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13 September, 2007

Learners shine in web design

ThinkQuest South Africa has announced the winners of the annual ThinkQuest competition at an Awards Function in Cape Town. The competition saw teams of South African learners design and build websites for an international educational library which is visited by thousands of learners every day.

ThinkQuest is a web-design competition in which teams of 3 to 6 learners design and build educational websites over a period of 7 months. (See www.thinkquest.org.za).

Learners are encouraged to form teams across social, cultural and international borders. South African teams make use of the opportunity to involve learners from different cultural backgrounds and often from different schools on the same team. Websites are evaluated by a number of international judges – drawn from more than 15 countries.

At the function Western Cape MEC for Education, Cameron Dugmore, praised the competition as a great way to prepare teams in the age of technology while at the same time creating bridges across the social and cultural divide.

"For ThinkQuest 2008 I would like to see more examples like this – cooperation between established schools with their wealth of experience and facilities and disadvantaged schools. Both should benefit greatly from such joint projects. The cooperation between Parklands College and Sophakama Primary and also between St John’s Preparatory and Yeoville Boys’ Primary are examples of what can be done."

It was also announced that in order to create an even playing field, teams participating in ThinkQuest 2008 could apply for free software kits. Each kit will conist of Dreamweaver 8.0, Flash Basic 8.0, Premiere Elements 2.0 and Photoshop Elements 4.0.

The results from the 2007 compettion

The learners compete in three age groups: 12 and Under, 15 and Under and 19 and Under.

12 and Under

  • First Place went to Team Sharks from Bay Primary School in Kalk Bay for their website "The Great White Shark".

    The judges were impressed by a team that found their inspiration in False Bay – immediately outside their classroom windows.  One of the American judges wrote: "An interesting site and extremely comprehensive.  I know my students will love to use this site for their research on sharks."

    ( View their website at http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/01560/ )

    Apart from winning the Under-12 category in South Africa, the team was also placed in the top 20 internationally.

15 and Under

  • First Place went to Team "SOPC Environ" from Parklands College in partnership with Sophakama Primary for their website "Environmental Issues International".

    The website earned special mention and drew lavish praise from the international judges:  "This site presents many opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and then react to the current circumstances on our planet.  It shows how everyone can make a difference."  Another judge classified it as  "An outstanding effort and a good source of information.".

    ( View the website at http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/02232/ )

    Apart from winning the Under-15 category in South Africa, they were also among the top 10 sites internationally.

19 and Under

  • First Place went to "The Bergies" team from Bergvliet High School in Cape Town for their website "2010 – Soccer Mania".

    The site featured all the soccer stadia that will be used for 2010 and added features like details about tourist attractions near each stadium.  The judges remarked: "We think you should be proud of this effort as your country prepares for the cup.  If the hosting and games go as well as this site, it will be most memorable.".

    ( View the website at http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/01687/ )

    Apart from winning the Under-19 category in South Africa, their website is one of 11 sites from South Africa that won international ranking in this age group.

The titles that took the top 3 places in South Africa in each age group:

12 and UnderFirstThe Great White Shark
Bay Primary
  SecondNameless Wonders
St John’s Preparatory and
Yeoville Boys’ Primary
  ThirdSports and Recreation
St John’s Preparatory and
Yeoville Boys’ Primary
15 and UnderFirstEnvironmental Issues
Parklands College and
Sophakama Primary
  SecondFormula 1 in Schools
Stellenbosch High
  ThirdCan SA host the Soccer World Cup successfully?
Edisang Primary
19 and UnderFirst2010 – Soccer Mania
Bergvliet High
  SecondHelicopters, Workhorses of the Sky
P.J. Olivier High
  ThirdAlternative Energy Resources
Westerford High

For further details see www.thinkquest.org.za.         

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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