Coffee: All Ground Up! was brewed and grew out of the dedication and hard work of a team of five students who live on three different continents and four different countries: Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the USA. Ben is from Australia, Sigit is from Indonesia, Ngoc and Lan are from Vietnam and Ammu is from the USA. The two coaches, Carol and Jim, are from Australia and the USA respectively. We had to continuously cross boundaries of time, language and geography in order to create this site for you.
The group came together when Sigit contacted Carol and expressed his desire to compete in one final ThinkQuest competition. At the same time, Ngoc had emailed Carol, articulating an equal desire to compete and indicating she had two friends, Ben and Lan, who were also interested in being part of a team. As luck would have it, while this was all happening, Ammu had emailed Sigit, asking him to join a team she was trying to put together. Sigit talked her into joining this team however and the team was born. The final piece of the puzzle was complete when Ammu asked her computer teacher, affectionately known as Mr P., to assist the team in the capacity of Primary Coach.
When Ngoc emailed Carol, little did she know that the two of them were literally a mere 5km away from one another. Ngoc was attending Newcastle High School at the time and was unaware that two of Carol’s daughters attended the same school!
The team set up a forum in which everyone could communicate while they worked out the details of which category to enter and what their topic should be. It took some two weeks and over one hundred posts on the forum to decide on the category alone! In the end, coffee turned out to be the most popular choice. The team then concentrated on choosing a name for the project, choosing colour schemes, and coming to some consensus on what the site’s layout should be.
Ngoc went back to her native homeland shortly afterward and did all of her research and writing in Vietnam. Lan assisted Ngoc in the research and writing of a large portion of the site. Both Ngoc and Lan worked very closely together spending many hours at each other’s home designing, setting up, and ultimately conducting interviews with leading coffee experts to make this site current and more interesting for all of you. They also worked together to translate the site’s text into Vietnamese.
Ammu also helped with the research and writing for the site. She spent tireless hours (and a few “all-nighters”) creating a series of wonderful animations for the site as well. The fact that she was quite sick through most of this competition did not seem to slow her down one bit. We all appreciate the quality of her work and the unwavering dedication she has to the team!
Ben is our “Flash” expert! He is now referred to as “The Nocturnal One” because of his habit of going to bed when the sun comes up and his getting up when the sun goes down! His keen insight and problem solving capabilities with the animations were incredible. Nothing ever got by him. He’s produced wonderful animations for the team, each one of which (if you will pardon the pun…) adds considerable flavour to the website.
Sigit is our site designer. It is very difficult to outline his duties as there were many – team leader, team motivator, primary tester, and problem solver. In a few words he is the heart and soul of the team! He has very limited internet connectivity at home (an extremely expensive and poor dialup speed). He mostly copied files to a floppy disk, walked to a local Internet Café and uploaded them from there. We are all amazed at his ability to keep the team focused and on task in this manner. We were always amazed and thankful for his daily emails and fabulous designs. It was a mammoth task for him!
Mr P. (i.e. Jim), was an integral member, watching the site evolve and offering his expertise with technical problems while lending a hand editing text. He kept the online collaboration “on-task” and encouraged and enlightened us all with his wisdom and dedication to the team, even though we realise his time was extremely precious. He gave far more time than was asked and we greatly appreciate his wonderful sense of humour and huge respect he has shown us all.
Carol is a friend to us all. Her experience in past ThinkQuest competitions has been invaluable to us throughout our “quest”. We have leaned on her time and time again while working on this site. Things would have taken much longer to accomplish without her clear understanding of how ThinkQuest competitions worked. She’s always been there for us, whether it was just to edit text or offer “motherly” advice. She pulled us all together to become a team and has been the glue that made the bond!
With the team being scattered all over the world, we had only email and our online forum with which to communicate. We soon discovered that effective communication would be the key element to our being successful. We are pleased to note that our online communication not only facilitated our collaborative efforts but it brought us together to become more than a team; we became lifelong friends. This website is the result of several months of hard work and dedication as a team. We have learned much more than reasons for the current worldwide coffee crisis. We have learned what it takes to function as a team and we have bonded as true and devoted friends in the process.
Sit back with a “cuppa” and enjoy our creation – we enjoyed creating it for you!