Streams of Life: Water in the American West
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Lee and I had been thinking about doing a ThinkQuest project for a while, but we couldn't come up with a good idea for the project. We originally were planning to do one on the US's manned missions to the moon. I got a crate-full of books and we started, but soon we found that the project was too big. In addition it wasn't the most original idea. After brainstorming with our history teacher, Ms. Yvovnne Tsang, I remembered a book that I had read the previous summer. It was Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner. I found the book extremely interesting and completely new. Everyone agreed that doing a project on water in the American West would be both original and quite interesting.
Ugg, we had tons of problems. This was our first ThinkQuest project and we severelly underestimated what it would take. On top of that, both Lee and I had really full schedules and it wasn't until the second half of this summer that we finally got time to work. While we go to the same school, working together was quite hard. Our school's computer department was not setup to help us and it was near impossible to get anything done there (even before the added homework load). Lee lives something like thirty miles away from me, making it hard for us to meet in person. In addition, communication online was difficult because Lee did not have a reliable Internet connection. We got something done, though. Maybe next year we'll do it again. We will then know what it takes it get everything done.
I'm fifteen years old and live in Los Altos, California (the center o' Silicon Valley). I've been interested in computers since I was young. I learned to program at age ten and spent a couple years teaching at a computer camp. I am really into reading and I find it a great way to learn about the world. I found out about Cadillac Desert by watching the documentary which is based on the book on a local PBS station. When I was not teaching during the summer I could usually be found reading Cadillac Desert. While Lee was at the camp that year, I did not know him yet. It turns out that we were going to go to the same school the next year (we were both entering high school). I can't remember how, but quite soon we became interested in ThinkQuest. We began work on the project. To sum it up, I comtributed website design and server-side scripting and writing skills to the project. In addition to computers my interests include math and science, bike riding, reading, photography, astronomy, fish, and rabbits (I wonder if anyone really cares). Want to see some other stuff I'm working on? Visit www.drewnet.net and www.leftcoastpunk.com. I can be reached at (email link disabled).
My name is Lee and I go to Crystal Spring Uplands School along with Drew. I like programming and playing chess. I play basketball and golf. I am almost 16 years old and my next pet project will be a text-based multi-user game from scratch. You can e-mail me at: (email link disabled)
Yvoynne Tsang is a history teacher at Crystal Springs Uplands School (where Drew and Lee go) in Hillsborough, California. She teaches Comparative Cultures--a history course covering India, China and Japan--to 9th graders. She helped us come up with our idea and proof-read some of our text.
Michael Thompson is the computer teacher at Keys School (Drew's old school) in Palo Alto, California. He teaches computer skills to kindergarden through eighth graders and teaches other classes such as journalism. For our project he was a really under-used resource.
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