The United States Department of State and Global School/Net Foundation are sponsoring the "Doors to Diplomacy" educational challenge – to encourage middle school and high school students around the world to produce web projects that teach others about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy.
Now in its 6th year, Doors to Diplomacy is a collaborative project, where small teams are formed consisting of 2 to 4 student members and up to 2 adult coaches. Student team members must be between the ages of 12 and 19 years. An adult coach or school administrator must register to participate by the registration deadline – Saturday, February 28, 2009.
Research can be conducted online and offline. The result should be an educational web product. Web projects must be submitted in English in only 1 of 8 categories. These are: leadership traits, safety and security, peace and democracy, history of foreign relations, business, trade, and economics, health and environmental awareness, science and technology, and arts and culture.
The projects will be evaluated in a 2-stage process. Stage one of the process is peer review. Between the peer review dates each participating team must review 4 other projects. The scores obtained from these reviews will be averaged and used to rank each project in each category. Additional reviews may be solicited from the Internet community. In stage 2, a panel of distinguished judges will further review the top-ranked web projects. This panel will determine the final ranking. Distinguished judges will use the same evaluation rubric used in the peer review process.
Projects must be completed by March 1, and will be announced in May 2009. Every team that enters a project will receive a special "Doors to Diplomacy" certificate recognizing their achievement. Each student member of the 2 winning teams – one of United States citizens, and one of citizens from other countries – will also receive a $2,000 scholarship, and the winning coaches will each receive a $500 cash award.
For a complete description and information about eligibility and judging criteria, visit http://globalschoolnet.org/gsndoors/.
Today's students are tomorrow's diplomats and leaders. The United States is proud to work with its non-governmental organization partner, Global School/Net Foundation, to foster greater awareness of the importance of international affairs.