Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 6826

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Diplomacy, Art, and Culture
Category: 8. Arts and Culture

School: Sioux Falls New Technology High School
    Sioux Falls, SD, USA

4 students, ages 15 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on January 1, 1900. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): nCFyears

Classes and Teachers: Russ Townsend, April Ross

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

There are four team members; Joe E., 15, Cade W., 15, Claire G., 15, and Elana H. , 15. We were allowed to submit a journal saying two people we would like to work with, and two people we would not like to work with. Our teachers/coaches, Mr. Townsend, and Mrs. Ross, then split up the groups accordingly. After we were assigned our groups, we were to make a group contract that established our group roles, agreements, and responsibilities. We required that everyone follow the requirements in the group contract for good and bad behaviors, and consequence, whether good or bad, went accordingly. We have not had to go back and say anything for bad behavior; so therefore, we have had a good time working together. When deciding responsibilities, we all decided things we enjoyed doing, and split up the tasks that way. Elana H., for instance, enjoys connecting culture to art, so she did that page. Cade W. likes looking up different museums, so he did that page. Joe E. worked on Examples of Art Affecting Diplomacy, as well as the gallery page. Claire G. did a lot of work with Different Forms of Art, as well as The Arts.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our goal for this project is to connect art and diplomacy. We chose Category #8, which was Art and Culture. We wanted to show with our website not only how art affects culture, and how it affects diplomacy, but also just art in general. We wanted to inform people about different works of art, where you can find different works of art, and give people a little game to encourage their learning. We also wanted to create an opportunity for those who speak, or want to speak, Spanish, to practice. We chose twenty “key” words from our website, and translated them into Spanish. People can practice the words, as well as play a game using them. We will also have a video with how each of us feels about diplomacy and art.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:

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

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


4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had some group members that were absent on work days. While these group members were able to make up their work, it did put the group a bit behind. We also had some problems with group members not entirely understanding their part of the project, and needing to redo it once or twice, but we easily overcame this. We put in many house working at home, and/or after school. Group members collaborated, and each group member was able to complete their work to the fullest of their abilities, with time to spare.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

By participating in Doors to Diplomacy, we have made it known to the Sioux Falls community that we have opportunities at our school; opportunities that our teachers bring to us, as well as opportunities that our model of learning (in groups) allows for. During the course of the past weeks it has been competitive and instead of growing apart as a school, I believe it has brought us closer than ever. This project can enormously impact our community, if we achieve in getting the scholarship, by showing Sioux Falls what New Tech. can do.

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

Our Doors to Diplomacy website met Global Issue content standards, for we had to research different issues connecting to our category. We also met Spanish standards with our list of twenty words, and the Spanish game. Our school system of New Technology High School allows us to fit the requirements into our project. With this project we were able to practice collaboration, work ethic, Spanish and Global Issues content, as well as written communication.

Before this project only one of the four of us were able to utilize Wix. Through this project we were able to learn how to make an effective website, and we learned how to research about our topic affectively. We learned about a lot of the different site builders that are out there, but we found Wix to be a lot of fun, and decided it was the one to go with.

Using the internet as our research tool helped with some pages, but not all. Most of the pages dealing singularly with art didn’t need internet research, as the group member, Elana, had some art books that she brought from home. Using these, we were able to decide on which art works to utilize in our website.

Project Elements

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

We each used our own computers while researching, but we shared the books of art. When working on the website, only one group member typed, while the rest either finished their work, or helped collaborate on what to put in the website. We used the books, World Art: The Essential Illustrated History, and The Renaissance. Elana had these books for personal use, and offered them as a resource. In our school, each student has a computer to use, so we used the resources our school had to offer.

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

We will all continue to be friends of those from all nations, as well as try to send the message that diplomacy is important. We want people to learn from their own culture, from their own art. We want to get people to go to their local museums, and just learn. People in the community (and our parents) are very impressed with what we have done. They are impressed with the fact that we are thinking this critically, and working this hard. Our teachers are impressed with the work we have completed, and they let us know by sending us “gold stars.” This just lets us know they are proud that we can work that hard on a project such as this. We might not have many contacts out of our school, but we do have teachers as resources, and other students. It’s amazing how much information someone might have, even if you don’t realize it. People have a ton of background information, and if you take the time to talk to them, you might learn some of that information.

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

Will this project make a difference? To us, it has. Does that mean that everyone in our community will be affect by this? No, but that’s the risk we have to take. While we can continue to encourage visitation to our website, and visitation to our local museums, we can’t guarantee anything. This project has affected us, though. There are some group members who would never have gone to an art museum before, and now they will, just to learn about artists from around the globe, and artists from there community. We have shown our website to our parents, and they have told their colleagues and friends about it. Hopefully they will tell their friends and children, and so on. All it takes is one person, and suddenly the world knows about it. People are our great resource, and we hope to utilize them to their fullest.

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

Our teachers, classmates, and parents were our only helpers. We completed the rest using our own resources and our own minds. To be honest, most of it was just us. We all had to work together, mold our minds one could say, and come up with the best project we could think of. We truly had to help each other, and help ourselves. Sometimes it was hard, and we desperately wanted help, but sometimes you just have to overcome obstacles, and work on. So we did.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

It was very surprising to realize that we could do so much work in such a short time. Time goes by so fast when you’re constantly working, and there were times we were sure we wouldn’t finish on time. It’s very rewarding to finish in time, and realize just how proud you are of what you’ve done. If a group from New Tech wins the scholarship, we would be recognized not only in our school, but in the entire community. When we go to college, we could put it on our resume, and relive the wonder of doing this project again. It was a very wonderful epiphany to realize just how much we enjoy art. Just how much we love looking at works of art, and learning about a culture from them. How enjoyable it is to see beauty, frozen for a moment, even if it’s just for a moment. Throughout time we will want to continue to add to our project, and improve it. Leonardo da Vinci said, "Art is never finished-only abandoned." So it is with our website.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 6826)

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