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'Water, The New Petrol,' 'The Haiti Ocean Project' Win Doors To Diplomacy Award

The US State Department on Tuesday announced the selection of two winning websites for its 2012 Doors to Diplomacy Award, which is co-sponsored by Global SchoolNet. The award recognizes the web projects that best teach young people about the importance of international affairs and diplomacy. Participants, ranging in age from 11 to 18, included 225 student teams from 38 countries.

The winning sites are "Water, the New Petrol," and "The Haiti Ocean Project."

This site Water, the New Petrol was built by a team from CEP Santa Rosa Brothers Marist School in Sullana, Peru and IES Manacor School in Mallorca, Spain. Their web project aims to raise awareness of the current state of water issues in the world.

The site, The Haiti Ocean Project was built by a team from Riviera Beach Maritime Academy in Riviera Beach, Florida. It focuses on the collaboration between the youth of two countries--Haiti and the United States--and their work on the Haiti Ocean Project, a marine conservation, education, research and eco-tourism project located in Grand Goave, Haiti.

Each student member of the two winning Doors to Diplomacy Award teams will receive a $2,000 scholarship. In addition, the winning coaches will each receive a $500 cash award. Judging was performed by student peers and educational professionals, with the final selections made by a team of judges from the State Department's Bureaus of Public Affairs and Educational and Cultural Affairs. The winning sites will be linked from the Department of State's main website at www.state.gov and other sites.

The State Department said Vincent Tabor from the Philippines, who coached 47 teams in this year's contest, will receive special recognition for his exceptional effort to involve so many students in Doors to Diplomacy.

Global SchoolNet is a non-profit, Internet-based education program. The Doors to Diplomacy Award was specially created for CyberFair, a contest that encourages students and educators to join together to build high-quality, educational websites on a variety of topics. These website entries will be available on the web as learning tools to millions of people around the globe.

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