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We are a group of students from Victoria Junior College, Singapore, consisting of Victor, Junrong, Colin, Ee Teng, Min Xuan and Yuheng.
How the team was formed
After working on Thinkquest October 2003, Victor felt that the learning objective of Thinkquest had not been achieved and hence decided to form another group to take part in Thinkquest April 2005. Initially the group consisted of Victor, Junrong, Ee Teng and Min Xuan. Subsequently, Colin and Yuheng joined the team upon hearing about the project.
Why the topic was chosen
We figured that since we wanted to learn something fresh, we should work on something foreign yet interesting. Hence we chose the topic "Colonialism & Conquest" which appears interesting rather easily. However, deciding which period and colony to work on was to take longer. Suggestions stretched from the ancient Roman Empire to Nazi Germany. In the end, we decided to focus our project on Egypt in the British Empire. It is a country with a long and unique past; it is relatively unknown but thus exotic to us. It thus fits the bill. However, a decisive decision was delayed, for information on this relatively lesser known period might prove too scarce as we had found out in our initial probing. In the end, still, we agreed to go ahead on the topic.
With college keeping us busy, it is difficult for us to balance our time to work on the site as procrastination was tempting. Usually the team meets up online on MSN messenger at least twice a week for group discussions as it is impossible for us to meet personally to discuss on the website. Of course, these meetings became more frequent nearer to the deadline.
Difficulties we encountered
- Initially the worries were realised as we were hit by a severe lack of information. Books on the period proved to be extremely limited, at least in Singapore, and searches on the Internet yielded but a few precious sites. Even worse, these sites touched only lightly on the topic. For a moment, we were faced with the prospect of creating a site with only a few strands of information. Fortunately, our luck changed after searching intensified and several sites on the topic were discovered. Like archaeologists, these finds delighted us and we proceeded to fill in the details. Meanwhile Victor laid out the skeleton of the site and allocated people to their respective sections. Yuheng, having joined late, was assigned to fill up tasks that could be out sourced, for the researchers were quite burdened with sections to write.
- Disaster struck when, a couple of days from the deadline for Thinkquest April 2005, a new government policy prevented our coach from joining Thinkquest. We were at our wit’s ends because we are worried that what we have done would go down the drain. Under great disappointment, we decided our only option lay in taking part in the next Thinkquest, in October 2004, and compete with other teams in the miscellaneous category. As a result, we did not enroll in the April 2004 Thinkquest.
- Soon, schoolwork forced us apart as we had to study for our end of year exams. The long break broke our familiarity and connection with the topic. Thus, as the October 2004 Thinkquest came closer, we were eventually demoralised by our alienation with the once familiar topic and the poor state of our site in comparison to others. However, pace eventually recovered as Victor rallied the team together to finish and polish the site.
- We found out that it is difficult to juggle between the hectic pace of college life (school work and school projects) and Thinkquest. Many of us ended up sleeping at 1 or 2 AM in the morning just to get things done. Micro-management of time became a necessity…and an amusement as we find ourselves discussing the project for brief seconds if we met while walking to our respective classes.
Credits and Appreciation
We would like to thank the following people for contributing to the success of our site:
- Our coach, Mr Mayank Gandhi
Mr Mayank Gandhi is an experienced Thinkquest coach and educator. Despite geographical distance, he has played a helpful role in the refinement of our site.
- Our assistant coach, Mr Gi Soong Chee
Before Mr Mayank, Mr Gi was our first coach. He enlightened and reminded us of the objectives of our educational website and pointed out that our site seemed to be like ‘an e-book’ rather than a website designed to educate during our initial stages of website development. An experienced teacher in Computing and an enthusiast in the use of informational technology to educate and teach, we have learnt more about using interactive media in information technology to educate our audience and thus fulfill our objectives of designing an educational website. He has been an objective coach yet encouraging if necessary. Thank you, Mr Gi.
- Friends, family, teachers and anyone who has helped us in one way or another
We sincerely appreciate you all for your support and understanding, and we thank you all for your encouragement as well!