Hi! My name is Andrew, and I am 16 years old. I live in Hooksett, New Hampshire, but I go to school in Massachusetts, at Phillips Academy Andover, where I am a sophomore.
My school, Phillips Andover, is a boarding school, so I am there 24 hours a day. I go to classes during the day, play sports during the afternoons, and go to music rehearsals in the evenings. I live in a very large boy’s dorm, where Dr. Wilkin, our primary coach, is my house counselor (which is how I first met him).
My favorite subjects in school are Music Theory, Mathematics, and sciences such as Biology and Chemistry, for which I am a tutor. I have always been interested in things like molecular biology, genetics, and virology. I remember when I was very little, my favorite thing to read was a certain page of a science encyclopedia, with pictures of viruses, and DNA. When I am older, I hope to pursue a future career of doing research in these areas, or maybe something involving medicine or public health.
In the afternoons, I usually have team practices for tennis or squash, depending on the season. By coincidence, I ended up on Dr. Wilkin’s squash team this winter (making him my house counselor, squash coach, and Thinkquest coach!).
In the evenings, I have music rehearsals for ensembles like jazz band, orchestra, and chamber music. I love playing music: I play three instruments- piano, saxophone, and flute-, allowing me to perform many types of music (classical, jazz, modern), and play in multiple ensembles. My favorite composer is Chopin, who wrote many of my favorite waltzes, nocturnes, and etudes for piano. I spend a lot of time composing music too, for my Music Theory class with Dr. Warsaw.
Between classes, sports, music, and homework, there is not much free time for anything else, so working on a big project like Thinkquest was a challenge for me. Working on Thinkquest forced me to manage my time smartly, and to finish my work early, so I could spend more time on the weekends and on vacations working on our project. I often wish that there were more hours in the day! Sometimes, it can be stressful to juggle all of these activities at once, but it is worth it, because I enjoy everything that I do.
For this project, I contributed mostly to the written content. I came up with the basic outline for how the website would present its content, and wrote most of the text. I also worked on the “non-technical” parts of some of the RPG case studies, helping William by writing some of the storylines and text for the games.
Everybody played an important part in making this project a success, but I would especially like to thank Ngoc, our assistant coach. Without her guidance and encouragement, the whole team would be lost!
I have done Thinkquest once before with William, making a website about the avian flu (called “Avian Flu: Under the Microscope”), and it was a very enjoyable experience. It is amazing how students can come together from all over the world, and create a great website that people of all ages, classes, and countries can enjoy and learn from.
One of the most memorable experiences that Thinkquest has given me was when my former Thinkquest coach from last year, Mrs. Papanikolau, who teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) at Webster School in Manchester, NH, invited me to come volunteer and introduce Thinkquest to her class of 4th and 5th graders. Because it is an ESL class, the children speak little English, and most of them are refugees who have just recently come from places such as Africa, Eastern Europe, and countries that are at war.
Mrs. Papanikolau thought it would be a great idea to introduce Thinkquest to them, as a way for them to learn English, while teaching them research and technology skills. Although sometimes it was hard to communicate with them because they did not speak much English, through Thinkquest, I was able to teach them about topics to do their website on (one team chose global warming), how to use the computers, and how to research on their topics. Being able to do Thinkquest at school was such a great opportunity for them, because many of the children do not even have computers at home, because they live in very poor conditions.
For me, this experience is what Thinkquest is all about- Thinkquest bridges socioeconomic, international, and linguistic divides, giving an opportunity for students to not just learn about a website topic, but also to communicate and work together, to use good time management, and to teach others about what they have learned. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to participate in this competition, because I have learned so much.
Hello! My name is Parintorn (or Park). I’m 16 years old, and I study at St. Gabriel’s College in Bangkok, Thailand. I’m interested in Art, reading comics or anything that relates to inspiration and art. I love to draw too. When I was young, I wanted to be a meatball seller when I grew up (because at that time I really liked to eat meatballs) but now, I think I may want to be something like a architect, creative writer or else be an unemployed.
In Thai school we have classes Monday to Friday, with 6-7 periods per day. We have a different subject from other countries, like Morals, in which we study about morals and ethics in Buddhism religion (Christians have their own special moral class). My special subjects are Art, Music, and Computer. In my school, we have many computer multimedia programs. We learn mostly the basics of Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Flash. In Music class, we divided in 2 groups: Thai instruments and Western Instruments. Each student choose his own instrument. I am now in the Western Instruments class, and I am learning to play the drums. My most favorite subject is Art. We learn about drawing, design, and we make models. I enjoy this class very much. It’s very lucky for me to study in this school!
Now I’m in grade 11, the last level before appying to university. Normally, in Thailand we apply to universitywhen we are in grade 12. However, I am in an accelerated program with only 2 years in high school. We study and prepare for the national university entrance test, which we call ‘Entrance’, to get a chance to study in a public university (but now we had just change the Entrance system to ‘Admission system’ that every grade 12 and accelerated grade 11 student still do a national test). I think here are only 3 countries in the world that have this kind of education system: Korea, Japan and Thailand. (This is an education system in which every student compete for a place to best universities and it makes some students feel very stressful that they may not archive their goal.)
For this project, I drew pictures for RPG game and research for data about epidemics in Thailand.
I had never heard about ThinkQuest until William asked me to join the team. In my work, I draw pictures using Macromedia Flash, in which I can put a lot of parts in one picture so that William can animate it easily. I enjoy this work because it’s what I love, but I’m not sure that everyone will enjoy the characters I that have drawn. I research for data at the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand and got many posters, flyers and reports about epidemics back home and scanned them (which takes many time to attach files and it’s usually failed because of my low-speed internet) to send via Email to William. At the beginning, I didn’t manage my time well enough to find time to work on the project seriously. I worked the project after I have cleared all my homework. At the beginning of the project when I got back home after school, I spend all the remaining time in that daysleeping! (I’m sorry!) But if I did not do this project, I would not have found many more tricks in Macromedia Flash, more knowledge about epidemiology, and more responsibility.
I have learnt about basic epidemiology in a hygiene class (at first I have seen the word ‘epidemic’ I thought it was abut skin because its spelling is like ‘epidermic’) In Thailand, we have no major epidemic that spread in large area. The small epidemics are diseases such as cholera, common cold, hemorrhagic fever, avian flu, and hand foot and mouth disease. The most recent epidemic, Foot and mouth disease, is caused by a virus in a human’s intestines. It makes the patient catch a cold, have no appetite and have a red rash at tongue, palm, sole or bottom. It is mostly found in children 5 years old and under. The Avian flu epidemic, which was monitored by the Health Ministry, involved sterilizing and killing all the birds in every farm in the epidemic zone. That time was a very terrible time because we ate only vegetable, rice, pork and beef. No chicken and eggs, how terrible!
A long time ago, (many hundreds of years ago) smallpox was very widespread in Thailand. People from all social classes caught this disease, including the king. If you looked around anywhere in the kingdom at that time, you will see only contagious corpses everywhere! The kings who have died from smallpox were King Borommakot and King Mahajakkabadh, who ruled the Ayothaya kingdom’s throne (you can see them easily in Thai historic books or movies).
Thanks to Andrew and William, who gave a chance to me to join and to do anything that brings the benefits to the project although that I usually send data too slow. Aside from reading a lot of textbooks, students can get knowledge easily by going to the ThinkQuest site. Thank you, ThinkQuest!
Hello, My name is Alexander (Alexi)! I'm 16 years old, will be 17 in June, and I go to Saint Joseph's High School in the great state of Indiana. I enjoy computer and videogames, and playing tennis. As for what I want to do when I grow up, I'd really like to get into the Sciences (Chemistry or Paleontology), politics or teach History and Philosophy.
For the project, I helped edit the information, took some of the lab pictures, took the survey and helped write the site introduction.
I think the concept of Thinkquest is great. It allows kids from all over the world to get together and really research anything that interests them, and then turn it into something cohesive, a website. As for my part in the Thinkquest competition, I enjoyed doing it, from what little I could do, since I don't know much of anything about website design. I enjoyed doing the writing for the scenarios and the survey. I tried to make them interesting, anyway. You really got to know what other people thought about epidemiology, as it's such an important field. I was asked by the Andrew and William to help out with the Thinkquest project which they did last year. I really enjoyed doing my part in the site. If it wasn't for this, I still wouldn't even know what epideomiology is!
Before joining the project, I thought epidemiology was the study of skin. Just that fact helped me become a little less ignorant. More specifically, I learned a lot about how people in this line of work go about dissecting epidemics and how they come to be. Of course its importance is on a personal level not just for the people who are interested in it, but for everyone on earth. If it wasn't for people who study and fight diseases, where would humanity be? Certainly not where it is now.
Thanks to Andrew and William for asking and letting me be a part of the Thinkquest experience. Of course without Thinkquest none of this would be possible. It's very important, especially in this day and age to spark some creativity and a thirst for knowledge in today's kids and probably the best way to do it is through right now's most important venue, the internet. Please enjoy the site, and have a fabulous day.
Hi guys! My name is Long, I am an 11th grader at Kim Lien, Hanoi. I learned about ThinkQuest through Ngoc, and I was very excited to be part of an international team. My job was to translate the whole site into vietnamese. I like reading comics, graphic designs, and I want to be an architect when I grew up.
ThinkQuest taught me many things. Firstly, epidemiology. There is Hanoi School of Public Health, and I was surprised to learn that many students applying for this school didn't know what epidemiology means. Secondly, through group discussions, my English improved, which I think is very important. Lastly, I learned more about the education system and the culture of US and Thailand. ThinkQuest is a great playground - and I hope more people like my age would get the chance to participate.
Hope you have fun!
Hey, my name is Christopher. I'm 16, will be 17 in July, and am currently a junior at Scarsdale Senior High School in New York. I love reading comics, playing videogames and fencing (which I'm really good at). So far, I'm a bit undecided about what I want to study in college and afterwards, but I'm just keeping my options open for anything.
For the project, I uploaded a lot of pictures of the labs and such. On top of that, I helped provide constructive criticism and direction for where the site could go, especially aesthetically.
Thinkquest was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me. I learned a lot about research and epidemiology. Without Thinkquest, that knowledge never would have been open to me. There was some work to be done too. The pictures were a bit hard to get as they're from real medical labs that deal with real situations. I got interested when Andrew and William asked me along with Alexi to help push their project to completion. Before that, I had never heard of Thinkquest.
Of course I learned a lot about Epidemiology, especially since I didn't even know what it was before being asked to help with the project. The study of diseases influences everyone as we can all benefit from its effects. Diseases effect every human being including me, so the topic is especially personal. I learned how the study of diseases is very methodical. It includes intense study and much hypothesizing. A lot of it is also cause and effect.
I would like to thank Andrew and William for allowing me to contribute what I have to the site. I would also like to thank Thinkquest, for giving me and everyone an opportunity to grow in their pursuit of knowledge. Last but not least I would like to thank my cousin Alexi. He is my mentor and role model, without whom I would be nowhere. Enjoy the site Mr./Ms./Mrs. Reader, and I hope you learn as much as I have.
Hi! My name is William, and I’m currently an 14 year old at David R. Cawley Middle School. Let me tell you a bit about myself; I’ve been given many titles over the years, such as, “nerd”, or “couch potato”, or “that really strange person over there”. However, despite these titles, I couldn’t be happier with life. As a person, I’m very eccentric, and will often break out into random poses or song and dance when the urge comes. Some of my interests, besides web design, include playing games, listening to music, reading comics, sleeping (I have the remarkable ability to nap anywhere), eating (I also have the remarkable ability to eat anything), playing percussion (I'm my school's band president) and making things out of duct tape, such as bags and pants. I enjoy doing crew (that’s rowing), which I took up at the beginning of the summer. I also love math and science, and hope to be a biomedical engineer in the future.
As a young child, I had the strangest misconception that all superheroes were required to wear tights. Every Satruday morning, I would scamper down the stairs, wrap myself in a blanket, lay on the coach, and watch TV shows of web-slingers and flying action-heroes. Similarities I noticed:
About a year ago, my brother confronted me with the idea of doing a website about epidemiology. My response; “Who’s epidemiology?” Despite my complete and utter ignorance of epidemiology, he roped me into his team and I began to design the website, without much care for what epidemiology was.
I spent many days boxed up in my house, stuck to my chair, sipping tea as I coded the website and shaped it’s games. Nights were spent typing up emails to my teammates as I munched on snacks, asking for their opinions and directing them to new things and ideas. There was the occassonnal three-way phone call, as we discussed about the website, but mostly goofed off and laughed our lungs out!
After while, my brother had me read his writing to understand what epidemiology was. As I began to read, the concept of epidemiology, slowly began to grow in my mind, The more I read, the more I came to respect these epidemiologist, these “disease detectives”. These people who, when confronted with the unknown and evil, still managed to keep their cool and find a way to stop epidemics of diseases of wiping us all out. They were kinda like…superheroes.
How did I come to that conclusion? One, they were really smart, which could be considered a superpower. Two, they saved people on a daily basis. Three, they have a bunch of really cool computers and tools. However, there was something on a deeper level that struck a chord with me. Despite what they had done for the world, I have never seen an epidemiologist in the news, or on the television. They were saving people, yes, but they didn’t get any recognition. These people, then, are saving people, saving the world, just for the sake of helping. Isn’t that what being a superhero is all about?
So, while I sleep, I know that if nasty viruses came and try to annihilate us, we’ve got epidemiologists watching over us all, keeping us safe from harm. I’ve gained a new respect and admiration for those “disease detectives”, and an awareness of how epidemiology affects our lives. And even though they may not wear tights, they’re still superheroes in my opinion.
I just like to take a few moments to thank some people. I’d like to thank all my team members, for the great time they gave this past year. I’d like to thank Mr. Wilkin, for coming in when we needed him the most. I’d like to give a tremendous thanks to Ngoc, our assistant coach, who was there to lead us all the time, and was an absolutely fantastic person to work with. She put up with us clueless people, and for providing us with lot and lots of pictures and information. I’d also like to give a big thanks to Thinkquest, for providing this wonderful opportunity for me and others to learn new skills and things, and the chance to work together in a team. I’d like to thank them for allowing me to have the chance to have this wonderful experience.
I hope you, the reader, will enjoy this website, and I hope that you’ll feel some of the positive feelings I had when I was making it, while you are reading it. Now then, what are you still doing here? Up, up, and away!