CyberFair Project ID: 3195

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Gen-Clone
Category: 4. Local Specialties
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Northwest High School
    Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.

3 students, ages 17-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 20, 2004. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004

Classes and Teachers: Dawn Haas (Instructor), Mike, Brandon, Sean

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

We have an oddball collection of members on our team. Our instructor, Dawn Haas, was given the information about the Door to Diplomacy competition and brought the idea up to Mike; curious on whether the competition was “do-able”. Mike is somewhat of a “slacker” under certain circumstances, but was more than willing to start the competition despite being late in the running. However, a team was required, so Sean was asked, as well as Brandon, who were eager to try his hand in this as well.

Sean (17) is a competitive runner and school TV anchor who runs a busy schedule between school and work. Then there is Brandon (18),the procrastinator who we had to harp on to produce quality information on time. The Final team member is Mike (17), the one who introduced this project, and provided that there was hope for the team in this competition.

2. Summary of Our Project

Originally the idea of the competition was sketchy, but sson thereafter our plans came together As we looked over the topics we determined that something in sciences would be the best for us, since we all had interest in science. There were suggestions on the description of the project pointing to something in Genetics, so we decided to do just that: Genetics. As for what we’d write about, we looked over the concepts of Genetics, and then divided into what we were most interested in. Sean covered Genetically Modified Foods and the Human Genome Project; Brandon covered Stem Cell Research and Cloning; and Mike covered Government, Genetics information, and the development of the site.

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

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

Northwest High School has a strong technology base with several computer based classes and classrooms with computers. With the donations of local businesses, the school has been allotted at least one computer to each class in the school.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

One of the main problems that we had to overcome with the project was the fact that we started the competition late. We weren’t informed about it until December, leaving other teams two months more time to work on everything then we had ahead of us. As we looked over all that we had to accomplish, we had to decide right away whether or not it was possible to provide a good project in the shortened time frame. As we debated, it came to the realization that we would have to give up a lot of our time.

Sean and Mike, both had busy schedules, due to school, or work, home time was limited. Brandon lost his computer to a system crash and had nothing he could do at home for December and January. Although Brandon was incapable of completing any of his project work at home, he neglected and slacked during what school time he had. This had frustrated Sean and Mike as well as the instructor, Mrs. Haas. The team was loosing time, and a major section of information if Brandon couldn’t pull his weight for the team. By the end of February, Brandon came through for the team.

Not only had schedules and team conflicts arisen, the weather was no friend to us for much of the winter. Between weekends, and school closings, the team lost close to another two to three weeks of work time with snow and bad weather. Overall though, we believed we had still accomplished something, and the project could continue and be submitted. Our fingers remaining crossed as we hope for the best outcome.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Participating in the competition and our topic has really opened our eyes to how much topics like Genetics really impact the world on a whole. Especially when the topics are very sensitive and largely debated.

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

With this project, we tried to complete all the tasks assigned to us. Although the project was done in a Web Design class, it was strongly promoted by our instructor. The project as a whole allowed us to really see how integrated web design can become and how the content is just as important to a good design. We wanted to consider this project on one level like a job by using the requirements of the Doors to Diplomacy regulations as our guidelines. We ran through and accomplished every task we could in the list making each point just as important as any other. By doing these many different things, we were developing the skills needed for Web Design in a professional business.

Not only through technical standards, but also through personal communication among team members did we learn something. It is imperative to a projects final outcome that the group stick together and push through and finish the project at the highest quality possible.

With the help of our schools resources however, this project was made a little bit easier on us. Being able to reach out into the internet for everything we needed allowed us to stay within the same class and work on the project, discussing any issues that might have arisen with the rest of the team members.

Project Elements

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

The team integrated a variety of technology to get through the project. Thanks to the multiple computers in the school, and the dedicated connection to the internet, we were able to work on the project whenever we were able to. This also allowed for us to bring the site to the students, providing us with multiple views and impacts on the topic.

Due to the school’s morning show, we were also able to use video cameras for our interviews with a Senator and University Professor. Although we had to use various video editing programs, we were still thankful that we could provide real footage from our interviews.

The school districts newspaper interviewed us and put an article about the project, discussing students entering national competitions. It was unexpected, but a welcome addition towards publicity to the project.

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

When the team began the project for Doors to Diplomacy, we knew early on that we wanted to bring in a lot of public opinion into the project. Doing this had already begun our process as ambassadors to our web site. With plans forming, we initiated the first steps by bringing the site to the students in our school, requesting input and personal opinions on the project. With the help of our instructor, we also were given the chance to put our site online through our school.

Not only did we have this on a school level, but we also wanted to bring it to a city level by talking with the announcers for a local based radio station, asking if they would introduce the site through their web site, and on the air. Once the site is properly completed, Mike had brought together plans for bringing in nation and worldwide input on the site through forums.

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

Whether or not the project this team completed will make a global impact is never really a question, but it begins on a level just with the team. Aside from the topic, the project impacted how we work and progress through stress. Then, with the topic, we view the issues of Genetics much differently knowing what we do now. It’s doubtful that without the influence of the project and Doors to Diplomacy, we’d still have an ignorant opinion on Genetics. But, we now try and provide more information to the masses in a collected form.

The team has already tried to bring this topic to the students of the school, knowing that in some way or another we’ll have impacted our school’s opinion, because we collected some of them for our site. Then we wanted to spread the word of our site online, and collect even more opinions, making an even bigger impact.

Hopefully the site will reach a lot of people and the response will turn out good. Although we can’t determine on a global scale how we’ve impacted anyone, we do know on a local level we’ve had a new influence on things. Without the interest in the project, and our want to do it, we’d never have had the chance to do so much.

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

We found out there was a class in our school covering a small section over genetics, and cloning in particular. With the project we were doing, we thought it might be good to use both their input, and opinions towards the site and topic. We confronted the class just a few days after that, asking both their instructor, and the class in general if they’d be willing to help us out. We ended up with a larger response then originally expected.

We ended up receiving papers from each student in the class giving their views on Genetics, providing us with more views to put up for our site. Many also gave useful critique to help improve the overall look and feel of the site. Several students also took the time to help read over our content, checking over grammar and other English corrections. The instructor of the class was also helpful by insisting that the students provide input.

Along with the assistance of the students, we also had help with the interviews, Professor Ali and Senator Friend gave up their time to help us. We still greatly appreciated them allowing us to interview them.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3195)

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