Socrates Thinkers team of Satvika, Shelby, Keertana and Akshith
are a dynamic team of four members set to educate and increase
awareness of noise pollution around the world.
Satvika and Shelby are 10 years old and in fifth grade at
Silverbrook. Keertana and Akshith are 12 years old and in
seventh grade at Robert Frost Middle School and Joyce Kilmer
Middle School respectively. We are all in Virginia.Keertana
and Akshith attend math sessions together for over a year.
Keertana and Satvika have been friends for a long time. Satvika
was considering the thinkquest competition with Keertana and
invited Akshith and Shelby to the group.
Choice of a Topic
We came together in January 2009 to brainstorm a topic for
the website. Akshith's idea of a website on "NOISE"
was unanimously acccepted by the team. We felt that there
was ever increasing noise around us and growing by leaps and
bounds.We also felt there was no significant awareness about
the effects of noise on health. Satvika's was learning about
Greece and admired Socrates. Her idea of Socrates Thinkers
and slogan for "Noise: Not Music to our ears " was
approved by all. We thought that noise and its impact was
neglected and not given enough importance.
Skills and Expertise:
Everyone knew there was not much time and only 3 months to
complete the project but were determined and enthusiastic
about the topic.We had a good combination of different skills
and expertise. We all loved to research and had good scientific
skills, and sufficient technology expertise. Our love for
technollogy helped try out several cool tools. Keertana, Akshith,
and Satvika had constructed websites before and science and
technology was a passion to them. Shelby was the writer and
an animal lover in the group. Shelby and Satvika were good
at design and color. All learnt several applications like
Dreamweaver, Swishmax, Photoshop, Flip Video, FTP. We successfully
Macromedia applications, record a movie and create a powerpoint
Communication and Collaboration:
We met every week and communicated twice a week by email.
There were times when they had to sacrifice leisure activities
and weekends to work on the project. There was constant interaction,
reading, exchanges of material on the topic between members.
We listed subtopics and each member decided to cover subtopics
individually and received feedback from rest of the group.We
used Google Documents to post our files and shared good links
to Websites. We also shared reading and research papers with
each other. The main topic “Noise Not Music to our ears”
was divided into several subtopics with each member working
on some subsections.
Challenges and Obstacles:
We faced many challenges when Satvika had to travel to a
family emergency to India. Satvika first created a template
for the site. Keertana created a cool navigation bar which
everyone liked. She used the free code from Dynamic Drive,
to develop the navigation bar. But the template did not work
with Dreamweaver. We had to do without a template. This was
a big problem and we realized that the work involved in making
changes involved twice the work.
In the process of researching on noise, Akshith and the group
faced several challenges. In the researching phase, for example,
we had to find sources that gave information. Then, among
those, we had choose the most reliable sources. While conducting
our research, we found it difficult to find information specifically
on regulations regarding noise pollution.
Akshith built the experiment and encountered many challenges
in building the mechanism to record sine waves. The lego structure
needed to be built so that it was sturdy but allowed the pencill
lead to move freely. The structure fell many times before
it was finalized. We also had difficulty in determining the
write type of writing utensil to use in the experiment. We
first used a ballpoint pen but later changed it to a pencil.
Keertana with help from the team worked many many hours on
trying to convert the movies that Satvika made of the demo
in to flash to make it web accessible. The group spent a long
time to make it work. Satvika, Shelby and Keertana did the
photoshoot for all the images for the site. For the banner,
the team played an audio file in a media player and took a
screen shot and manipulated it in Photoshop and were excited
with the result. This was the first milestone.
We learnt about noise, its fundamentals, properties, noise
pollution, its imapct on various communities. We improved
our design skills, graphical skills, programming skills and
writing techniques. We also researched and learned to use
several tools like Ispring and authorpoint to convert powerpoint
presentations to the web.
Looking back, it was a fulfilling experience and the team
hopes noise is given importance it deserves.