Guidelines for the 2004-2005 Seevak website competition
on electing to participate in this year’s
Seevak website competition, the eighth at Boston Latin
School. You can view previous years’ websites
on the parent website for this competition. Go
explore the various years of the competition. Make
notes on what you like and what you don’t like.
packet will explore the following topics. It
is the main document pertaining to the web competition,
though there will be other notices along the way.
I. The topic of this year’s
with your faculty adviser and your website design adviser
IV. Research and crediting material
Where can I work on my site? Who should I
see with problems?
I Use a PC or Mac to build my site? And how do
I turn in my final project?
of computers in room 307
building, and housing your site:
browsers, and software used on or with your site
and pirated software:
check for any errors on your site:
out of the competition
of the competition:
for your presentation at Harvard
topic of this year’s competition
topic for this year’s Seevak Facing History
Prize competition is a person or group in the
twentieth century that has taken a courageous stand and,
as a result, has made an important difference to society,
either on a local, national, or international scale. The
topic encourages the investigation of an individual or
group that contributed in some special way to building
or improving tolerance, human rights, justice for individuals
and the citizenry and/or democratic institutions. The
person selected could be someone well known or could
be someone local, perhaps less well known, but who has
contributed something meaningful and important to the
betterment of society.
guidelines are precisely those that the judges will be
given for this competition.
be sure that your topic fits within these topic guidelines. It
would be a shame to put in all this work and not to be
truly eligible in the judges’ eyes because your
project doesn’t fit the topic as described above. Take
a look at Appendix B (the criteria that the judges use). Keep
these in mind as you develop and refine your site.
as you finalize your topic choice, consider this. Are
there many resources on this person or group available
to you, as a student? Is this person widely known? In
doing research will you discover anything new? Can
you take advantage of people to interview or film footage
to incorporate into your project? Will this person
or group hold your attention all the way through April?
team must consist of three members. All three
must work on and contribute to the project in some way.
It’s especially ideal if you divide responsibilities
so that you each specialize but can bring together your
various talents to make a project succeed. Make
sure you are aware that, in the course of this project,
you’ll be seeing a lot of your fellow teammates.
It’s a good idea to be sure that you like one another! You
may be staying over one another’s houses, not sleeping
for innumerable hours until the presentation. It’s
critical that you have good chemistry on your team, that
you can find time when everyone can work on this, and
that you will avoid responsibilities being placed on
one person more than any other person on the team.
with your faculty adviser and your technology adviser
are required to meet your faculty adviser (and Ms.
Freeman will give you his/her name in early January)
at least 4 times during this competition. You are encouraged
to meet with him/her even more often. The faculty
advisers are eager to hear what you are doing research-wise
and writing-wise and to make helpful suggestions. They
are not judging you. They want you to do well. Take
advantage of them—they are assigned to you as resources. Ask
them how you can research aspects of your topic. What
books/periodicals/internet resources, etc. can you use? What
would be useful images to include? Who might you
interview? Ask the librarians as well. They
know lots of stuff. There are many resourceful
people in this building. Use them!
are also going to be assigned to a technology adviser. This
will likely be a Boston Latin alum who has already been
through the Seevak competition process. The purpose
of the technology adviser is to make sure that you are
thinking conceptually about your site from the very start. He/she
will then be there to keep you on track, to make sure
that you are using your time effectively, and that you
are building your site in a timely and methodical fashion. He/she,
too, wants you to do well.
The dates by which you need to have a meeting with both
your faculty adviser and your technology adviser (and
these meetings will take place separately, not together)
Friday, January 21
Friday, February 11
Friday, March 18
Monday, April 11
Typically, these meetings will last between 15 and 30
and crediting material
original research! Dig deeply into your topic. Find
sources in all sorts of places. Don’t rely
exclusively on one book, or on the Internet, or on one
interview. Consider this like any other research
project. You need multiple sources.
a rich array of materials. Try to interview people
about your topic—but make sure they are appropriate
people, who have something interesting and relevant to
say about it. Find film or video that would be
relevant and then include exceprts.
the standard rules regarding research and plagiarism,
etc. apply to this project. The school’s
honor code applies as well.
you use copyrighted material, you must cite your sources. You
should try to secure permissions to use copyrighted material. Be
sure that you identify all sources for copyrighted material.
deadlines! If you can’t make one for any
reason, please come see Ms. Freeman, or your faculty
adviser, or your technology adviser, or Julie Ng or Katarina
Yee. Don’t avoid us! In order to have
all these projects finished on time, we need to have
strict deadlines, but we don’t want to lose hardworking
teams. Check in if you having problems with a deadline;
deadlines are listed on Appendix A of this booklet. Read
through them carefully; you are obliged to meet all of
them. You are responsible for knowing them. They
are established so that the last few weeks of this project
doesn’t turn into a nightmarish series of all-nighters.
Ms. Freeman reserves the right to disqualify any team
that is missing deadlines without any communication.
can I work on my site? Who should I see with
may use the computers in room 307 during your study
(if there is no other usage in the room during one of
Ms. Freeman’s classes; have Ms. Freeman sign a
pass) or after school. There must be a supervising
staff person in the classroom when you are working; students
are not permitted in classrooms without a designated
supervisor. See Ms. Freeman if you have questions. You
may also use the library computers or those in the other
areas of the school if they are staffed after school.
you run into problems, you should talk with Ms. Freeman
and/or Ke Zhang ’06, who is student coordinator
for the competition. Julie Ng ’03, Katarina
Yee ’02, and Rob Winikates ’04 are also troubleshooting
for the web competition.
I Use a PC or Mac to build my site? And how do
I turn in my final project?
may use either platform to build your site. However,
the site must be uploadable to the learntoquestion.com
server by the competition deadline. If you have
not worked on the project in room 307, you must bring
it in on a CD. No floppy disks will be accepted. Every
disk you submit must have a case and must be labeled
with the project title, the three team members’ names,
and the date of the disk.
of computers in room 307
couple of ground rules. Ms. Freeman is mighty
strict about this, given mice infestations, a desire
to avoid mouse-icide, general fastidiousness, and manic-cleanliness.
may only be in the classroom with the permission of Ms.
Freeman and during the school day or with supervision
after school. The classroom will be open after
school on Wednesdays and Fridays. All other days
will be at the discretion of Ms. Freeman.
throw away trash in the plastic-lined trash cans. Don’t
leave crumbs. Recycle.
Wednesdays, and Fridays, all chairs along the tables
need to be put on the desks so that the custodians may
the supervising person in the room says that it is time
to close up, it is time to close up. You cannot
stay in the room without one of the designated supervisors.
you wish to leave files on the desktop of a computer,
please be certain that you create a folder for your project
and place all files within that folder.
friendly to the computers!
check “off” box
when selecting from the “chooser.”
eat near computers. Definitely
do not drink near computers!
leave junk on computers
download Napster, Aimster, Kazaa, etc…
delete other people’s
files! Don’t change computer names! Leave them
you store files, store them on the server or on your
H: drive. There’s no
guarantee that if you leave something on the desktop,
that it will be there again.
something does not work, tell someone! If
a computer is broken and we don’t
know why and no one told us, then perhaps we’ll
be upset! Avoid Ms. Freeman becoming upset! She
has high blood pressure.
install software without permission from the proper
authority. All necessary software should already be
installed. If not, tell us.
turn off computers when you are done using them. Go
to “special” and
not turn off the printer. Use
printer sparingly. Ink is mighty expensive! As
is paper! If something goes wrong with the printer,
use more that one computer per person. If the
room gets crowded, share with members of your team.
training classes are currently planned for Wednesdays,
beginning on Wednesday, January 12 and occurring every
Wednesday that school is in session. The classes
will begin promptly at 2:30 and will conclude around
4:15. Topics to be covered include:
to begin the project and find a topic appropriate to
the creation of a website
to do research suitable for a Seevak website project
Dreamweaver and Photoshop
little bit of Flash animation
· uploading, including
video and audio. Compressing video and audio.
X. Formatting, building,
and housing your site
site must use a presentation screen that is: 800x600. This
is based on the requirements for presentation at Harvard’s
amphitheater across the street. Plan for 800 x
600 and execute the site that way.
space on which to build your site: If you need a place
to build your site and test, let Julie Ng or Ke Zhang
know as soon as possible, so I can arrange for some space
available for each site: Each site is limited in
space. It should use between 5-10 MB, with additional
space available for video footage. No site should be
larger than 20 MB. Be selective in using any video
footage. You cannot have every clip in the world! If
your site is too big, it won't go online. You should
compress your video (if used) and optimize your files
cannot contain the following files (note: other types
may be added to this list). Note: If you don’t
know what these codes mean, do not worry! That’s
.doc (MS Word, shouldn't be there)
.psd (PS, doesn't belong either)
(definitely not! These are server manipulation/configuration
.php, .cgi, .sh, .pl (These are scripting files, not
following files are permitted within your site:
.shtml, .htm, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .swf, .zi, .wmv, .mov,
.mps, .rm, .ram, .qt
final product should consist solely of web files. The
site you create and submit should not contain numerous
.doc and .psd files.
XI. Code, browsers, and software used on or with
software: You will have access to any computer in the
building to work on your site. On the Macs, we
use Dreamweaver, Flash, and Photoshop to build websites;
that is what most of the teams will use. You are
welcome to use the software in there, but we have licenses
only for use there; any other software you need you must
acquire on your own.
scripting: For all you tech/web savvy folks, the following
are not permitted as part of your website design:
there is to be NO server side scripting. There is no
need for it. These will not be dynamic sites. Any
site with these files will not be uploaded onto learntoquestion.com.
· Browsers: Your
site needs to work on all browsers—Internet Explorer,
Firefox, Netscape, Safari, etc. The judges
will be testing your site in all browsers. Some judges may
have the latest computers with the latest browsers. Some
judges may have equipment from two centuries ago. Yes,
some places do have old computers. Many educational
institutions only have older browsers.
absolutely cover all bases you should test your site
on Internet Explorer 4+ (latest is 6), Netscape 4.7+
(latest is 7.2). A reasonable assumption would
be to develop for Internet Explorer 5+ and Netscape 6.2+
and Safari. The best browser for you to develop
on for a Mac is Safari. The best browser for you
to develop for PC is Firefox 1.0.
The idea is to make the website work for all browsers,
all versions. Yes, that is possible and impressive
resolution Keep in mind also the various screen
resolutions and you will be presenting on a 800x600 resolution
machine. That is not changeable.
and pirated software
you use pirated software, that’s your choice. We
don’t want to know about it. Don’t tell us
and certainly don’t put it on your website! All
software in 307 is licensed.
for those of you who have the money, you can purchase
software at the Coop on Longwood Avenue at the educational
price, which is usually about 75% off MSRP. Ask for details.
you use programs or scripts that you are not the author
DHTML, etc., credit the person or organization who
wrote the script. If you wrote it with the help of
a tutorial, you should credit that tutorial. If you
are using something that you have not written, you
are stealing! Please
credit the programmers for their hard work.
Competitors who DO use programs or scripts they find
online for free should see us. This is the “Stephen
Dewey honorary rule.” A few years ago, we
had two teams using the same script and the sites were
in danger of “canceling one another out” in
terms of originality. We don’t want that
to happen again.
careful about implementing something that is cross browser. Crossing
platforms is problematic.
check for any errors on your site
your website project is uploaded onto learntoquestion.com,
you will have ONE opportunity to fix ALL problems that
may remain. This will be done within a three-day
period in late March/early April and then the site is
frozen as is. (See the schedule for further details)
out of the competition
you and your team decide to drop out of the competition,
you must submit a note in writing to Ms. Freeman with
all 3 signatures. Your names and projects will
remain on the final competition list if you have not
officially notified me, thereby jeopardizing your future
standing with the jury. Don’t
do that! Let Ms. Freeman know.
of the competition
team works independently. It’s fine
if you want to talk enthusiastically about your projects,
but don’t become ugly and competitive with one
another. This competition is a model of learning
new skills and building remarkable sites in tandem. Ms.
Freeman will not allow any inappropriate, competitive,
or cutthroat behavior and I reserve the right to remove
a team from competition if I observe or hear about such
conduct. There will be no harassment of competing
teams and no inappropriate accusations. It is assumed
that everyone is working independently, that you are
creating your own site that is uniquely yours and not
borrowed or copied from any other source, and that you
are working harmoniously.
Again, I reserve the right to remove any team from
consideration which is found to have violated the spirit
of this competition.
XVIII. Guidelines for your presentation
at the Harvard building across the street
will be given to you as we approach the final deadlines.