The team for 'A Dollar a Day' is made up of Alan and Elaine, both Americans, Deena and Asif, both Bangladeshi-Americans, and Vicky, a resident of Switzerland, who contributes a European outlook. Asif and Alan are Thinkquest veterans and they recruited Deena, Elaine, and Vicky to the project. The various team members, though all with different ages, skills, and interests, found themselves united with the single goal of creating a remarkable website to educate others on poverty alleviation. The group was well represented from around the globe, and multiple viewpoints were collaborated into the site. Each team member chose different tasks according to their interests, but they also worked together on other aspects of the site to form and build the website they could all enjoy and be proud of.
Successful collaboration is the key to all team projects. The team decided to harness the power of the web. In addition to many “in-person” meetings, emails, and telephone calls, the team set up an internet discussion group to communicate and collaborate with their coaches and each other. As of last count, 168 messages were posted! Scheduled Instant Messaging chat sessions helped them discuss plans and strategies. And last but not least, in order to further develop ideas and views they also set up their own blog where they invited comments on specific topics from each other as well as the general public. This provided them with important insights that they could then incorporate into their site.
Our site's topic - poverty alleviation - is a complex issue of global significance. To capture the many facets of this topic, we interviewed experts from around the globe, collected additional, diverse perspectives via our blog, and presented case studies from many regions. Some of our team members even had the opportunity to visit developing areas of the world, and their reflections on poverty were included in the site. By immersing ourselves in the plight of the poor through these numerous methods, we realized how lucky we are to be living in comfort while millions of others struggle to survive. We hope that we have captured a little of this feeling in 'A Dollar a Day.' Also, we hope that this site makes a small contribution toward alleviating the plight of the poor.
The biggest challenge we had while working on the site was in communicating and getting together. With busy schedules and time differences we overcame this by using the internet discussion group and the blog.
Narrowing down the large amount of information about poverty was another big challenge. We were, however, able to overcome this challenge in the end. By starting work on the site soon after the competition began in August, we made sure that we had enough time to research, write, and build the site without feeling too rushed.
Using Individual Strengths
Working on aspects of the project that interested us most allowed us to use our individual strengths.
Asif worked primarily on website design during the ThinkQuest project. He built most of the website, created the interactive portions, and worked with other graphical elements of the site. He also served as the team leader, and researched and wrote several sections.
"Web design has always fascinated me, and designing our ThinkQuest site was a great opportunity for me to improve my skills."
Alan was a researcher and writer for 'A Dollar a Day.' He researched and wrote on health-related solutions to poverty for the Health Solutions section, and contributed to the site in numerous other ways, through the blog and at team meetings.
Deena worked as a researcher, photographer, and writer for 'A Dollar a Day.' Many of the team's pictures come from her camerawork. She also contributed many interesting views on poverty, which helped in writing the Poverty Overview section.
“I love camera work and was delighted to use the photographs and information I had collected from Bangladesh to strengthen the website.”
Elaine helped in researching, writing, and interviewing for 'A Dollar a Day.' She wrote the Biographies section, and helped with other section as well, especially during the editing process. Elaine also contacted many experts on poverty to help the team get interviews for the site.
“Writing is just my gig.”
Vicky was a researcher and writer for 'A Dollar a Day.' She contributed to the Education Solutions section, and helped with other parts of the site as well. Vicky also managed to interview several people about poverty. These perspectives, from experts who worked in Tanzania and Bangladesh, greatly enhanced the site.
Our Coach: Mrs. Herman:
Our coach, Mrs. Herman, helped us organize meetings, gave tons of helpful comments on the site, and helped us in numerous other ways with the site.