Teaming and Communication
At first, we were given a choice to choose our team but we as a class asked our teacher mentor to declare our teams so that our teams will be balanced. One advantage was that since we were a relatively small school, we knew everybody in our class and knew their strengths and weaknesses and accordingly allotted the work. Another advantage we had was that since our team was created by a teacher, it was a balanced group. It consisted of people with many different talents. For example, some of our group members were very innovative and artistic and came up with the design for our website while others were good at research and the technical part of the project.\
Everyday, we were given around 30 minutes to work on ISTF which was very helpful as this was the time where we collected all the finished work, distributed more work and made checklists on what was done and what has to be made still. Since we were all from the same grade, we were able to communicate effectively and get work done. Also almost everyday, our teacher mentor used to motivate us to work more and gave us deadlines that we had to stick to no matter what. Outside school, our group members and our teacher mentor were in touch through phone, email and sometimes skype.
Research and Innovation
By doing this research, our team has learned a great deal about renewable energy and biomass fuels. We didn't know that there were eco- friendly fuels until we stumbled upon an article through which we read a commom process of extracting these fuels from plants in hope of creating a pollution free world. Feeling that the process wasn't environmentally friendly enough, we started research on the different ways these fuels are extracted from plants until we found another article stating that blue green algae produces ethanol as a waste product during photosynthesis. Through this, we were able to reach to a conclusion and invent our process as all we had to do was find a way to get that waste product (ethanol) without killing the plant. We were able to get the best of each team member and give our 100% to this project as we had to stick to a deadline and also because there were 11 other teams representing our school in ISTF, which set up an competitive atmosphere for all of us to give our level best to this competetion.
Three Lessons that we learned
1. We learned that sticking to a deadline and co- operating with each other will always help minimize hassles and procastination, which are two of the things that should be avoided when doing a team project.
2.We learned that teamwork is one of the most important things to have in a team, especially when doing a project like this. We had to stay focused together and work together to get work done
3. Staying focused and dedicated towards our goal helps us from getting diverted from our task, not only in this project but in real life also. It is focus that will help us stick to all deadlines and learn how to manage and use our time wisely