CyberFair Project ID: 3907

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Past and Present of Niahosa
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: Shinmei Elementary School
    Chiayi County, Taiwan, Taiwan

11 students, ages 10 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 20, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Ming-fu Dai, Mr. Ji-hsing Su, Mr. Wei-jun Fan and Mr. Jia-shun Jhung

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The tribe of Sinmei (Niahosa) lies in the south of Alishan National Scenic Area, Chiayi County. It is about 500m above the sea level and is also the water resource protection region of Zeng Wen Reservoir upstream. The tribe amidst the valleys has picturesque scenery and honest people. Sinmei is one of Tsou’s last tribes. The people there are all Tsou’s aboriginals. Sin Mei Elementary School is a typical school for the aboriginals. Walk along Alishan Road (Route 18) from Chiayi City, turn right at 36.5km mark (Longmei), pass through an avenue of 20 km, and you will find Sinmei. The statue of our warriors will welcome you at the crossroads.

2. Summary of Our Project

Sinmei is one of Tsou’s tribes with very simple aboriginals. It is still unknown to people though located in the famous Alishan. So under the Cyberfair Project we expect to introduce to the world sinmei’s beauty and characteristics from the three aspects of historical remains, scenic spots and industrial cultures. We can also lead the students to take an investigation and make them value even more the precious resources.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

This is a rather small school in a remote mountainous area and it has only one computer room with 14 computers for students. However, in each classroom there is one used computer from National Chung Cheng University for Internet access and simple word processing. There are 6 more computers for office work. These computers share resources by LAN and are connected with Chiayi County Computer Center and TaNet by ADSL. After regular group meetings the group members have to do such work as data editing, typing, web editing or report transmitting with the school computers after school or on holidays because they themselves have no computers.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The tribe of Takopueanu has no written language and there only remain the oral accounts of Tsou’s elders and a few literatures on record. So we have to look for the mango tree of one century and other remains by exploring ourselves and visiting elders in order to waken up this ancient tribe step by step. This was what we had never experienced before. We cut paths through forests and grasses. We overcame adverse circumstances to search and distinguish zaxes and potsherds. We invited teachers to teach us how to carry out interviews, sort out data and take notes. This made us abandon timidity and helped to improve our communicative and cooperative abilities. We had never felt afraid of computers by using rulers, recorders, computers, and editing webs. The elders interviewed all spoke their native language of Tsou while knew little about standard Chinese. But fortunately we could carry out the interviews smoothly, got to know some elders and learned much native language with the help of Mr. Wang, the chairman of the community, who served as our interpreter. Our gains really outweighed the loss of some spare time.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

From this research I can have a deep understanding about the rise and fall of Takopueanu. The people and the events there make me feel even more attached to this soil and I also expect to leave something for the future generations. I also realize that these activities provide me with many opportunities to grasp many skills, know more people and learn much extracurricular knowledge.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Takopueanu has aroused our curiosity. We can now recognize stoneware and potsherds immediately and know exactly where the big mango trees are. We believe that these activities are designed concerning the exploration and research set in Grade 1-9 Curriculum. Before investigation or visit, we could learn how to devise and organize things so as to improve work efficiency. During the interviews, we could express thoughts and share opinions with tape recorders and digital cameras. We now no longer feel afraid of asking questions in a loud voice. Moreover, we recognize the importance of mutual respect and cooperation. Though there is still much room for improvement I know we are making gradual progress. No one has ever done this to the community. We hope that we can have more chances to raise its popularity and promote its development.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Telephones. During the research we called to the chairman of the community and asked him to help find some Tsou’s elders who knew better about the tribe of Takopueanu

Tape recorders and digital cameras. During the research, we recorded the important data for analysis took pictures for web materials.

Computers and libraries. These were where we edited webs, sent emails and consulted references.

Software. Word processing (Microsoft Word 2000), Web editing (Namo Web Editor 5.5), Data collecting (Internet Explorer), Photo editing (Ulead Photo Impact 8), Web transmitting (CuteFTP4.2).

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

For this Cyberfair Project, we had tried to collect information by all means and questioned closely almost everyone who knew something about Takopueanu. Then we found out that it was those grandpas who were most knowledgeable and resourceful though they seemed much reserved. We should make full use of this precious treasure house. Grandpa Fang, who spoke most while drinking, was just interviewed by us after he had attended a banquet. The grandpas also hoped to leave more to their children and asked us to speak for their community in the web and introduce SinmeiVillage to the whole world.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Because this has been so far the first research in either community or school, many people cared about our community, offered clues and understood our research progress. However, our investigation met with difficulty because most of the remains were too old and not properly preserved and many clues offered were so scrappy and not reliable enough. We wonder if our research will meet any objections after it come out. But we believe that the adults will take more care of those newly-dug historical remains next time.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We really thank for three volunteers for our project.They are Mr. Jian

-hsiung Wang, Mr. Ching-hui Yang and Mrs. Chun-fang Chuang. Cause Takopueanu is a disappeared tribe, we must understand it through stoneware and elders.Mr. Wang took us to investigate the tribe and taugh how to recognize stoneware. Mr. Yang offered us many ideas. Mrs. Chuang was a good interpreter and driver. They helped us know where Takopueanu was, and what it was in elders memory.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Discover stoneware, mango trees and prickly bamboos. The ancient household utensils were all made of stones, e.g., stone bowls, stone knives, etc. The mango trees were their divine trees and were planted to protect their people The prickly bamboos were used to guard against the attacks of enemies.

From this, we understand how those people in ancient times lived and what utensils Takopueanu had used. We got to know many stories and legends about Takopueanu that we found either surprising or interesting.

It is a great pity that most of the historical remains were not properly preserved because people at that time knew little about protection of historical relics. But now it is already too late to make up for the loss.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3907)

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