Marine Species Website | Explore the Creatures of the Sea and WordPress Experience

In round four, another exploration with a new skill has given to me. It was the world of ocean and technology as I would call. 

The exploration that I was in was the Marine Species Website. When I initially heard the name, I conceived the image of us all in the group working on our technical skills to develop a website that devotes itself to the marine in Cambodia. Meanwhile, I was mixed with wonders and hopes. I have always been aware of myself that technology is never meant to be my strength, but I repeated in my mind that I would try my best. 

Exploration Descriptions 

“Sharing Cambodia’s marine environments with Cambodians and global citizens by raising awareness of marine species, promoting scientific discovery, protecting ecosystem services, and inspiring curiosity about the ocean.”

Above is our mission statement, which is our ambition and motivation. The exploration devised to create a website that is dedicated to the marine ecosystem. As the mission statement mentioned, we want to bring appreciation and stewardship to our dignified sea in Cambodia. Its essence has brought our lives to comprehend the word “convenient”. Many fishermen in Cambodia earned their living by the marine’s life. Therefore, the sea needs to be preserved by all of us, and together, everything is possible. 

What did we learn? What did we do?

“In order to understand deeper about the marine’s life, I then studied and researched about the morphology of the great creatures living beneath the sea’s blue”

In the exploration, we did discover and learn many things that we didn’t realize until now. It was like we were diving deeper into the ocean to explore the environment and the living life down there in the mysterious world. Specifically, we allowed ourselves to be acquainted with the phyla that can be used to identify the appearance of any species. Those phyla were Chordata, Cnidaria, Echinoderm, Porifera, Arthropoda, and Mollusca. By making it easier and useful, we utilized the lessons we had learned in our STEM class effectively. Certainly, it was a very helpful aid to our exploration. 

What we did in the exploration was involving a lot of teamwork and efforts. We had been researching a lot to get a good grasp of everything including ecosystems and website layouts. In addition to the research, I have now known the difference between seagrasses and seaweeds. Seagrass is considered as a plant that has roots, stems, and leaves, whereas seaweeds are algae that neither has roots. We also did some discovery on marine websites to find any interesting points that we liked and wanted to incorporate in ours. 

Moreover, we also got help from the LMRT team in our school. LMRT (Liger Marine Research Team) is a group of students in our school that conducts research and survey on Koh Seh in Cambodia. While being facilitated by them, we also took the pictures from their trip to group them into the right phylum. For instance, I saw an octopus in the picture, so I would store the picture to the phylum of Mollusca. That was how we group the species. 

On the website side, we were introduced to WordPress, where we have the right to pick any templates that are free and we do not have to do any coding works. Then, in partners, we began to test and learn about WordPress, so that later we will need the skill to build our own website. It was a very enjoyable moment, even though I do not favor coding. I customized some fonts and colors because tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, I would be going to give my best into our own website. 

In the hardest moment

“In an unexpected time, we rise and we fight.”

As a token of my thank, I want to express my lovely gratitude that I was given the chance to try something new and step out of my comfort zone. This was the bravest moment I could feel. Plus, getting to observe the greatness and mystery of the ocean, were so special to me. All thanks to Liger! I am very thankful for everyone including my facilitators, Kieran, Max, and some of the first-cohort students. Every one of them would never give up even when we were facing the hardest time. That’s why nothing had halted us to work and express our love to one another. Hopefully, I hope that we can foster this fantastical project to the next step in the future. 

Community Cleanup Campaign | Workshop Organization Experience

In round three, I had another exploration which was Community Cleanup Campaign. I can say that this exploration is a relation to changing Cambodia with the education of raising awareness. I had practiced my leadership and time management skills in this exploration.

The introduction of the exploration was explained by a senior, Somphors as our facilitator in the exploration. We have the intention of spreading the awareness of waste and plastic to people in this developing country. I have thought doing so was a crucial solution to excessive plastic usage in everyday life. That’s when I was working in the exploration.

We had the ambition to give a workshop to those. Personally, I am really fond of any kind of workshop and I also have involved in some before as the attendee. The workshop has boosted my experience and confidence and I also assume the same for others. Fortunately, this time I was preparing the workshop with my fellow members in the exploration. As we had six stations regarding plastic waste and mine was Storytelling and Visualization that I named.

Honestly, I am a person that prefers and likes to be organized with my school work and personal work. Therefore, I genuinely gave everything I got into my own station. Seven weeks were long enough as I thought, but in the end, things weren’t going correctly of what I had thought. I needed to have four short stories that went under the theme of plastic waste. Luckily, I asked for three of my friends to write three stories and I have written one. In addition to the story, I and another friend drew some pictures for our stories. That denotes the visualization. After preparing everything, I realized I have learned a new lesson of life. Despite we didn’t get to initiate our workshop, but we have learned and experienced the way we prepared our own workshop. I now know that seven weeks are no longer short and using them wisely is the proper way of using them.

I can feel the growth in myself as the time moves on. This exploration has improved my confidence in working individually. I have always afraid when it comes to working alone. I would fear to confront my mistakes and flaws. Although, who in life don’t, so I have reinforced and obtained them in myself. Importantly, time managing skill is a very vital skill that I would also need later on. Therefore, this exploration has opened a new door for me to explore and learn. 

Khmer Children Book Exploration | Thrive in Khmer Literature

NOTE: This post is the combination of the same exploration that I had in two rounds together. 

Khmer Children Literature was the exploration that I was in for the round one and round two. The ambition of the exploration is to motivate Cambodian children to love reading. We are also hoping to thrive in Cambodia’s literature. Many people perceive literature in divergent perspectives; for me, I perceive literature as my happiness and treasure because I will always enjoy it when doing things regarding this topic. 

Round one, the process of writing and illustrating 

To ensure the audiences, there are six books that we have been progressing on and each group is responsible for each book. The six books depict the theme of our school’s core values: Integrity, Determination, Ingenuity, Stewardship, Appreciation, and Optimism. My book’s theme is optimism. 

After knowing the theme already, we started to brainstorm the structure of our story. Brainstorming is a very productive strategy to start writing the story, for me I don’t jump straight to write, I always prepare for the upcoming by brainstorm. After brainstorming, we started to write our kid stories. Initially, we did not expect the children’s age of our book to be 10 or 11. Although, after the writing session, we have found out that the target audience’s age is from 10 to 15. I did not expect this and I was a little shocked. Despite the audience’s age, we were still working with passion and determination together. For the illustrations, we only did a little in round one because we were focusing so much on our writing in both English and Khmer.   

Sharation round one of the year, 

On the Sharation day of our school that we have every once in seven weeks. It is the day when many guests enter our campus to get to know what we have studied in the seven weeks’explorations. 

This was the first sharation of the 2019 year; my exploration, we didn’t have the books published yet so we showed the writing and some illustrations pictures. Moreover, we also had characters game for them to entertain themselves. We heard many compliments and encouragement. I wanted to give them a big thanks for visiting our school’s sharation. It was a very phenomenal day with many voices spreading out over our school’s atmosphere.

Round 2, the process of publishing 

Round one finished and round two began; where we were focusing on publishing the book. We also worked with a senior, Rithy, he has taken the exploration as his impact project relating to Khmer Literature. Therefore, we tried to finish our book by this round so we can publish it. 

Within the full round, my optimism group just did all the art by painting with gouache. Likewise, we edited some of the Khmer writing in preparation for the Bamboojaya’s trip. 

Bamboojaya trip

The trips was so awesome and productive. Bamboojaya is a children school that provided child-led project-based education. We went there to read our Khmer stories to those kids. The teacher there told us that she could not really find some Khmer children’s books that suit her kids’learning level because some contain difficult vocabularies which turn out hard for the children to read. Therefore, we hope to strive for succession in the future with these completed six books. 

Kampot Reader and Writer Festival 

We had so much fun during the trip to Kampot for the Kampot Reader and Writer Festival. Despite the event is a huge difference from what we have expected, we still managed to read our books to the kindergarten students and met some new writers also. It was a successful trip because I feel the reading activity to those young students genuinely made us all feel happy for the moment and we have enjoyed our new experience in Kampot. 

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At last but not least, I hope we can distribute the six children’s books around Cambodia because remember “READING” is always essential for your life. After reading this, go and read your book.


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