Ka WoonDunman High School, Singapore
Siew TingDunman High School, Singapore
Jia JiaDunman High School, Singapore
Bih Huey RachelDunman High School, Singapore
Shi YunDunman High School, Singapore
Elizabeth NicoleDunman High School, Singapore
19 & under
Soong Chee GiDunman High School, Singapore
Social Sciences & Culture
One of the challenges faced was the limitation on the number of pages and content items per page. During our brainstorming sessions, we came up with many ideas that easily exceeded the limit. To avoid this, we had to combine some content items into one page and eliminate some ideas. One of the ideas eliminated was the religion and festivals that Singaporeans celebrate, as we agreed that other ideas were more relevant to the theme of our topic.
Time management was a major challenge. This competition was open in January but we joined only in mid-March. Furthermore, we took it up as part of our post-school activity. Our schedules were packed with other school competitions, leaving us with minimal time to juggle both schoolwork and ThinkQuest. Differing work schedules also pose a huge challenge. To make the most of the time we have, we seized the one week school holidays in March to finalize our discussion and subsequently divided the workload to complete the project in a more efficient way.
Each member had to be disciplined to complete allocated tasks and upload content information at our own time. We used various resources, such as discussing through online conversations, and via the Google Apps wiki our coach set up for us to communicate our ideas, since we were unable to meet up on a regular basis as a group. We started off using the wiki to experiment on preliminary ideas before uploading the actual content onto the ThinkQuest server. This ensured neatness and order while uploading information.
Another outstanding difficulty was to obtain pictures to enrich our website content. Our topic is on the life of our local community, and although this means that photographs portraying Singaporeans' daily lives can be easily taken, it is difficult to take shots which portray the life of Singaporeans at their truest. It would seem impolite and insensitive if we just took photographs without their consent, and might even invite conflicts. For example, we were unable to take photographs of Chinese funerals as it is a sensitive issue. Furthermore, in order to obtain photographs in all aspects of the locals' lives, we had to make our way to many locations, and some were inaccessible such as the foreign workers' living quarters. It is difficult to obtain close and clear shots of the sights that we needed. To overcome this, we tried to obtain medium or long-range shots in which individuals' identities were not discernable. We had to compromise clarity and comprehensiveness of photos, yet trying our best to capture the life of Singaporeans at its most realistic form.
Each of the 6 members of the team comes from varying family backgrounds with different religious beliefs. As each of us live in different locations in Singapore, we get to share our different, yet similar experiences. In the process, we discovered the common features and highlights that are distinct to the life of Singaporeans.
Most of our members come from the same country and school, and this is an added advantage as we are able to get along well, and perform our best as we already have an understanding of one another’s strengths and weaknesses. It is also easier for us to discuss our suggestions whenever we meet each other and is important for us to comprehend one another more easily. With these favorable circumstances, we could then thoroughly explore and focus on our choice topic: life in our local community, and give deeper analysis and insight to it.
On the other hand, we are in different classes and have different Co-curricular Activities (CCA). Some of us come from Performing Arts Groups with different cultural backgrounds, for example, the western Symphonic Band, Guitar Ensemble and the Chinese Orchestra, while others are from clubs and societies such as IT club and Chinese Society, sports such as Track and Field and uniformed groups such as the Girl Guides. As such, we have different commitments and participate in different after-school activities, such as the sports tournaments, the SYF competition and concerts. Hence, through sharing of the different experiences, we are able to understand schooling in Singapore better.
In addition, one of our members is not a Singaporean; hence through the understanding of her life and experiences, we learn to appreciate what we have in Singapore more and understand what makes our Singaporean identity unique. In the process, we also learn to understand things from different perspectives.
While working on this project, occasionally we had different opinions towards certain matters and this resulted in minor conflicts. However, these were quickly resolved as we were familiar with our team mates’ working styles and were able to work our way out by compromising and weighing the pros and cons of each idea. With different and conflicting views, our web page was constantly improved on and refined.