CyberFair Project ID: 8756

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Harmony in Lahad Datu: Sowing Seeds of Environmental Awareness for a Flourishing Tomorrow
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: SM St. Dominic, 91100, Lahad Datu
    Lahad Datu, Sabah , Malaysia

6 students, ages 12,14,15,16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2024. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 0

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Neoubert, Madam Wong Vui Hung

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Situated in the eastern part of Sabah, Malaysia, near the border with the Philippines, this region reflects a rich blend of indigenous Malaysian cultures, with influences from neighboring Filipino communities. Predominantly inhabited by indigenous groups such as the Tausug, Bajau, and Suluk peoples, dialects of Malay, Tausug, and other indigenous languages are commonly spoken.

The economy is mainly reliant on agriculture, fishing, and trade, with some engagement in palm oil plantations and tourism. Traditional practices are upheld, including ceremonies related to births, weddings, and harvest seasons. There's a strong emphasis on community bonds and extended family networks, with communal decision-making practices.

Development efforts are underway to improve infrastructure, healthcare, and education, yet disparities persist between urban and rural areas. Environmental concerns are paramount, with efforts to balance economic development with conservation, particularly concerning marine ecosystems and forest preservation.

2. Summary of Our Project

The project on environmental awareness in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, metaphorically likens the process of fostering environmental consciousness to 'sowing seeds,' emphasizing the proactive approach needed to nurture sustainable practices within the community. Throughout the research, the focus is on showcasing Lahad Datu as a model of collaborative efforts aimed at preserving ecological equilibrium.

By examining local practices, educational programs, and community engagement initiatives, the project aims to highlight both the challenges faced and the successes achieved in cultivating a sustainable mindset among residents. It emphasizes the interconnectedness between human actions and the health of the ecosystem, exploring cultural, economic, and educational dimensions to unveil the tapestry of harmony being woven in Lahad Datu.

Positioning the town as a potential model for global environmental stewardship, the project offers valuable insights into sustainable practices that can inspire environmental awareness and resilience worldwide. In summary, it aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Lahad Datu's environmental landscape and its significance in promoting sustainable development. Through exploring the symbiotic relationship between the community and the environment, it seeks to contribute insights that can serve as a source of inspiration for fostering environmental awareness and resilience on a global scale.

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:none

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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

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

It is actually fine

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Cultural Diversity: Lahad Datu's diverse cultural landscape posed a challenge in crafting messages that resonated with all residents. Overcoming this involved tailoring communication approaches to accommodate different cultural perspectives and traditions.

Language Barriers: With multiple languages spoken in the community, effective communication required translation services and multilingual materials to ensure messages reached all residents.

Limited Resources: The project faced constraints in terms of financial and logistical resources, necessitating creative solutions such as forming partnerships with local stakeholders and maximizing the impact of available resources.

Community Engagement: Encouraging active participation from the community was crucial. This involved building trust, fostering a sense of ownership, and creating opportunities for involvement in environmental initiatives.

Security Concerns: Lahad Datu's proximity to the Philippines border brought occasional security challenges due to cross-border conflicts and piracy. Ensuring the safety of participants and maintaining stability in the region were priorities.

Resistance to Change: Overcoming resistance to adopting new environmental practices required extensive education, awareness-raising, and demonstrating the benefits of sustainable living.

Infrastructure Limitations: Challenges such as limited access to electricity, internet connectivity, and transportation, particularly in rural areas, necessitated innovative solutions like offline communication methods and in-person outreach programs.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

This research paper endeavors to explore the concept of harmony in Lahad Datu, delving into the intricate balance between the local community and its natural surroundings. As we navigate through the rich tapestry of this Malaysian town, we aim to unravel the threads that bind sustainable coexistence, sowing seeds of environmental awareness that promise to germinate into a vibrant and resilient landscape for generations to come.

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

Our CyberFair project addressed various content standards in environmental science, social studies, language arts, and technology integration, focusing on environmental awareness, cultural understanding, research skills, communication, and digital literacy. It fit seamlessly into our school curriculum by promoting interdisciplinary learning, merging science, geography, social studies, and language arts to explore environmental issues within a cultural context. Through this project, we honed skills like research, data analysis, digital storytelling, and collaboration, while also practicing group concepts such as teamwork and communication. By highlighting local practices and community engagement, we gained insights into global citizenship and environmental stewardship. This project aligned with our school's emphasis on project-based learning, research skills, and digital literacy, encouraging us to engage actively with real-world issues and fostering a sense of responsibility towards the environment and community. Integrating technology into our learning proved invaluable, granting access to diverse resources, facilitating global collaboration, and enhancing our ability to share findings. Ultimately, this approach enriched our learning experience and led to a more impactful project outcome.

Project Elements

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

To complete our CyberFair project, we utilized various information tools and technologies. We primarily relied on internet research to gather data about Lahad Datu's environmental landscape, community initiatives, and cultural practices. Online resources like search engines, scholarly databases, and reputable websites provided valuable information.

Additionally, we utilized digital communication tools such as email and messaging platforms to facilitate communication within our team and with external stakeholders. Collaboration platforms like Google Drive enabled real-time editing and sharing of documents among team members.

While most tools were readily available online, some premium software subscriptions were donated by businesses or schools through partnerships or sponsorships.

The most valuable tools for our project were internet research and collaboration platforms. These tools allowed us to efficiently gather and organize information while facilitating seamless communication and teamwork among team members.

Among the technologies used, digital storytelling tools played a significant role. We employed software like Adobe Spark and Canva to craft engaging narratives and visually appealing presentations for our project. Additionally, we utilized mapping tools such as Geographic Information System (GIS) software to visualize spatial data and map environmental features in Lahad Datu.

One unique way our students utilized information tools and technologies was by creating an interactive online map of Lahad Datu's environmental features and cultural sites using GIS software. This interactive map allowed users to explore the town's ecological and cultural diversity dynamically, enhancing the richness of our project and contributing to environmental advocacy and cultural preservation efforts.

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

Our students served as ambassadors and spokespersons for our CyberFair project both online and in person by actively engaging with the community. They contacted community members through various means such as in-person visits, phone calls, letters, and email. During these interactions, students shared information about our project, its goals, and how community members could contribute or participate.

One memorable anecdote involves a local environmental organization that our students reached out to for collaboration. Initially, the organization expressed interest in supporting our project by providing access to their research data and expertise. However, as our discussions progressed, they became impressed with the level of commitment and enthusiasm our students showed for environmental awareness. This led to a fruitful partnership where the organization not only shared valuable resources but also invited our students to participate in local cleanup activities and awareness campaigns.

Another outcome of our contacts was receiving donations of services from local businesses. Upon learning about our project, a printing company offered to print promotional materials such as posters and flyers free of charge to help spread awareness about our initiative within the community.

Overall, our community contacts resulted in positive outcomes such as collaboration opportunities, donated services, and increased awareness and appreciation for the work our students were doing. People expressed their admiration for our students' dedication and passion for environmental advocacy through encouraging words, offers of support, and invitations to participate in community events and initiatives. These interactions served to strengthen our project's impact and fostered a sense of pride and recognition within our school community.

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

Our CyberFair project has significantly impacted our community by raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting cultural understanding. Through our website, we aim to educate people about sustainable practices and the importance of preserving Lahad Datu's ecological and cultural heritage. Visitors to our site, both locally and globally, have learned about our community's unique blend of indigenous cultures and the collaborative efforts being undertaken to address environmental challenges. Our involvement in this project has strengthened relationships between our school and local organizations, businesses, and government agencies. Feedback has been positive, with community members appreciating the informative content and our students' dedication to environmental advocacy. Beyond technology, our project has inspired pride and recognition within our school and community, fostering collaboration and collective action towards common goals of environmental stewardship and cultural preservation.

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

Our CyberFair project involved various members of our community as helpers and volunteers, both locally and long-distance. Locally, we reached out to environmental organizations, local businesses, and government agencies for assistance. These helpers provided valuable resources, expertise, and support throughout our project.

One significant helper was a local environmental organization that generously shared research data, expertise, and facilitated field visits to environmental sites. Their guidance and collaboration were invaluable in providing insights into Lahad Datu's environmental landscape.

Additionally, local businesses contributed by providing donations of services, such as printing promotional materials and sponsoring community events related to our project. Their support helped us spread awareness and engage more community members in our initiative.

Furthermore, a long-distance helper located approximately 100 miles away provided assistance via the internet. This individual, who was pursuing a PhD in orangutan behavior, offered expertise and guidance on environmental conservation efforts, particularly relating to wildlife conservation in our region. Despite the distance, their insights and advice were instrumental in shaping our project's approach and content.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to all our helpers and volunteers for their contributions to our CyberFair project. Their support has been instrumental in our success, and we are grateful for their dedication to environmental awareness and cultural preservation in our community.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Our CyberFair project led to several interesting discoveries, lessons, and surprises. One significant discovery was the depth of cultural diversity within our community and its intertwined relationship with environmental stewardship. Through our research, we learned about traditional practices and rituals that contribute to environmental conservation, highlighting the importance of cultural heritage in sustainable development.

Additionally, we gained insights into the interconnectedness of global environmental issues and local community efforts. Collaborating with experts and organizations worldwide, we discovered innovative approaches to environmental advocacy and learned valuable lessons in effective communication and collaboration across geographical boundaries.

One surprise was the level of community engagement and support our project received. From local businesses offering donations to individuals providing expertise and guidance, the outpouring of support exceeded our expectations and underscored the importance of community involvement in addressing environmental challenges.

Furthermore, our project's success led to other awards and recognitions, including a National Clean and Environmental Innovators award and a School Excellence Award from the School Environmental Club. These accolades not only validate our efforts but also inspire us to continue our journey towards environmental awareness and community empowerment. Overall, our CyberFair project has been a journey of discovery, learning, and growth, highlighting the transformative power of education and collective action in creating positive change.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 8756)

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