An outstanding project narrative will tell an interesting story about the project and its impact within the community. It will clearly show how the project meets or exceeds objectives for both the Cyberfair Contest and the category in which it's entered. The Narrative will define the project's community and show that the project was instrumental in bringing this community together to share and unite" around a common goal.
The narrative will clearly describe the project's contribution to both their local community and the global Internet community. The contents of the project Web pages will lend support to the project narrative.
Narrative page is present and complete. It tells in detail an interesting and compelling story about the web project and interactions around the completion of this project.
Project Title: The Supreme Court Singapore
Information about Our Site:
1. Link to our Cyberfair Entry: /archives/webs/tchs99
2. Link to our School Homepage: http://www.chs.edu.sg
3. Date of Project: 1st March 1999
4. School: The Chinese High School
District: Bukit Timah
5. Teachers or Classes:
6. How many students worked on this project? Four
7. Their ages were: All were 15-16 years old.
8. Project Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. We entered our Web Site in Cyberfair Category:
2. Our Community
More than a century ago, when modern Singapore was founded and its port developed, scores of immigrants from every continent congregated here for the purpose of trade and to seek opportunities for wealth.
More than a century later, their descendants have settled here, accepting the land of their forefathers as their home. Moreover, they have contributed to the richness of its cultural heritage with their diverse ethnic groups, which have converged to form a nation united in spirit and heart.
This is Singapore, where the people are not divided into religious or racial groups, but are together as one, known as Singaporeans.
Our local community consists of the legislators and the members of the Judiciary, as well as the common citizens of Singapore. The two have close relations. The legislators ensure that even in a society with a dense mixture of races, peace and prosperity through Justice is perpetuated. On the other hand, the common citizens put their trust in the Judiciary, allowing their judgement to prevail in order to secure society. Hence the two have come together to form a community, bound by law and the common good as we deem.
3. Summary of Our Project
Throughout the years of Singapore’s history, from British colonial times from the 1800s to the Japanese occupation from 1942 – 1945, the Supreme Court and its predecessors has been one of the core reasons that the land has continued to prosper. This is due to the people’s embrace of justice and the law.
The Supreme Court has been relocated many times before finally settling at the premises along Andrew Road. The transformations its buildings had to undergo reflected the changes the Judiciary itself had to undergo. Its building is a symbol of the House of Justice in Singapore, a tangible promise of the Supreme Court’s to "superintend the administration of justice in Singapore".
Our project intends to inform and educate our community, on the effect the Supreme Court Singapore has had on the overall development of the country, as well as distinguishing it, and bestowing upon it an individual identity from the courts of other nations.
Our goals are to present the Supreme Court’s history and architecture and establish it as an irreplaceable part of the community. It is dynamic and distinct as the Supreme Court of Singapore, keeping some of its colonial roots while adapting to new situations. We attempt to interpret the labours of our research, to the effect of moving the information across from the monitor to the mind with more comprehension of the text. This without forgetting to allow the viewer the space and freedom to continue working the gears in his head and to produce his own hypothesis.
Our project relays facts in a manner as interesting as possible; facts and information which we have uncovered from interviews with the knowledgeable and visits to the Supreme Court building itself, hence sharing the information contributed by our community and introducing the global community to a judiciary unlike any other. Hence, we attempt to unite our community under our project, with a common feeling of respect and appreciation for the Supreme Court.
4. Our Internet Access
Here, we launch into some technical terms:
We have made use of ordinary modems (33.6 Kbps) on our own personal computers connected to Internet Service Providers such as Pacific Internet, and a cable modem, which allows for high-speed 10 Mbps download speeds, as provided by Singapore ONE. Furthermore, our school provides the use of a Local-Area Network and an Internet connection of 128 Kbps, definitely speedier than an average Internet connection.
5. Problems we had to Overcome
If our team had to write an account of the problems we had to overcome, the most appropriate method would be to classify our problems into two sections – technical and non-technical difficulties.
However, our team wishes to establish our individuality to our community. Hence we shall list our problems under another method – problems specific to our team and problems to do with technique.
Every Cyberfair team can be identified by problems specific to it, perhaps due to geographical locations or other factors. Our team is like any other. It is due to this that we wish to list the problems specific to our team and the effort we have put in to overcome these difficulties.
Every journey into the past and exploration to the present will pose problems to their "captains". We particularly had this problem. To be able to journey into the past required adequate research, not to mention never-ending digestion of the material and the painstaking process of eliminating the redundant. The Supreme Court of Singapore has a fledgling history, compared to the higher courts of other larger, more established nations. That proved to be advantageous as well as disadvantageous – it was to our advantage because less history meant less material to sort through; yet it posed the problem of providing us with less content and even less references.
Continuing with our research, it occurred to us that the best source for information was our subject itself – The Supreme Court Singapore. And we were right, and wrong at the same time. Our ideas of the Supreme Court were short-sighted, for upon arriving at there, we immediately felt the tension of high-security measures. Our contacts attempted to aid us as best as they could, providing us with huge amounts of material that our forages in the National Library could not provide. Yet, we were frustrated at the efforts we had to put in for more, and the limited activities we could carry out in the courts. The Court was definitely not a student’s playground.
For more common problems:
We were faced with difficulties in the design. Many a web-page author would have encountered the following problem:
After discovering the perfect design concept, and producing it, we attempt to view it on our computers. Due to the different monitor resolutions on our computers, obvious flaws were detected. We change the design again, to find that on further addition to the design, the problem returns. It led us to wonder if monitors were manufactured to demoralise web-authors, besides for presenting their works. It was a challenge, although after all that hair-pulling frustrations, some members found it detrimental to their scalp. We hope that the outcome of the tactics we put into practise will look satisfactory.
Another problem, which we feel deserves some mention, is the difficulty in the organisation of members. Living in different parts of the island, our team members can only meet up once in a while on campus. This amount of time proved to be insufficient. In order for ideas to be shared, a team should stick together for periods of time for communication purposes. We feel we lacked this quality time and the project has suffered in some sense due to this.
6. Our Project Sound Bite
A team which galvanises and becomes as one, generates enough power to sail into the skies in a blaze of crimson glory, a force to be reckoned with.
1) How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?
In school, we study History as a subject. We learn that to be more prepared for the future, one must first know the events of the past. As students, we would first want to find out more about a historical landmark such as the Supreme Court of Singapore; we would first look up the textbook. For further supplement, we would seek out additional resources in our school library and on the Internet. Then by a series of miniature projects, tests and examinations, we would familiarise ourselves with the content.
Learning about the Supreme Court, we have exceeded these normal activities. As in school, we have established an understanding of the subject along with its relation with the growth of our country. Through the research we have done, we have amassed adequate knowledge about the subject which no normal textbook is able to provide.
We learnt to request for information through faxes and electronic mails. As an adult, these activities will be carried out often, yet for us students, calling a government institution’s information desk felt like walking on the moon – it was a huge leap in experience for us.
Conducting interviews was also another new experience for us. Consulting an elder, we were quite surprised and inspired when he described to us the strategies one must take in an interview in order to receive a desired response. This, we knew, was a skill which we shall need in the future.
We gathered together as a team and pored over our research material while formulating guidelines to follow in our project. To draw up plans was to organise ourselves for the road ahead. Teamwork was vital, and it was not often that we could co-ordinate, according to our schedule, meetings where all of us were present. Discussing designs and solutions to problems, a feeling of esprit de corp was generated; a feeling that would motivate us through to completion.
By producing a project as such, we have learnt that even as students, we can contribute to our community. Our projects can reveal as much as any writer or professor can in his thesis. Through our education, we learn skills and concepts, which will help in the progress of a nation. We have learnt that through the overseeing of law and order, the community stands to gain with the resulting peace and internal security. The community is united under the scales of Justice.
We have learnt much through this project and we hope that in a similar manner, you, the audience, will also consciously feel yourself enriched in your knowledge of the Supreme Court and its relationship with the people.
2) What information tools and technologies did you use to complete your
Besides using normal desktop computers, we used the following hardware and software to aid us.
Notebooks and laptops enabled us to be mobile. Mobility was important since we made trips to the Supreme Court and the National Library and we never knew when we needed the processing and storage capability of a portable computer. Their usefulness was exploited to an even greater extent with interviews of the general public and other subjects. Moreover, nothing beats the feeling of professionalism one gets when using a notebook, even just for typing.
Digital cameras are expensive to purchase and hard to loan from school (they are popular equipment among teachers and students alike). Therefore, we could only rely only on normal still cameras to chronicle our visits to the Supreme Court. Taking our own photographs gave us a wider range of angles in which to view the Court building other than those printed in books and magazines. We took over 200 photos of our subject alone.
Internet software that allowed conferencing, such as ICQ, allowed us to communicate from our own homes. We used the facsimile to communicate with interviewees and the Supreme Court itself. The telephone was also a vital tool in the co-ordination of team members. A call from our team leader gave enough impact to make us switch off our televisions while watching Ally McBeal and continue with our work.
The use of two main browsers: Netscape and Internet Explorer, both of version 4 and above, were used in the production of the web page and to test different versions of the design.
3) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
The Cyberfair project requires a certain amount of interaction between the project members and the community. To facilitate research, we had to make visits to the Supreme Court. This required some amount of liasing with the authorities, over electronic mail, the telephone and facsimile. Our team leader, Ang Junhan, assigned this job to himself.
In our electronic mails to the Supreme Court and to other sources of information such as court journalists, we introduced ourselves as students of The Chinese High School working on a Cyberfair project with the Supreme Court as our subject. Though in some cases, we do not receive satisfactory responses, it could be seen that we brought across a favourable image to the other parties.
In an interview with an experienced architect, we were commended for our choice of subject and the interesting scope that we have decided on. This gave us great confidence on the purpose of our project, and an opinion that the community will accept the project with a deep and favourable impression.
We recall a facsimile we sent to an organisation. It was worded with modesty in mind, requesting for candidates for an interview. However, our request was not entertained, perhaps because of our identities as students. Being students, we are probably regarded still, as children.
Nevertheless, we regard our contacts with the utmost respect. We as "ambassadors" hope to project an image similar to our subject, the Supreme Court, as respectable and dignified with concern for the community on the whole.
4) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
The Supreme Court stands prominently in Singapore’s civic centre, its dome engraved in the minds of all who have seen the building, its architecture Neo-classical reminds one of the grandeur of a temple. It many sense, the building is a temple, a house of Justice.
Yet, that is all most of our community knows of the Supreme Court. It is just a building and the impression it gives. What else does it stand for?
Our project will delve deeper into the history of one of the oldest institutions in our country ever since its founding. Because few have stepped behind its doors and seen the chambers where the guilty are tried and the innocent are freed, where the felons are sentenced and the wronged are liberated. We endeavour to let our community know the origins of the Court, of the law in Singapore. More importantly, we must let them know the relationship between the Court and the life they lead today.
We bring these messages across in a more enjoyable way compared to commercial web sites, involving our audience in the learning process. By reading through our material, they prepare themselves for a series of relevant quizzes on later part of their learning journey.
We establish the Supreme Court of Singapore in our web page as one unique to that of others, with a history of progress behind it. When the global community visits the site, they too will interpret our material and find interest to discover more for themselves. Through our site, we attempt to let the global community know of the background of the Supreme Court -- Singapore’s history and vibrant multi-cultural society.
Students of the Chinese High School of Singapore have completed this project; a school often involved in community work. We wish to bring our work across the limit of the physical, to the intellectual on the global network of computers – the Internet.
5) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
The Supreme Court is a profound subject that without help, we could not have discovered so much about.
We would like to thank the staff of the Supreme Court for their contribution to the completion of the project, without which we would have been totally inadequate to tackle.
We give thanks to the National Library for answering our queries and providing references for the progress of our project. Talking about queries, we must not neglect to express gratitude for the advice, which the Ambassador and his assistant for Cyberfair in Singapore, Mr Goh Beng Yeow and Mr. Pang Keep Ying have offered us.
We can never forget the members of the public who we have interviewed for their opinions on the Supreme Court. And Mr. Lee Coo, for his support and responses to our questions.
For snoring on their taxis in between transits from the National Library to our other destinations, we must thank the many cabbies who have served us, they are definitely an integral part of our transport system.
6) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises