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Web Quest

Bruised Not Broken

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You live in a rural community in Ireland. You look around your town and you notice that there is nowhere for young people to hangout. There are old tennis courts, some old buildings and some areas of discarded wasteland that you think would make a nice community space for young people. You decide that you will approach your local Tidy Towns Committee and ask for their help to restore an area in your town so that it can be used by young people in your community. Your idea is to set up a Junior Tidy Towns Committee, to carry out the work that is needed in order to make a place where you and your friends can hang out. However, in order to set up this group, you will need the permission of the established Tidy Towns in your town. You, and a team od 3-4 of your friends, will need to work together to put together a presentation that you will make to the Tidy Towns Committee looking for their support. They are meeting in one week, so you’d better get started!

Step 1: What are the actual issues in your community?

Great start, you have formed your team. Now your first step is for you to work together as a team to identify the ‘eyesore’ of your community. Every town in Ireland has some areas or facilities that have been neglected and that would make a good place for you and your friends to hang out. As a team, you need to come together to brainstorm the areas that most need to be renovated. During this brainstorming activity, you should also try to make a list of things you and your friends want to include in the area you will renovate for yourselves. When you present to the Tidy Towns Committee, they will want to see what plans you have for the community area and what facilities you will include that will benefit not your friends, but also young people in your community. Complete a short brainstorming activity as a team, to make a ‘wish list’ of what you would like to see in your town! It does not have to be realistic just yet, the important thing with brainstorming is to jot down all of your ideas!

Check out the following links to gain some inspiration on how you can get started researching and brainstorming:


Now that you have a list of what you would like to include, it is time to decide which area you will renovate as part of your village renewal project. Have a look on Google Maps to see which area in your town is most suitable:


Step 2: What about the plants?

You are making great progress so far, you have chosen the area you would like to renovate and you have made your plans for what you will do with the area; your next step is to think floral! You might think that young people won’t mind what kinds of flowers are in your new area, but remember, you are presenting your designs to the local Tidy Towns Committee and asking for their support, and plants and horticulture are important in Tidy Towns competitions, so it is important that you include some flowers in your designs. But what flowers? You want to pick flowers that are indigenous to your region, that’s a given; but what about the bees? We hear so much these days about what we need to do to save the bees! Planting some pollinators is a sure-fire way to help out our buzzing buddies!

You might not be at all familiar with flowers, but luckily, we have prepared some links for you and your team to look through so that you can pick some flowers to include in your designs:




Step 3: Cost-Benefit Analysis

Now it is time to get serious for a minute – and talk about the money! In order for the Tidy Towns Committee to believe that this location can be upgraded, and more importantly, that it should be upgraded, you will need to present them with some figures and make the argument for why this area should be invested in for young people. Unfortunately, even though planting flowers can brighten up the place, money does not grow on trees, so it is important to understand how much money the improvements will cost the Tidy Towns Committee, and also to decipher what benefit the improvements will bring to the whole community. Village renewal and regeneration can be costly in the short term but can reap rewards in the long term. The importance is in ensuring that projects that are feasible are invested in.

For this task, we recommend that you split up in your team and together you can make a plan for how you will estimate the costs for all the work you are proposing, and all of the supplies you will need for the renovation project. By sourcing reuse- able or recycle- able materials you will cut the cost drastically while also saving the environment. Try to consider all of the resources that may be needed to fix-up your chosen area.

The following links will help you with this step:




Step 4: Ready, Steady, Build!

Well done, you and your team have done all the research, calculated the costs and developed your plans. Now you need to prepare a visual that you can present to the Tidy Towns Committee at their meeting. Try to remember to include some ‘before shots’ in your presentation. For this we would recommend that you visit your chosen location and take some photographs of what it looks like now!

Once you have done this, your next step is to wow the Tidy Towns Committee with an image of what the area could be!

There are many online garden planners – and these websites are exactly what you need to present your plans. The following link can be used to make a replica of the area that you have chosen for the improvements:

GARDENA: https://my-garden.gardena.com/int

By creating a prototype of how the area could love with a little TLC, and by explaining the benefits that young people will reap from these improvements, you and your team can make a strong argument for why this area deserves to be renovated!


Step 5: Deliver your Presentation to the Tidy Towns Committee

Well done! You are ready to present your amazing project to your local Tidy Towns Committee. The Committee is ready and waiting for your team to present your key findings and recommendations.

Unfortunately, presenting can be a nerve wrecking experience so the following tips will help you through the process. Make sure that each member of your team has the opportunity to present a part, and use the following links so that everyone is well- prepared:



Lastly, best of luck!
As part of the assessment of this WebQuest, young people will be expected to work in teams to develop a plan for how they could re-develop an area in their town or community that has fallen into disrepair. Depending on where this WebQuest is delivered, it can be adapted. So, for example, if the WebQuest is being completed by a youth group in a youth centre, the plans can be for what they would do with an unused part of the youth centre. Whatever the scenario is, young people in this WebQuest are asked to work together in a team and develop and deliver a presentation. The aim of completing this activity is to encourage young people to see what they could do to improve and enhance the area that they live in initially; but also, being asked to prepare and deliver a presentation is a good life skill for young people to have. And so, the aim of this activity is to support young people to develop their confidence in public speaking, but in a supported environment and as a group-work activity. It is envisioned that several groups of young people will be working to complete this activity at the same time. If this is the case, each team should be asked to deliver their presentation to their youth worker and in front of their peers. Once all of the presentations are delivered, each team can vote for their favourite idea – the only catch is that they cannot vote for their own improvement plan. If the resources exist in the youth centre, these ideas can then be taken forward and the winning team can have their plan for local renewal actioned.

As a self- assessment exercise for this WebQuest,
young people will then be asked complete a short self-reflection exercise and write 350-400 words on how they rated their performance in the task, what elements they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy, etc. If the young people in the group are reluctant to write this self-assessment, the youth worker can accept the answers to the self-assessment in the form of a short vlog entry. The following questions will guide this self-assessment:

  • This is a team-work task. Did you enjoy working as part of a team? How did you think you performed as part of a team? What role did you take on within the team? Would you have preferred to complete this activity on your own, rather than as part of a team? Explain your answer.
  • What elements of this activity did I enjoy best?
  • What aspect did I find most challenging and why?
  • What skills did I acquire through this activity? Is there something you were good at that you did not think you would be good at?
  • Did you enjoy researching about climate change in Ireland and coming up with a solution to address one of the issues we face?
  • Do you think you would like to further develop your innovative solution? Would you consider furthering this idea and developing your own social or online business with it? Explain your answer.


Through this WebQuest, you have identified a location in your community that has fallen into disrepair. You have worked as part of a team and you have learned a lot about your local area, and what you can do to make it a nice place for everyone to live. We hope that you are inspired to take this action further and to create a place in your town for young people to call their own.

You know that things in life sometimes break – phones, laptops, tablets – anything with a screen really! But a broken screen does not mean a broken device. We are all climate conscious these days. And while we might choose to walk to school rather than going by car, and while we always make sure we turn the light off when we leave a room, there are other things we can do to save the planet. Next time you get a crack in your screen, remember that your smartphone is actually a pocket-sized rare mineral mine! There are so many precious minerals that are finite that go into making smartphones – and once these are mined from the Earth, they can never go back in. On average, 2 billion people on the planet upgrade their smartphone every 11 months – and less than 10% of these phones are recycled. Think of how much of a waste that is of Earth’s resources! And remember the good you could do in your community by repairing what needed to be mended, and the value this could bring to your community!

To help you on your journey to repairing what is broken rather than discarding it in the bin, we leave you with the wise words of Mr. David Attenborough:

“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad, or an economist.”


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On completion of this WebQuest, team members will have achieved the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge
  • Basic knowledge of village renewal schemes.
  • Factual knowledge of how to lead a brainstorming session.
  • Factual knowledge about Irish plants and flowers.
  • Factual knowledge about how to cost a renewal project.
  • Theoretical knowledge of the value of repairing what is in need of improvement.
  • Theoretical knowledge of the environmental cost of throwing away items that are only ‘bruised’ not ‘broken’.
  • Factual knowledge of how to take part in a group work activity
  • Factual knowledge of how to develop and deliver a presentation
  • Factual knowledge of online research techniques
Skills
  • Identify an area for improvement in a community
  • Engage in a brainstorming activity to come up with new plans for a community area
  • Work as part of a team to develop a plan for a local area
  • Complete a Cost- Benefit Analysis for the project
  • Develop negotiation and teamwork skills
  • Participate in group work activities to generate new ideas
  • Create a plan to landscape and redesign an area in your community or town.
  • Develop a presentation to a Tidy Towns Committee.
  • Deliver a presentation in front of peers
  • Complete a selfassessment to evaluate performance in a presentation
Attitudes
  • Awareness of environmental costs of not repairing what can be repaired
  • Willingness to engage in community action to improve the area where you live.
  • Appreciation of how community and team spirit can be used to gather
  • Willingness to advocate for village renewal
  • Willingness to take ideas forward and create a space for young people to hang out in your community
  • Appreciation of Irish flora, and how it can enhance our local area



Questions that a youth worker or teacher might use in a whole class discussion to debrief this WebQuest
  • How would you rate the over-all experience? Did you enjoy learning through completing a WebQuest challenge?
  • How did you find working in a group to complete a challenge?
  • Who was the leader in your group? What role did you take on?
  • Did you enjoy the scenario? Would you have preferred to use this time to work on another topic? Why?
  • Where you happy with the plan you developed for the village renewal project?
  • Where you happy with the presentation you and your team delivered?
  • What is the one most important thing that have you learned through this challenge?
  • Do you feel like you have gained new skills? If so, what are they?
  • Do you feel like you could bring this idea forward and start a Junior Tidy Towns Committee in your area? Why or why not?