As for Macromedia Dreamweaver 3, we use it for designing building the website.

Macromedia Dreamweaver 3 helped us a lot with the webpage with its easy-to-use features. Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful program as we were able to create many striking banners and pictures, which added flavour to our webpage.

Video editing, which would have been very slow and had a high possibility of hanging on Windows 98 were, were done with ease with the Apple Macintosh G4 OS 9.2. The Sony Digital Camera was used to take pictures of Chek Jawa, and also, short movies which did not take up much space.

Mr. David Court lent us his Sony Camcorder, which we filmed videos with. The Sony Digital Camera is Qi Zhao's (one of our members), and the computers were the school's

During the creation of the website, we used Yahoo!Groups, a free mass emailing servive to spread the information and the work we have done around. We also used the PowerMac G4 in our school to share files with one another. Email was used as a means of communication should work be done at work.

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

We believe that by bringing Chek Jawa to Singaporeans out there, we would raise environmental awareness. In this project, we showed that Chek Jawa is not just a piece of wasteland but a place filled with life and nature at its very best in Singapore. We hope to show the people out there that Singapore is not just a bustling city filled with only skyscrapers and no natural environments. From our project, Singaporeans could learn about the different Flora and Fauna present in Chek Jawa. This gives the user a brief idea about the people of Singapore’s efforts to preserve as much nature in Singapore possible. Although Chek Jawa is one of the hidden wonders of Singapore, we have succeeded in exploring it and bringing up for the view of the world. This website also has brought to light the treasures concealed beneath the marshes of Chek Jawa, allowing people to familiarize themselves with the marshland through our project website.

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

Our CyberFair project has educated our fellow Rafflesians as well as other members of the web community about the importance of natural habitats in their countries. It has allowed them to be more appreciative of the wild life around them. Teachers who have read our web pages have spreaded to their students the message of preserving the habitats of the marine life. Our presentation is unique within our community as the other presentations regarding Chek Jawa focuses on the attractions in Chek Jawa, however, our presentation focuses on the preservation of the natural habitats of the flora & fauna.

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

Mr David Court, a teacher in our school, lent us his vidoecamera to take down photos and film of the coastal life there allowing us to capture pictures to place up on out website. The short films shot were invaluable as well.

Mr Leong Kok Weng, our Teacher-in-charge and mentor, gave us the moral support and guidance in leading our project to become such a successful one. His help was truly invaluable.

Affiliated with the National University of Singapore's Raffles Museum, Ria Tan has been extremely helpful to us by allowing us to use some of the photographs of the flora and fauna of Chek Jawa which she had taken. Without her help, we would certainly be at a loss when it came to copyright problems. We have never met her in person, but our interaction was through the Internet only, which thus shows how powerful the Internet is as a tool.

We also had our friends within the school drop by to look at our work and give us constructive comments on how to improve the web site.

To all these people, thank you. Your help made the difference in our project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We have discovered that it was actually possible for an urban settlement to set aside a small area of land as a natural habitat for the wildlife to exist.

Through researching and our own experince, we have learnt a great deal about the coastal life in Singapore and about the various rare species there. To complete this project, it was decided that a camp should be held. During this camp we learnt more about various social skills to co-operate and communicate better.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1864)

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