10th Grade‎ > ‎Humanities‎ > ‎

Syrian Refugee Simulation


    For this project we made a refugee simulation. A refugee is a person who has been forced to escape their own country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. In 2014, the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) reported that there were 59.5 million refugees in the world. The last time something like this happened was in World War II. This crisis is a very big deal. The 10th grade made a simulation to teach people what is currently going on in the world and to show them what a refugee goes through to flee their country. By the end of this project, every student is an expert about the Syrian Refugee Crisis.  

How did we make a simulation?

    We took some time to decide what we were 
going to do to teach others about the
refugee crisis. At first we were thinking about making an exhibition. We took a field trip to a museum in Balboa Park to get inspiration for our exhibition. After going to that, we were not very sure if we wanted to make an exhibition. We had a discussion weather to make a play or an exhibition. Most people agreed on a play, but then we did not want to do that because it wouldn't be as realistic because we needed everyone to be very good actors as refugees. That made us come up with the idea to make a simulation. 

    For the decision making process I didn't want to make a play or exhibition. A group of people and I wanted to make a movie because acting would be easier because we would not have an audience, and if we made a mistake we could just redo it and make it better. Dr. P didn't agree with our idea because he said it would take a lot more work and we would need a lot of stuff that we don't have. 

Event Sequence & Character Sheet: 

Click here to look at the Syrian Refugee Character Sheet we created. 

    To make the event sequence and the character sheet, we read an article on a refugee. I think that article was the first thing about refugees that really made sense to me and it helped me understand the situation a lot better. The character sheet we created is not exactly like the article but it is very similar. We added, took away, and changed some things. We also did the same thing for the event sequence. Most of it is very similar to journey on the article we read. 

    The event sequence helped us create the simulation. We wanted the simulation to be as realistic as possible so we took the event sequence, which was made from a real refugee experience, and applied what we learned from that to the simulation. 

Hand Out:

    I chose this hand out because I think it was interesting and helpful. Reading the article, writing about it, and mapping it out helped me understand what they go through better. 

     The hand out was something that I learned a lot from and it made the journey clear to me. Before this, I kind of knew what they went through, but after I did this, I understood it very well. 

    I want you to notice the picture of the map. It looks like he traveled very little and it was easy. But when you read the story behind his journey (on the picture), you will know how hard and challenging it was to travel. 

Station Research Document:

Click here to see the station research document my group and I created. 

    For this document I was in charge of researching about the economy of the US and diseases in the US. I remember that it was hard to research about diseases. I know there are many going around, but I wanted something that originated in the US or is very big in the US. Some new techniques that I discovered for future research assignments is that the less words you use to search, the more variety of articles come up. 

Vision for Our Station:

Click here to see the vision for our station document. 

    For this document, I was in charge of figuring out the objects we needed at our station, write about the experience of a refugee when they approach our station, write about the opinions we wanted refugees to have about our station, three question from the lead designers about research we had to do, and write the priorities we had for the following week. 

    Something that changed from our original idea was the setup. We changed the set up about three times. The first time we changed it because we thought the second idea was better, and we changed the second idea because we had a new space. I think the last set up (the one we used for exhibition) was the best out of all of them because it was easier for refugees to know where they should go. 

    Something that stayed the same from our original idea was the opinions we wanted the refugees to have on our station. This stayed the same because it was one of the main goals. I think the changes we made to our station helped us with our goal. 

Station Design Document:

Click here to see the station design document my group and I created. 

    For this document I was in charge of making the station lay out for my group, the description of each scenario, and the character costumes. I am proud of my whole group because we stayed in character for exhibition. It was challenging to be "mean" because we were talking to adults. My character was Clara Marie. Clara Marie is a person who works at the refugee headquarters in San Diego. In the simulation I was in charge of interviewing refugees as Clara Marie. I learned that to create a character you don't only have to know what they do, but you also have to know their personality to get in character.  

    The USA is a hard country to get in as a refugee. For the simulation, my group and I were being really harsh to make it hard to get in. We were told to take in one out of ten refugees in the simulation. Once we started doing play tests, we learned how to act with certain people. With students, we had to be more harsh because they don't take things as serious, and with adults we just had to be strict. 

Play Tests:

 Play Test One:

    I remember that the first play test was the worst. My station didn't have any tables r chair, nobody cam to our station, and we didn't have characters. The changes that my group made based on this play test was to bring chairs next time. 

Play Test Two:

    I think that the second play test was also bad compared to our final one. This tie we
brought chairs but no tables. For this one, only one refugee came to us and we let him in. But once he was in, we didn't know what to do with him. That was something that we has to fix for the next one. 

Single Station Play Test & Play Test Three:

    The things I learned form the single station play tests was that we had to be more strict and we needed a lot of security. That is something that we did for the next play test. 

    For the third play test, we had were a lot better. We were more organized, each
station had chairs and tables, we had characters and props, and we were more strict. I could tell that it was a lot better because the refugee's reaction were a lot better. I remember hearing one of the refugees say "I'm scared", and that is a good things because that is what we wanted them to be. Based on this play test, we decided that we didn't need as many tables and we needed more baskets for the refugees to put their belongings in. 

Final Play Test:

    I think the final play test was exactly like the one in exhibition. I think it was very good. We had everything we needed, and we all stayed in character. Our goal was to make the people feel scared, which is what refugees feel. I know the 9th graders felt this way because I could tell they were nervous. One of them couldn't get their information right, which was on the paper they had that they could read. His hands were shaking and I could tell by his facial expressions. 

Essay Quiz:

    I think that everyone in San Diego over the age of 14 should know about this crisis. I think it will make them appreciate everything they have a lot more. After learning everything during the project, I appreciate everything a lot more.
I think everyone else should appreciate it too. 

The Real Simulation:

    When we did the simulation with the 8th graders I heard a girl in line say "I'm scared"
and I was surprised because our simulation is nothing like the real thing (the scary part). Also, another boy was so nervous that when I asked for his name he said his real name and he kept messing up the information. I could tell he was nervous. 

    I think something cool we did that was realistic was check their bags. They would get nervous when we security looked through their backpacks. We also made them empty out their pockets in a basket. One person only had trash in his pockets so he got embarrassed and put it back in his pockets. 

    Some advice that I have for other teachers that want to do a simulation is to make sure the place is scary, uncomfortable, and make sure students treat the refugees bad. Some advice that I have for students that make a simulation is to not be shy to treat people bad, and to be scary. 

    If we were to do the simulation again, I would choose another job because I think mine was boring or I would find a way to make mine interesting and less repetitive. 

    No one really told us feed back personal, but the feed back Dr. P got from parents was really good. 

    I learned that to work in a team we have to constantly check in with each other to see if anyone needs help and to make sure everyone does equal amount of work. We should all be on the same page at all times.