of Our Team
Felicia, Ashley, and
Katie all take Advanced Placement (AP) US History from Ms. McAuliffe at the
Florida Virtual School. We are an on line Virtual school. When Ms. McAuliffe
introduced the Doors to Diplomacy contest to us, we were extremely excited at
the chance to enhance our knowledge of American history, particularly in
diplomacy and to be part of a Global community.
Felicia, 18, who dreams
of becoming a judge, has served as the project manager. She started the project
rolling and coordinated the efforts of her teammates. She also visited the
Boston Model U.N. conference, gathering material and photographs for the project.
Ashley, 16, was the only
team member skilled in web design; she took the main responsibility of
creating the website.
Katie, 15, took notes,
conducted interviews, exposed community groups of our involvement in this
project and helped Ashley create the website. Ms. McAuliffe, aside from
discovering the contest and creating the team, also coordinated communication,
managed technical details, and served as editor.
Summary of Project
With Our team is extremely passionate
about foreign relations and international affairs choosing category six seemed
most appropriate to express our ideals. Quickly after imbuing in global events,
our team recognized the promising rewards focusing on the United Nations (U.N.)
as a key topic. Hence, our research and energies went to investigating prominent
foreign affairs through the infrastructure and dealings of the United Nations.
In this topic, foreign relations, diplomacy, and international wars truly
enlivened the project, flooding our team with rich accounts of world history and
present day events. Moreover, while our team’s website offers a lofty study of
the United Nations, it includes a balanced account of other foreign relations
material. As truly imprinting as this project was for our team, we cannot help
but wish the same experience for our website viewers. For this reason, we hope
that all Golden Bridges’ visitors will participate and enjoy our foreign
relation quizzes and mold their own opinion of the effectiveness and impact of
the United Nations in their area of life.
Computer Internet Access- Since we are an
on- line school some data is unavailable to us or varies.
a) Percentage of students using the
Internet at home: More than 50%
b) Number of workstations with Internet
access in the classroom: varies
c) Connection of speed used in the
d) Number of years your classroom has been
connected to the internet: varies
We Had to Overcome
Unlike a traditional public school, our
group has spent time completing the project over the internet, by e-mailing,
through the telephone and group conference calls. As students of the Florida
Virtual School curriculum, we overcame a huge hurdle in communication, since we
do not see each other or our teacher. However, the internet time also provided
easy access to the project at flexible hours. Therefore, computer and internet
access was a must-have from the start of the virtual school year to the moment
we signed up for the Doors to Diplomacy Contest; it has aided us in the
undertaking of research throughout our busy schedules.
What do peace-promoting organizations hold
for our future? Do they truly work in developing a round table for afar nations
to settle war disputes, human liberties, and civil duties? It is time our world
evaluates foreign relations and the people at its forefront. For many decades,
the war between good and evil tugs on and peace becomes a worldly symbol instead
of bringing people of all nationalities and cultures together... For these
reasons, global organizations are developed for promoting coherency and
pacifism, but in the end, peace will come down to the duties of the people and
the minds of the leaders.
team has utilized this opportunity to ponder these painstaking ideas; it has
vividly affected our classroom experience, enhanced our learning experiences and
overall outlook at our different international organizations and their
vanguards. This project has deeply affected our educational objectives and has
shown us ideas we would otherwise not learn any where else. This project has had
a major effect on the way we view the world and our place in it.
How did your activities and research for
this Doors to Diplomacy project support content standards, required coursework
and curriculum requirements?
The Doors to Diplomacy
Contest fell into a portion of our Florida Virtual School class, Advance
Placement American History. It made us aware of the standards required the
economic social and political impacts over the past 200 years. As far as
American history entails, the United Nations has played a substantial role in
recent international news. Appling our knowledge we learned the importance
concerning the failure of the League of Nations, research on the U.N. helped us
to better understand the gradual evolution to global politics. The United States
is a world leader in international dealings, which is, in essence, what our
project attempts to break down into laymen terms. For example, the United
Nations is a large organization with various branches that the United States has
a hand in. A section of our project refers to each organization and the role it
plays in the greater scheme of the U.N. Compiling the massive research for this
project has taught us about the delicate system of global politics; a daily
force in our lives. We have also learned that the internet school community is a
great way to come across this information and to spread the word quickly, as
technology continues to be the main mode of communication in a high-tech world
There are numerous nations involved in the U.N. and we have learned of their place
and role in the world and how it impacts the United States. It enhanced our
knowledge of American history thereby enabling us to learn and apply our
knowledge through out our course.
What information tools and technologies
did you use to complete your Doors to Diplomacy project?
Technology played a huge
part in the creation of our Doors to Diplomacy project. We used computers,
telephones, a camera, computer software, books, the internet, a recording
device, a projector, and a video. Since we all lived in different cities,
hundreds of miles a part, we relied on telephones, email, and the internet to
coordinate our efforts. We often held conference telephone calls, in which we
could all talk on the phone at the same time. However, we more heavily relied on
email, which we used to share notes, send ideas for the website, and coordinate
our efforts. We also used the vast resources on the internet to find information
for our project, although we still used traditional paper books. Felicia also
used a camera to take pictures at the Boston Model United Nations (U.N.).
conference. Ashley and Katie used computer software to create the website.
Ashley watched a video while conducting research for the website. Katie used a
recording device while conducting an oral interview and leading a debate in a
local organization about the United Nations.
We utilized every available technology we could.
In what ways did your students act as
"ambassadors" and spokespersons for your Doors to Diplomacy project both on-line
and in person?
Our team used our unique online situation
to communicate and act as ambassadors over the internet and through our
community. Our ambassador work included numerous activities. We e-mailed our
research websites to fellow online students in our classroom to make them
aware of our project. In addition we wrote an article concerning our Doors to
Diplomacy information to our school newspaper and newsletter. This newsletter
reaches over fifteen thousand students plus families. It is also posted on the
school website where it is visible to thousands more people globally... We are
also placing an article on the local Orlando newspaper to further each more
Most importantly, the creation of our
website sits as our key “ambassador”-type project. Our website uses quizzes,
research, and resources for other people to educate themselves on foreign
team members acted as cheerleaders for our project. So involved was oldest team
member Felicia, that she traveled to Boston for the United Nations Model
Conference. Because of our ongoing project, Felicia picked up many souvenirs so
that our website viewers could see a model conference face-to-face.
View all of our Project Ambassador work HERE
What has been or will be the impact of
your project on your community?
“Golden Bridges: Connecting People to
Peace” is aimed at raising awareness of global politics. In a world that is so
closely bound by economy, natural disasters, and health, the importance of an
international force to confront a problem before creating a domino effect is
essential to the continuation of the human race. We hope our project will
inspire the next generation of would-be politicians and government officials to
promote global politics around the world. As well as influence our generation to
be aware and be part of the solutions. For our short term goals, we also hope
our site will allow students to acknowledge the work the United Nations has done
and continues to do for humanity. The UN is a true collaboration of various
countries from developing to developed to be included in the decision making
process. This is a true democratic endeavor.
We spread word of our project through
email, editorials, flyers, and the news. We first emailed our Florida Virtual
School classmates to alert them of out website. Then we sent editorials to local
newspapers about our website. We also posted flyers about our website at out
local libraries. Finally, Katie got an interview with a local television station
for the project.
did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and
As students of the online Florida Virtual
School, we were able to tap into the diverse community of Florida Virtual School
students in mostly Florida, but also in the rest of the United States. We
created a questionnaire about the United Nations and American diplomacy for our
fellow students to complete simply from their own knowledge, not from looking up
the answers. This allowed us to determine what an average American high schooler
does or does not know about American diplomacy, so we focused our website toward
the areas they did not know. We also used their input to improve our site.
Furthermore, Katie involved a local
student organization in the project. This organization, the Gavel Club, is a
group of local homeschoolers who meet to debate pressing issues. Katie presented
the website to the Gavel Club and started a debate about the U.N. and United
States involvement in it. Ashley then posted the debate on the website. Katie
also interviewed her tennis teacher, whose father was a member of the U.N.,
about his experiences as a boy. Ashley also posted this interview on the
there interesting discoveries you made, lessons you learned, or surprises that
occurred as a result of this project? If so, take the time to share these
insights and observations with your audience. Did this project lead to other
awards or recognitions?
Never meeting our teammates accounted for
the biggest difference in our group. Discovering that the web can be a place for
overcoming distance barriers made our group feel more confident in our
creativity. We discovered that it takes maturity to maintain an online
relationship with fellow teammates so that project deadlines can be met and
accomplished. Because doing such a large project through the web was new to all
of us we learned time management skills and allowed for difference in opinions.
Therefore, we were able to share techniques and words of wisdom with each other.
This project humbled us all at first, with its minor difficulties, but, in the
end, nothing was clearer than our team’s realization that all events can be met
with a plan of action. Additionally we learned of the huge impact of the United
Nations past and present, the importance of all people working toward a common
goal. Perhaps most importantly we learned to work together virtually, respecting
our differences and the art of compromise.