Doors to Diplomacy Project ID: 5910

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Unbiased Environmental Policies
Category: 7. Health and the Environment

School: Central York High School
    York, Pennsylvania, United States

3 students, ages 18, 18, 17 worked together to complete this Doors to Diplomacy project on March 19, 2009. They have participated in Doors to Diplomacy in the following year(s): 2009

Classes and Teachers: Mrs. Dayna Laur, Gary, Nandish, Billy

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

The three members of our team are Gary(18), Billy(17), and Nandish(18). We have known each other for several years and decided to joined to do this project because of our knowledge and love for all things technological. The opportunity to create a website appealed to us and allowed us to flex a mental muscle that we have not used in a long time. We decided not to take a stance on any subject until after we have done extensive research to form an unbiased view on some of the issues surrounding the future of the United States in regards to the environment, each one of us tackling a different subject. Nandish researched alternative energies, Gary was responsible for global warming, and Billy did recycling. Our instructor, Mrs. Laur, was a constant presence during this project, constantly encouraging us to think critically and preform at a level higher than our natural abilities.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our project explores the myths and facts regarding our environment policies, and to determine if any of the claims made by politicians and the opinions of the general public are accurate.

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:not sure

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Aside from errors in the creation of the website, there was no severe technical issues that we had to overcome. Most obstacles were minor or insignificant and did not impede the completion of this project. Resources were easy to find and the students had significant time in class as well as outside of class to complete the project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Our participation in Doors to Diplomacy allowed the class to further explore areas of their own interest in order to gain a better understanding of policy making and international diplomacy in an effort to raise awareness in our school and ultimately, our community.

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

the current unit in our AP United States Government and Politics class is Public Policy, which stressed the influences of various factors, such as interest groups, elections, and political parties. Doors to Diplomacy deals directly with public policy, so entering the contest is a natural fit. The contest was an excellent way to demonstrate what the students learned during the chapter on how policies are made and how exactly the different factors effect them. The integration of technology into our classrooms helped make research easier and allowed for a more interactive experience instead of the old 'read the textbook and take notes' approach.

Project Elements

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

Every student in our class had access to his own Macbook Pro during class for research and website development, allowing full-time access to the internet, as well as our library's database for periodicals and magazine articles for easy research. The online database was exceptionally helpful because it provided students with easy access to legitimate sources without having to research for hours and without the risk of unreliable websites. The computers also gave the students access to programs like Google Documents, where they could edit and add information all in one place at the same time.

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

Word spread quickly around our school about this project and more and more people are wanting to see this website for both its aesthetic appeal and the information it provides. Obviously, reading the material will help educate the masses, and that information will quickly spread to other students, parents, teachers, and other members of the community either by more viewer ship or word of mouth. Maintenance of this web site does not end with the end of this project and the website will be updated to keep up with new research and policies, which will hopefully bring in more visitors. Most people are impressed with the amount of information, as well as the easy navigation of the site, which was obvious to figure out by the comments they made to the creators of the website in person.

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

This project will make a difference in the relationship between our school and community. They will learn the truths about global warming, recycling, and alternative energies and will finally have a place where information regarding the future of this nation is found in an easy to read, unbiased place. The web site is spreading quickly, and many people have learned new things and/or agreed with our claims, while others still decide to disregard all of the information and keep their own opinions. But whether or not someone agrees with our opinions doesn't matter, because the primary function of this web site is to inform, and people on both sides of the argument admit to learning new information.

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

This project did not use the help of other members of the community, only the minds and efforts of the three students and the instructor.


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