CyberFair Project ID: 7594

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Waiting for the signal to be green
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: School
    Gurgaon, Haryana, India

18 students, ages 11-16 years worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2013

Classes and Teachers: Jalpa Shah, Jyotin Prinja, Deepika Dalal

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Our city, Gurgaon is the sixth largest city situated in the south of the state of Haryana in India. It is flanked by the capital of India, New Delhi on one side and state of Rajasthan on the other. It is located close to Indira Gandhi International Airport and is considered to be a part of NCR – National Capital Region. The post liberalization era in India ushered in winds of change and economic boom which morphed Gurgaon from a small farming city into a millennium city. Towering over the adjacent areas with its multi-rise buildings, neon lit offices reaching towards the sky-line, swanky malls; Gurgaon is being portrayed as a symbol of rapidly rising and modern India. It has emerged as the new hub of hospitality, industrial and medical sectors; the nerve point of MNCs and business houses. The influx of domestic and foreign professionals, migrants from neighbouring states and tourists from all corners of the world have lent it new contours and complexion. Footfalls of people of different ethnicity and culture; hailing from different parts of India have given Gurgaon a multicultural and cosmopolitan air.

2. Summary of Our Project

Though our city has undergone a metamorphosis, in fact a complete makeover on account of the economic boom and development under HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority), its growth and development has been at the cost of the local environment in our city. Somewhere the government and the local authorities could not keep pace with the rapid urbanization and influx of working class and professionals into Gurgaon. Their inability reflects and adds to the myriad problems besetting Gurgaon - poor infrastructure, shanty dwellings behind the high-rise buildings, poor sewage, non-existent drainage system, traffic woes, rising health problems to name a few. We, the Cyberians realized that in this tussle between economic growth and local environment, the environmental concerns are definitely taking a back seat. But the best time to act is always ‘Now’ so we got into the act on an SOS basis. The primary objectives of our project were to sensitize our community about the imperative need to strike a balance between development and environment; secondly to ensure that development taking place is sustainable. By using various problem solving tools like Robin’s brain storming sessions, Fish- Bone diagram, Why- Why analysis, ABC analysis, we figured out that there has been a decline in quality of life in our community. Taking a statistical cum logical approach, we realized that industrialization has contributed largely to Gurgaon’s economic growth; setting up of industries and industrial units has and is generating a colossal amount of waste. Adding more to the ‘mess’ (pun intended) is the mismanagement of the waste. This filled us with a sense of urgency to do something to address and later redress the problems. And this burning desire to go out and do something to stop the devastation being done to Mother Nature gave a name, theme and purpose to our project – Waste Mismanagement Our project was done in four steps 1. Questionnaire, survey and data collection to see the …

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:1

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

We were competent at using HTML and Photoshop but not at using Jquery and CSS. So we enlisted the help of parents who are IT Professionals to train us and our teachers in the use of jquery and CSS.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We encountered many problems but Robert Frost’s words ‘The best way out is always through’ gave direction and deeper meaning to our crusade as we decided to go through the problems to find its remedy/ies. At the very outset, we faced conflicting opinions regarding the selection of topic. Every member of our Cyber team had his/her perspective to make, valuable suggestions to offer and of course, disagree with the others. Finally we decided to go the ‘democratic’ way and unanimously agreed upon the topic (albeit after much heated debate and discussion). We chose ‘Waiting for the signal to turn green – Economic Growth vs The Quality of Life’ simply because much damage has been done; is being done to our precious earth and the damage control measures are not matching up. Another hurdle which loomed up before us and believe us, it recurred time and again was the mindset of the people in our community. Our community comprises of people from different socio-economic, cultural, educational and professional backgrounds. Thus while many people were oblivious of the problem, some were indifferent and few were opposed to the idea of adopting our suggested techniques / measures for reduction, reusing and recycling of waste. We had to face an uphill task to convince and change their perceptions and preconceived notions. Another big hurdle was regarding the timing of the project. Our annual examinations were fast approaching. We did some quick thinking and even faster implementation of our action plan. Through close-knit coordination, work division and cooperation, we also did stay backs in school, devoted our activity and sports periods for brainstorming, planning and carrying out plan of action. Once the project was successfully wound up, we found ourselves echoing Anthony Robbins’ words, ‘‘Every problem is a gift - without problems we would not grow.”

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our learning graph and its derived benefits have been uncountable. Our untiring efforts honed our innate powers. We connected ourselves to the dynamic thought flow process ever imagined. We experienced the beauty in the bounties of nature. No doubt, self introspection took us a long way in this project. We reviewed the distorted facts and figures. We revisited history and perceived it in different hues. We were awestruck by each other’s creative spark and zest. We also got an opportunity to recently learn the quality circle tools. Through this project we got a platform to implement them to turn our knowledge into wisdom. It’s truly an unforgettable experience. The biggest delight was that technology learnt over the years was put into use as hands on experience.

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

The topic which we have chosen for our project is ‘Waiting for the signal to turn green – Economic Growth vs The Quality of Life’ Besides deepening our sensitivity and consciousness about the environmental issues, the entire research and data collection has helped us to answer the questions related to environment in an assessment of Science and Social Science more competently and thoroughly as these are relevant topics in our curriculum as well. The insights and in-depth knowledge we have gained in the process have improved our evaluative and analytical thinking; we have acquired effective problem solving skills as well (necessary under the latest guidelines of our school board, CBSE).

Furthermore, we did statistical calculations, indulged in logical thinking; took on a step-by-step approach to find solutions, drew graphs and compiled statistics into results. All this has given us a ‘winning edge’ in certain topics covered in our Maths and Computers syllabus.

It also helped us to improve in our interpersonal as well as intra personal skills and made difference to our verbal and linguistics skills. Our flair for writing has improved.

We have learnt to be a part of problem solving team. It’s been a win-win situation for us as the project has added to our cache of work experience, developed collaborative learning coupled with working skills within us and given an edge to our civic-mindedness which is an integral part of our co-scholastic areas under Central Board of Secondary Education to which our school is affiliated.

We have grasped how to apply our knowledge and concepts in real life situations. Our project has really empowered us to bridge the gap between textbook knowledge and its practical application in the real world.

Project Elements

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

We used our time in school for brainstorming sessions and implementation of activites at school and community level. We did not rely too heavily on the Internet. We did our research work by visiting the local libraries. Gurgaon has only one government library near GPO in Old Gurgaon but we made frequent visits to good libraries in Delhi and consulted several books related to environment for our research and data collection.

The technology we used is HTML and CSS.

Programme software we used was Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Image Ready, Jquery.

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

Right from the moment we formed our team and decided upon the topic, we donned the mantle of project ambassadors starting within our school itself. We were the spokespersons for our project in our school, before our teachers, batch-mates and school mates. We had to reach out and convince people in our city about the measures to be adopted at individual and collective level for waste management. We did so without hurting anyone’s sentiments and being too strident about it. As spokespersons, we communicated and interacted with a large segment of the public to gather data and collate statistics. We wrote detailed reports about our doings and activities which were then uploaded on our school’s web-site. We made efforts to reach out to a larger community by getting press coverage in the local as well as national newspapers.

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

Through our project we explored within, and united our community. At the very outset, we realized that 70 percent of the community was unaware about official E-Waste recycling units in Gurgaon and many more sell off their discarded objects and waste things to scrap dealers. We educated them and informed them about the location of government’s designated E-Waste recycling units and collection points. Many clinics and smaller hospitals were apparently unaware or unwilling to use different colored bins for collection of different types of waste at generation point. We convinced them to do so by distributing different colored bins prepared by our school kids. Residents of high-rise buildings and other residential areas got useful information about how to make vermipits in their grounds/gardens, thereby disposing their kitchen/household waste practically and usefully. We also provided all the information needed to bridge the gap between all the stake holders (business heads, environmentalists, shopkeepers, corporate heads, administrative officers in hospitals) and thus could bring about a change at communit

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

We involved people from all the different socio-economic strata in our project. We take this opportunity to place on record our deep-seated thanks for the immense help we have received from environmentalists and NGOs who are working for the cause of environment in our city. Further we made a point to involve all the stake holders - the administrative officers in hospitals, corporate, restaurants, business people etc. They patiently answered our questionnaire, replied to the interview questions and patiently lent an ear to what we what we had to say. The project has not only impacted the community in our city but we have managed to reach out beyond our local community and influence people of other countries. We exchanged ideas about methods of waste management with delegates of other countries like China and Mauritius when they visited our school; through an interactive session, we picked up useful tips about how they handle waste effectively in their countries. Chief instructor, Mr James Christensen who has worked with NASA, U.S.A held us along with our co-students spell bound when he revealed how waste is disposed off in a space shuttle during his recent visit to our school.

• Our main objective was to bring more than a semblance of Management to our topic of Waste Mismanagement. • We have taken recourse to problem solving tools like Why Why analysis, reverse brainstorming, Fish and Bone diagram, Gnatt chart • Our project is on-going; our work/responsibility towards environmental conservation doesn’t end with this project. • We reached out to our target community of 100, 000 people.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

It was learning with fun when we stayed back after school hours till late evening, missing our school buses, enjoying pizza's. It was an unforgettable experience which helped us in learning so much more about mother nature.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7594)

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