CyberFair Project ID: 1874

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Chek Jawa - Our Treasure in the Backyard
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

7 students, ages from 13 to 16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 30, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2

Classes and Teachers: Ms Yeo Tze Hwei (teacher in charge) ; Goh Ming Shan (student) ; So Siew Sian Candace (student) ; Yeo Zhi Shu Eunice (student) ; Teo Han Hong Esther (student) ; Loh Wen Li Adelene (student) ; Chng Cai Jie (student) ; Teo Seok Hui (student)

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Singapore is an urbanised city with very few natural habitats. As Singapore is a comparably small country where land is scarce, many of the swampy areas and offshore islands have been reclaimed for industrialisation and development projects. Tanjong Chek Jawa is a swampy area at the eastern tip of Pulau Ubin which is an offshore island off the northeastern coast of Singapore. Chek Jawa which is one of the very few natural habitat left, nearly had to suffer the same fate. Fortunately, our community is made up of people who feel strongly about conserving and protecting the precious and vulnerable environment. To prevent Singapore from suffering an ecological unbalance, many Singaporeans have stood up and made their stand - to protect Chek Jawa. The community played many different roles in the course of salvaging Chek Jawa. Though many say that young, old, alike, are neglecting our environment, the response from this situation had proved that wrong. We have bonded our love for nature to care for the wonders of it.

2. Summary of Our Project

In 1992, the Ministry of National Development (MND) had decided to reclaim Chek Jawa, where an array of marine life exists, for military use. This decision sparked protests from various nature associations and enthusiasts. However, after much consultation and collaboration between MND and the stakeholders, MND has deferred the reclamation works. When the issue on Chek Jawa was highlighted, we were concerned with the island’s welfare. Many of us couldn’t believe that a place so beautiful actually existed in our backyard. We were curious about the place and thus, embarked on this project hoping to be able to provide the public with more information concerning the beach. We hoped that the globe would get in touch with our beautiful heritage. Our project highlights the voices of the people and the conservation efforts taken. We chose Chek Jawa as our subject matter. We are educating the younger generation, who will in turn make a deep impact on the fate of Chek Jawa years down the road, on the importance of appreciating and salvaging what is left. We aim to bring awareness to the globe, and hope that through our project, people will learn to appreciate what Mother Nature has created for us. Our project exhibits the little acts of individuals, which create a huge impact on the eco-system. By submitting petitions, we, Singaporeans managed to save the rich biodiversity in Chek Jawa. The community has thus proven itself able to unite and rise to the challenge of caring for their unblemished treasure. This clearly illustrates the theme — Care and Unite. This year, we designed our own graphics from scratch and sourced for new animations. The animated and interactive platform we took up, strives to accommodate children and hope to be a plus factor to inform and enrich youths. The webpage takes on a relaxed atmosphere, which is in line with the true meaning of nature - soothing and peaceful. The materials on the site are well spread, therefore, absorption of content is easier.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Primarily, as students, we have our studies to be concerned about. Juggling the project with our tests and homework was tedious. Also, many of us had other personal commitments. As the reclamation project is a relatively new topic, we had to source for information from all kinds of places. Moreover, all seven of us were in different classes and have different schedules. On top of that, we had to juggle between doing this project and "conquering" our tests. Thus, it was hard for the whole team to meet up and complete our project. This process was time-consuming. Due to this time constrain and lack of manpower, we divided the work among ourselves and met 3-4 times a week to collate our information. The nature of our project requires us to do plenty of onsite survey and investigative work. We had to make several trips down to Pulau Ubin to experience Chek Jawa for ourselves and interview the residents. For many of us it was our first time there and we knew nothing about that place. Luckily, we managed to enlist the help of our geography teacher, Mr Koh Soo Keong. He is an avid nature lover and was of a great help to us. In the course of our project, we came across many geographical terms. Candace was the only student offering Geography and thus we had to rely on her on the various “profound” terms. However, she offered to lend us her textbooks so that we can have a better understanding.There were also technical problems encountered, as it was the first time we had to do so much HTML editing, photo designing and animation editing. However, Mr Koh Beng Liang, an engineer by profession offered his help by monitoring and advising us.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Do not let ignorance of the environmental debate be YOUR legacy to future generations!

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

On our on-site visits to Chek Jawa, we were introduced to many different plants and animals, and not forgetting the reclamation work itself. Also, we got in touch with the various conservation means taken by the local community. These information had enriched us in the field of Geography. The various species of organisms found in Chek Jawa has broadened our team’s knowledge in the aspects of Biology. Most importantly, this issue blends in well with what the Ministry of Education has been emphasizing — National Education. This reclamation issue had nurtured and boosted our national identity. It had not only brought the citizens from all walks of life closer to each other, it had also strengthened the relationship between the government authorities and the people. Last but not least, we have definitely improved vastly on our technical skills after the completion of the project.

Project Elements

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

Number and types of computers: 7 Pentium III Windows 98 Telephones: Handphones and telephones Television and Radio Stations Video and digital camera: Panasonic Video Camera, Canon Ixus and Fujifilm Finepix Scanners: Hp ScanJet 5100C Computer softwares: Adobe PhotoShop 6.0, Macromedia Flash 5.0, Microsoft FrontPage 2000, Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, Notepad, Sound Recorder

The process of drawing pictures from scratch using pencil and papers, scanning in, editing and finally adding the colours to enhance the outlook using Adobe Photoshop 6. Sourcing information using technology such as the internet, library resources and from various resource teachers and interviewees give our project depth.

Through the web, we can spread our findings and messages across the globe to international audience by a simple mouse click.

Communication between team members are done via telephone, short messaging service(sms), on-line messaging service which thus enable team members to work from their comfort zone.

We also made use of the web space in the school's server to upload our project so we do not have to spend time and money sourcing for a suitable site to upload our project.

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

Singapore is a rather small country, having a total land area of 682.7 square kilometres, and possessing few natural habitats. When the issue on Chek Jawa was heightened, as a nation, we were very concerned with the island’s welfare. Many of us could not believe that a place so beautiful existed just in our backyard. Many of us were curious about the place and hence, we embarked on this project in hope that we will be able to provide the public masses with more information concerning the beach. We hoped that the public would get in touch with this beautiful heritage of ours. We e-mailed various organisations like the Ministry of National Development and the Nature Society of Singapore. We also contacted other authorities to ask for their opinions and advice on Chek Jawa. They were very kind and addressed our questions with much enthusiasm. We interviewed representatives of the different organisations and acted as ambassadors to get opinions of the various committees. We went down to Pulau Ubin and interacted with the residents there. They were surprised that students like us actually took an interest in our nature heritage like Chek Jawa.

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

Our project enables the people in our community to know more about a nature heritage---Chek Jawa or rather, the importance of conserving the environment as well as the right ways of conserving it. As our community tends to forget about the importance of conservation, especially in a country where we are lack of natural habitats, we hoped that our project would educate the public and create more awareness among individuals about nature conservation. Then, they may feel more inclined to protect the few natural habitats of Singapore for the future generations to enjoy and appreciate. So far, our schoolmates had come in touch with information of Chek Jawa and they had benefited from these educational information. They were able to understand what Chek Jawa can contribute to the society, and that everyone plays a part in the conservation effort.

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

Conservation biology and environmental management are fast becoming crucial disciplines in Singapore. Our teachers kindly brought us to the island and showed us around. Our project has inspired other teachers to go down to Pulau Ubin and visit Chek Jawa. Their comments proved to be of great help to us. Nature lovers also extended helping hands to us. They talked to us and introduced us to a whole new world of nature. Our schoolmates from the English Literary Drama and Dance Society (ELDDS) actually entered a competition with a play based on Chek Jawa. They kindly arranged for a suitable time and acted out the play for us. They are also very interested in Chek Jawa, and we feel that with such enthusiasm from the younger generation, we would be able to do something to save Chek Jawa.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1874)

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