"Widening The Scope" Project

Solo or Team : Team

Member1 Name : Alexandra Klapper

Member1 Grade : Sophomore

Member1 ID : 

Member1 email : 

Member1 phone : 

Member2 Name : Gita Abhiraman

Member2 Grade : Sophomore

Member2 ID : 

Member2 email : 

Member2 phone : 

Member3 Name : Jessica Kao

Member3 Grade : Sophomore

Member3 ID : 

Member3 email :

Member3 phone : 

ProjectName : Widening the Scope

ProjectFormat : Research Based

Project Summary : Holistically, our teams project will be a documentary comprised of a series of video diaries created by students living in areas completely unfamiliar to us. The countries currently under consideration for this particular endeavor include Taiwan, India, Tanzania, Italy, and France, as well as ourselves in the USA. This project will be driven by the singular question: What defines your culture? Students from each city will film a video diary highlighting the three facets they believe best encompass the beauty of their livelihood. Our goal is to discover, share, and celebrate the true differences we will come to understand between cultures. Quite honestly, we believe that it is not enough to learn about people and their cultures in a textbook fashion. Rather, we believe must learn from people about their own cultures. The rationale of this project is that its conclusion is unpredictable. As a result, who are we to judge the values and beliefs of those!


that live halfway across the world from us? Our generation, more than those before us, has acquired the tools necessary to participate in a highly interconnected global community.

What must be recognized is that our project offers something truly unique; it offers complete immersion in an unfamiliar society. The reality of ones culture can only be documented by the individuals who fully understand it; in other words, they must live it. The dynamism of the documentary encompasses both research and artistic components that will allow it to be intellectually satisfying; however, the video diaries will allow it to engage multitudes. It is with this mindset that we set out to discover the differences and similarities between the cultures we hope to study.

Project Mission : The mission of the Wilburn Fellowship is to bring those who would not routinely interact with one another, together. Our project seeks to discover exactly what defines the most notable aspects of cultures we are both familiar and unfamiliar with. Through the specification of three focuses per culture we choose to study, our own mission is to educate ourselves and surrounding communities about the differences between these cultures, and in turn, the people that define them. Through the documentation of a series of video diaries, the underlying motivation of our project is this: to come to understand diverse peoples through personal communication and cultural celebration, and then move to share these findings with the rest of the world. Essentially, our projects objective is to allow those, ourselves included, with a narrow understanding of the differentiating facets of the persons that comprise a single culture, to recognize the beauty of the differen! ces that define various cultures.

Funding Q : No

Funding Detail : Our project would apply all of the finalist stipend towards the technology necessary to realize our vision. This would include the purchase of Flip video cameras to send to each of our international sites, so that our friends abroad would possess the ability to create their video diaries in a simple, yet quality manner . Flip cameras are an affordable and feasible tool, as prices range from one to two hundred dollars; in addition, all products feature a friendly user interface and optimal compatibility for the editing of our documentary. We would utilize the remaining stipend to cover the international shipping required for the transportation of the Flip cameras. We have a clear plan and focused use for the stipend, which will foster meaningful connections across the globe, and produce quality footage for our final documentary.

Continuing Study : Even after the conclusion of the 2012 Wilburn Fellowship, our project is geared towards the continued pursuit of our stated objectives. In fact, we designed our project with the intention of it becoming a self sustaining method of communication between our own community, and the international communities. Because our international video diary project involves foreign language speakers and is communication-centered, the project has the potential to be sustainable through the language program here at New Canaan High School. We have already spoken to several of our schools language teachers, and have received extremely enthusiastic feedback as to the potential our project promises. In future years, the same schools involved in the 2012 project would select a new group of students to create video diaries. This could be done in the form of an assignment or extra credit project in a language class. The translation, communication, and sheer excitement of a! pplying linguistic knowledge in conversation with other children halfway around the world, would almost certainly enhance language learning for students.