2009 19 and Under: Honorable Mention
Edward Loyola High School, CA, United States
ChristinaManual Arts, CA, United States
LennyCentral City Value, CA, United States
19 & under
Oscar MenjivarUSC Upward Bound Math Science, United States
Science & Technology > Life Science > Ecology > Rain Forests
Ages 15 and up
Online Activity / Game
Teacher Resources (Lesson Plans, Worksheets)
Video / Sound
There were only a couple of us that were really interested in returning to the computers again and participating at the international level. Lenny, Christina and I, Edward, were the only ones really interested in the continuation of the project. I assumed the role of leader in trio and wanted to inspire them to achieve more than what we had previously accomplished. Lenny is an amazing graphic designer; he did so much for the team. He was committed to the project, as were Christina and I. All of us worked together on weekdays and Saturdays to try to achieve our goal and improve our website. We received a lot of help and support from our mentor/ teacher, Oscar Menjivar, who allowed us to borrow one of his spare laptops to work on the project at home. With this laptop we could work anywhere and get our work completed. Lenny and I would meet at least five times a week to work on the website, either at his house or a nearby location.
To ensure that our team would focus on the website, we sacrificed many privileges in our overtime sessions. We had to postpone lunches with dates, dances with girls and even parties with friends. Oscar was really strict whenever we wouldn’t perform to our fullest potential. He would always yell and tell us to never use the teammate’s absences as excuses. We definitely had to struggle with so few group members, but somehow we managed to pull through with only three of us at any given time.
When we tried to tweak our site and add a new type of text scroller, we ran into a series of problems that ended up messing up our site instead of helping it. It took an entire week for us to figure out that the answer to our failing scrollbar problem was within the program we had been using to develop the site all along. After that, came the harder part of adding the scrollbar to each individual page and re-linking every page with one another. We started the long and painful process less than a week before the website was due.
Despite our countless arguments, constant phone calls and occasional physical motivation, we learned to cooperate, distribute the work amongst each other, and depend on the other members as a whole. We discovered each of our talents and worked with one another to achieve what we are proud to call our site.
Our group’s name is Delta Signal and we are from the University of Southern California's Upward Bound Math/Science Program. The name Delta Signal was inspired by the symbolism of the triangle, which for us represented unity, communication, trust, and cooperation. Our group consists of six talented students: Edward, Lenny, Cristina, Nykeemah, Marco and Pablo. The uniqueness of our group is that we all come from different cultures, yet we appreciate each other as family. In our group, there is a great representation of Salvadorians, which consists of Cristina, Edward, Lenny, Marco and Pablo’s originated from Guatemala, and Nykeemah's family is from the United States. Even though we are different in many ways, we agreed in every aspect of our website in terms of the colors, theme, and topic.
Our group also consisted of handicapped and non-handicapped individuals. This was a difference that we did not foresaw in our group. One of the biggest challenges that we faced as a team was the fact that we had injured team members. Marco broke his arm. This event brought us closer together than before we began our journey in creating this website. We alternated turns in assisting Marco to carry his laptop, in typing for the website and supported him with his research so that we would not fall behind. Another huge challenge was to help Nykeemah because she had a broken ankle before the beginning of our program. These challenges, at first, hindered the team because she could not carry her backpack and slowed us down in walking since she had to pace herself when traveling from one place to another. These factors, which we inevitably had to face as a team, helped us build strength and team work because we found solutions for these issues. In the beginning of the program, we were timid because we were strangers to each other. Furthermore, Nykeemah had a rough time because she always tried to push the team to do our best on all aspects of the program. It took Nykeemah, our leader, to break the ice and help us to communicate with each other and open up more with our various ideas about our website.
The age difference also played a major role in the personalities of our team. Both Cristina and Pablo were new to the program, which justifies the fact that they were less confident about sharing their personal experiences, and at times, their ideas, as well. Edward and Lenny, who assumed the leadership roles of web developer and graphic designer, respectively, truly made our group stronger because they came in with experience under their belt. Thanks to th