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US State Department award

Four students from Haryana school win
US State Department award

By Suman Guha Mozumder in New York
June 08, 2005 06:31 IST
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A team of students from Haryana is among the top two winners of the US State Department's 2005 Doors to Diplomacy contest.


The awards that carry a scholarship of $2,000 for each member of the winning teams and a trip to Washington will be presented to the winners Wednesday, the State Department announced June 7.


The award recognizes the websites that best teach about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy. A total of 293 student teams from 39 countries, ranging in the age from 15-18 participated in this year's contest that was co-sponsored by Global SchoolNet.


The site for which the Haryana students won the top honor is called All the World is One. The site, built by a four-member team of students from Ryan International School in Gurgaon, a New Delhi suburb, explores international security by considering global realities and threats while celebrating the mutual cooperation and celebration that support diplomacy.


The four student members of the Haryana team are –Rewan Rai Parti, Smriti Jaggi, Alisha Chaudhary and Wishal Rampal. Mrs. Madhuri Parti, principal of the school, and the project's coach, said that an effort was made to involve members from different walks of life for the project.


Besides the scholarship for the students of the winning teams, the winning coaches and school will each receive a cash award of $500. Summarizing the project, All the World is One, the students said that there were many challenges to meet and many hurdles to overcome. "But what motivated us was the fact that 'our case' was great than 'any differences'.


"Doors to diplomacy has provided us a platform to explore and express our

innate abilities," the team said. "We have sowed the dream of a glorious future and it is our faith that it would crystallize one day," it said.


The two teams – Ryan International School and Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Ohio that made a site on Vaccinations for Nation – are already in Washington D.C. in connection with the event.


The State Department said that the honors would be bestowed by W Robert Pearson, acting under secretary for management and director general of the Foreign Service and director of human resources.


Last year, then Secretary of State Colin Powell, who presented the award to the recipients, noted that the Doors to Diplomacy contest is one of the creative ways the State Department is working to interest young people in international issues. He said the Internet could be a powerful learning tool, a tool that can help students become informed and responsible global citizens.


"I hope that each of you, as you continue in your educational career, and as you start to think about what you will do in life, will not only continue with your interests in the internet and in the use of computers and the power of computers for good, I hope that, as a result of your experience with designing these websites, you will consider, perhaps, serving in international relations, in some capacity," Powell said last year.


The entries this year was judged by peers and educational professionals with the final selections made by a team of State Department judges from the Bureaus of Public Affairs and Educational and Cultural Affairs. The winning sites will be linked from state Department's youth site lather this month.




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Suman Guha Mozumder in New York
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