CyberFair Project ID: 3306

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Statue of Liberty
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Elena Ghiba Birta
    Arad, -, Romania

2 students, ages 16-17 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 20, 2004. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): -

Classes and Teachers: M. Livia Marinescu, Cristina, Octavian

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

The project aims at offering a possible solution to a controversial issue, which has caused a lot of popular unrest and has troubled the relations between two European countries, Romania and Hungary. It is also an attempt to launch a “live” project on the history of the foreign affairs of the two neighboring countries, hoping to contribute to the settling of a dispute that has lasted too long. We believe that we should not overlook the mistakes people and people have made along the history of their nations, but, at the same time, we should not raise more heated arguments over a past, which keeps separating two countries instead of bringing them together. We need to build bridges for the present, as well as for the future, since the destinies of the two neighboring countries cannot be but entwined. The project we are submitting relies on the idea that the web page we have created, and the information it contains, are part of a solution and not part a the problem which prevents both countries from identifying common grounds for a common future. The members of the team working on the project are Cristina G (16) and Octavian F(17), both students at “Elena Ghiba Birta“ National College ,from Arad, Romania. They have been supervised by their teacher, Livia Marinescu, who has also organized the project activities, following two directions: a) collection of data on the history of the foreign affairs between Romania and Hungary plus translations of documents into English ,Romanian and Hungarian-task assigned to Cristina; b) building the information in an adequate way, so that it fits into a web page especially designed to be interactive and easily available for general view-task assigned to Octavian.

2. Summary of Our Project

The whole Project is an attempt to find a democratic solution in a dispute between two countries, with a historical background. A piece of art that represents Liberty but has been locked up for the last 70 years. Having in mind that “ what’s done is done” but not to forget the errors of History, we have to build bridges to the future and always leave “doors” open for solutions.

The Project is divided in 7 sections Introduction - defines the terms of democracy in theory and a piece of “ living” example of international relations between two countries Trip to the past - reminds the history of the Statue of Liberty from Arad, its historical, political and cultural significance What is going on? - presents the current situation of the Statue. What they say - “let the people know” is the target of this section, so everybody would understand and take action. All information on this section are from public declarations of Prime Ministries of Romania and Hungary Something else - people can see other examples of how a piece of art can join people and countries – e.g. Statue of Liberty from Ellis Island, Statue of Freedom from Washington DC, Statue of Jenin ( Palestine), Statue from Bolzano (Italy)

Narrative - form of what we have done The team -“ who we are” and not “ who do we think we are” On our web page EVERYONE has the right of speech and can express itself its opinions or ideas.

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:2-3

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

Basically, in all the phases of the Project there were no major problems to overcome. As to mention them, here are - working to a Project means that the team has to split the time from other activities and share time for the Project - it is the first time that this team is working together in a Project and its phases - as the subject is a sensitive one, there were some “ resistance” or “ fear” of freedom of speech – understandable after of 40 years of “freedom of speech“ under the communist regime in a country as Romania

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The most important thing in a competition is ‘not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.’ (The Olympic games) Being a competitor teaches you to organize your duties and your team as much as you can in order to have best results in all aspects - technically, and the learning process. Whether one wins or not may be important but more important is to continue to compete, to do best, learn from others, becoming conscious of your role in the community, being aware that what one has to say is important. Competing is a part of the learning process, which leads one to a better comprehension of the world around, and the competition itself.

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

The Project is prepared under the HISTORY OF FORIGN RELATION section of Doors to Diplomacy contest. The theme is an example of how a piece of art coming from history of hundreds of years of relations between two countries Romania and Hungary, could overcome differences. The students from Romania are preparing themselves for a society of globalization as well as an e-society – here understanding the Internet and computers. Even so, using new methods as computers. E-books and Internet as resources, the traditional methods were largely used. The team of the Project, working together have to complete each other’s skills, information and capabilities. The concept of programming, timeline, targets, flexibility were all part of the join activities. In Arad is functioning a LDC – Local Developing Council. LDC is composed by representatives of local administration, Scholar Department, unions, chamber of commerce and its role of the LDC is to reform the curriculum in order the further employees to became more and easy adapted to the market necessity.

Project Elements

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

In the process of preparing the Project, there were used - 1 schools’s lab computer and 2 home based PC, as Pentriun II+, AuthenticAMD AMD Duron(tm) Processor 128MB RAM, 40 GB HDD, DVD player, Encarta CD, other CD edited by Romanian and Hungarian multimedia companies. - also in the process, for establishing the appointments with relevant historians and politicians, phone calls were used. All the research were conducted by the students – in the information and in the software updates. A relevant part of the research was the press – both audio/video and papers.This was the starting point for evaluating in the libraries of the Arad county museum. Following this documentation, the discussion with local historians – both Romanian and Hungarian nationality were used, thi in order to assure the impartiality of the information. The most useful tool was the Internet web resources, this allowing access to national/international press, museums on-line – in Romania and Hungary as well. A special attention was accorded to the copyright.The pictures used were entirely made by the students in Arad or asked the permission of the site owner, if this was mentioned.

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

The Project’s leading idea is that the web page and its information are part of the solution and not part of the problem. The Project is a “ living History of Foreign Relations “ between two countries Romania and Hungary, and came from another example : the Statue of Liberty from the Ellis Island, USA. As the situation of the Arad STATUE OF LIBERTY is a “fluid “ situation, and is a subject of foreign diplomacy. The information regarding the history, the culture, art and background of this subject is focused to inform a large majority of people. This will allowed people to understand and judged by themselves a current situation as well as the example of others. In this way, hopefully another step will be done in this subject in question (of the Arad Statue of Liberty ) by the raise awareness about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy. Internet has no borders and is assuring the freedom of speech. People from at least both countries involved in the subject are free to visit the web page, to read, judge and express themselves. In order to promote the web page, after the deadline of the Project, an intensive promotional activity will take place. The e-mail will be most usefed as well as some local media from Romania and Hungary too. The web page is an interactive one, and those who already visited the pages and their content could express by posting a message, or read what others are saying. The web page has also an educative character as this is an example how to settle a differences between two countries.

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

The state of the art of the Project is based on the real and current situation. The two countries are in a dispute to replace or not the Arad Statue of Liberty , and if yes, where? - on the old location or a new one. As the subject is a sensitive one – having in mind that demonstration pro and against are taking place from time to time, as the national press from both countries is involved, as the Prime Ministries from Romania and Hungary are discussing diplomatic solution, the local community is sometimes confused. Having the possibilities to read and get information already collected and prepared in a concentrated mode, and more to see what others have done ( e.g. Statue of Jenin ), the community are becoming more aware about the subject. In this case, the public opinion could be part of the foreign relation policy of the two countries, which will have a Cross Border effect, as Arad is located in the proximity of the Hungarian border.

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

It is true that in this process of preparing the Project, the most important step is the idea. Sometimes, a good idea is more that 60% of the value of the Project. As Arad has a strong Hungarian communities, their preoccupation to bring back to light the value of a piece of art as part of history and diplomacy, it was easy to be in touch with their representatives. Nevertheless, the Romanian historians from local museum, the people from local press were largely consulted. From Hungary, traditionally partners from Budapest, relatives or friends were asked for help. Especially, people from an Arad twining town from Hungary, where a large of Romanian community exist was very helpful with documents, web address or information. Collecting information from different and very diverse source of information, gives the Project the stability and impartiality.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

While working on the project we have found out that a group of people belonging to the Hungarian minority in Arad started to collect information on the same topic .However, their focus is different from ours, as the statue is perceived as an art work and a testimony of historic events. After sharing information and ideas we have been given permission to use information from their web page .We have been also asked to create a link on our web page to their web address ,and we have welcomed this idea as it perfectly fits into the larger frame of our project A piece of art and history can thus become a very good example of the way in which two countries find a diplomatic solution to settle their dispute .Un unbiased approach to the problem discussed is ensured by the opportunity to access our project on the internet and to contribute to it interactively. In the process of preparing our project for submission to Doors to Diplomacy we realized that the idea to bring a contribution to the settling of a long and useless dispute is dear to us.As Arad benefits from the presence of a numerous Hungarian minority it was not difficult for us to get in touch with their representatives .It was not difficult either to ask for help from Hungary ,from friends and relatives as well as from partner schools in Hungary .We would like to acknowledge their contribution and to show our special gratitude to the Romanian minority in Hungary ,whose support has been priceless. We believe that by trying to involve in our project all parties concerned we will succeed in our endeavor :to suggest a solution to a sensitive diplomatic problem while being as objective and impartial as possible.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3306)

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