Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 7092

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Freedom of Expression in The US and China
Category: 2. Promotion of Peace and Democracy: Social Issues

School: San Francisco Friends School
    San Francisco, California, United States of America

3 students, ages 14 and 13 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 14, 2012. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2010/11, 2011/12

Classes and Teachers: Jodi Pickering, David, Grace, Kyle

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

We are a group of eighth grade students who attend an independent Quaker school in the heart of the Mission District of San Francisco, California. We have all lived in the extremely diverse and complex city of San Francisco for our life, from which we drew much of our inspiration for investigating these issues. Each of the three members of our team have wide-spread interests, from sports to other intellectual pursuits. We chose our topic through a series of discussions and eventual consensus, drawing from our experience with the Quaker process. Upon deciding on our topic we researched several specific freedom of speech issues and each took on a few of the topics.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our website strives to raise awareness about the state of freedom of expression in two countries who have a seemingly opposite view on the subject. Our goal is to not only show the differences of the views, but also demonstrate the parallels between them. Our website informs people of the importance of free expression in both the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America, comparing freedom of speech issues throughout history, as well as present conflicts surrounding this topic in the U.S. and China.

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:more than 6

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

We have the opportunity to use a computer at school during specialized times, and at home with some restrictions. Our Internet access is essentially omnipresent, with some exceptions due to location.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The main problem we faced and worked around was the lack of inside sources from the mainland China due to the fact that many primary sources are blocked because of dissident references to the Chinese government. We overcame this obstacle by listening and reading sources that were filmed or written in China but published in another country.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Doors to Diplomacy showed us the hardship and struggle hidden within seemingly successful countries and places.

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

Our involvement in this international project enhanced our studies of US history this year. Although we were not required to participate in this project, it also supports many of the values that our school attempts to instill in us, such as the importance of understanding many different perspectives on an issue.

Project Elements

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

Our group used Google Documents to collaborate on many of the writing aspects of the website, and used Wix to create our website. We were also aided in the process by our use of Noodle Tools and other Google services.

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

We are in the process of writing an article about it for our school newsletter, the Circle Back. It will be posted before the end of the school year and it will hopefully inspire other kids after us to continue create teams and compete in the contest.

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

Our project has made an impact on the community for it has become an inspiration for other kids to compete in the contest and it has supplemented the humanities curriculum surrounding United States history.

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

Student volunteers aided us with feedback on the aesthetic portion of the website. We also reached out to several of the teachers in our community about possible topics and source suggestions.


View our Doors to Diplomacy Project (Project ID: 7092)

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