ThinkQuest 99 Internet Challenge has been an incredible experience for
all of us. The gold award in the “Sports and Health” Category of the Contest
will remain a particularly important token of recognition for all the members
of the team.
The creation of our entry
has been an exciting process since its very beginning back in February
99. The first, and probably the most important, step was to form the team.
We were studying at the same school at that time and it was not long before
we became inspired by the idea of participating in an international competition
and becoming part of the youth that make a difference in the world. After
the initial brainstorming of possible topics, we discussed each of them
and eventually selected diving as the most appropriate one. The reasons
were various – not only were we seeking a fresh and exciting subject, but
also we all shared the passion for this challenging activity. Immediately
afterwards, we began working on the project. Each of us made a contribution
to a particular part of the entry. We carried out extensive research on
the topic, spending hours of our free time examining various sources of
information – starting from books at the library through articles in newspapers
and magazines, and, inevitably, web sites on the Internet. This project,
however, would not have been possible without the constant guidance and
support that we received from our coaches. They directed us through the
whole process of creating the entry. Not only did they share and discuss
with us their vision of the project, but also they provided valuable resources
and referred us to individuals and organizations.
months of research and preparation were definitely not the easiest ones
we had had, especially bearing in mind the fact that some of us had to
sit for important university exams that none could afford to fail. In addition
to that, it was even more difficult to co-ordinate the work within the
team during the breaks, when either our coaches or we were away. Nevertheless,
we all managed to meet on a regular basis and gradually develop the Web
Teamwork taught us important
lessons that will help us further in life, that is – how to collaborate
with one another, how to divide responsibilities and how to work together
as a team. We learned three basic features – to be responsible and not
to give up at most difficult moments; to be tolerant, to listen to other
people’s words and consider their opinions and ideas; and to better organize
our time so that the work on the project would not interfere with our studies
and other activities.
A comparatively calm period
of time followed the deadline of the Competition. This, however, was the
opportunity to promote our site on the Internet by registering it with
the major search engines and telling our friends about it. This was also
a time of tension and anxiety until the semi-finalists were announced officially.
It was hard to believe at that time that we were on the list. A few more
weeks of tension and impatience and we would be among the finalists at
the ThinkQuest 99 Internet Challenge!!!
We had made it to the finals
and would shortly be flying to Los Angeles, California to attend the ThinkQuest
99 Awards Event.
we were in sunny California at the end of November! The judges were very
nice and friendly people. We had the opportunity to make a presentation
of our entry and talk about how we collaborated to compile the information
and design the Web site. Other than that, we made a lot of friends and
established lifelong contacts with people from different areas of the world.
The ThinkQuest organization took care of preparing a neat schedule for
all the finalists which included wonderful tours in Hollywood, Beverly
Hills, Universal Studios, Sunset Boulevard and special events at the “Hilton”
such as the Carnival Night, the International Food Festival and a Group
Activity with Einstein. The judging weekend culminated on November 22,
with a glamorous gala ceremony where leaders in the fields of education,
science, technology, and government announced the contest winners. Adding
to the excitement, the ceremony featured celebrities including Academy
Award Winner Marlee Matlin, Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Strug, Bill Nye
the Science Guy and LeVar Burton. On the last evening of our stay, we were
invited to a gorgeous Awards Banquet. Brilliant disco lights and MTV-hits
selection created a cheerful and entertaining atmosphere at the dance hall.
We looked around us – Germans, Egyptians, South-Africans, Australians,
Swiss, French, Japanese, Russians, Americans, Indians, Jamaican and others
from 70 more nations were dancing and laughing together! Such a beautiful
and unforgettable moment!
Our ThinkQuest experience
in Los Angeles has left a deep mark in our minds. We were particularly
honored to receive the Gold Award as recognition of our achievements. By
all means, the ThinkQuest Internet Challenge will remain a memorable event,
which we will always be proud of.