For this project we learned about refugees fleeing from Syria and what other countries are doing about it. To show this, we did a simulation. At first we were debating on doing a museum style exhibit or play. Since we were hoping for participants to understand the crisis and have an impact we decided to do a simulation. It was a great way of showing solid facts of what´s going on. We decided this while doing a socratic seminar where we all talked about which would be best for exhibition night.
Event sequences and character sheets were used to help the flow of the simulation. As a class we decided a solid event sequence based on research of how refugees got to which country by what means of transportation. The character sheets helped us envision how the participants will react to a certain character and how that will impact the simulation.
To begin the project, we had to research what kind of place is our station, in my groups case it was Raqqa, Syria. This was on our Station Research Document. As a group we looked up anything about the city of Raqqa and even ISIS. I looked up ISIS propaganda and how they have been even recruiting people overseas. I remember looking through articles published my CNN and even The Atlantic. I will definitely use this method for future research projects. I found very interesting and useful articles by browsing trusted sites.
With the necessary facts and information of our place, we had to design our station to make it seem more real. We had all our planning on this Vision of our Station Document. This is a draft of what our station wanted to be like based on the research we gathered. I contributed by showing how ISIS controls Raqqa, and my thoughts on how we can show that during the simulation. I noticed our ideas is similar to what actually happened during exhibition. We did have someone as an ISIS fighter trying to convince participants to stay in Raqqa and submit themselves to ISIS control and beliefs. We also had a smuggler to transition them to the next station. Though what was different was we didn't have an option to stay during exhibition. I think our station wouldn't have gone as smoothly if we stuck to what we said in the document.
In this Model Station Design Doc my group researched and came up with what our station, Raqqa, will be like during simulation. For an example, who we could be playing as and how our station will flow. There's also character sheets for each of the characters we played. I contributed to this document by helping write out what happens in a scenario. I also wrote who my character is and what his motives are. I also helped find articles that was helpful for us. I'm proud of the characters we played as for exhibition, because we were believable. My character is an ISIS fighter that is doing what he's doing for money and authority. He grew up assisting his friends. Finding out that his friends are fighting and gaining money and authority, he quickly joined ISIS as well. Some key elements of our countries response to refugees was ISIS. A team member and I were ISIS fighter so we were threatening participants with ISIS beliefs. Throughout the playtests we changed stage management and how we will act with participants. We were interacting more with participants and we became more threatening.
For the first playtest my station didn't do much. We just talked to our participants what ISIS believes in and what they should do to obey them. There wasn't much to it. Based on this playtest we decided to research more on why ISIS does the things they do and their motives.
There wasn't much change with the second playtest. We didn't know how to be threatening, so we just made cardboard fake guns. I felt it took the participants our of the simulation. We decided to see what ways to be threatening.
The next playtest was with 9th graders. We found ways to seem like a threat. With them we screamed in their faces and forced them to obey us. They were more surprised. We decided to keep our station the way it was, we just needed to remember our lines. The final playtest was with other 10th graders. We kept everything the same since the previous playtest and everything worked out great. I remember both the 9th and 10th graders took it somewhat seriously.
On exhibition day, we had a run through with 8th graders. We kept everything the same, same lines, we were again screaming in their faces, and even where our station was located. They didn't take it seriously, but they transitioned from our station smoothly. Later that day during exhibition time, the adults took everything seriously. During the second run through we thought it would be best to run in and interrupt the introduction to the simulation to begin. It helped a lot as far has having a better starter. I remember how easy our station was, it only took a couple minutes from start to end, but our station is crucial to the simulation being that we're the start of it. I can't think of anything that I would do differently. We got good feedback from participants. We learned that we were effective as far as scaring them and a good start to the simulation.
For my essay, I wrote about a potential refugee's journey from Syria to Germany. The refugee's journey was harsh and brutal. By the end of the journey they have used almost all of their money of transportation. They have also faced many dangers of getting caught and beaten by police, and even not getting the help they needed. Though after a long journey spent both on foot and in some sort of vehicle, they make it to Germany and seek asylum. It would have taken them a couple months, and even longer to rebuild their lives.
One handout I am proud was April 7, where we filled out a study guide of what we knew of the Syrian Civil War and how it has impacted refugees. I'm proud of this one because I filled in almost all of the questions without looking back at previous handouts for answers. This was helpful for me to feel confident on the test. I also wasn't sure on how much I knew about the war, but after filling out the handout I was reassured on how much I know.