The Rock - In Retrospect
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks
No bibliography page cited
School: Taipei Municipal Shihlin Primary School
Taipei, no , Taiwan
21 students, ages from 12 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2001.
They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2000
Classes and Teachers: Mr.Hsu meifang, Ms.Hsu jeenfu, Ms.Dong sufen are the teachers. plus 21 six-graders ( names are in the website's THOUGHTS page )
Our School's Web Site:
1. Description of Our Community
We see "our community" from three perspectives: 1. by geography 2. by discipline 3. by race and our project touches on each category with great care and passion... 1. by geography: Chee Shan Rock ( what we call "the Rock" ) literally "encompasses" our school geographically. Many of our students' or teachers' COMMON MEMORY is made up of this historic/cultural landmark which gave birth to education in Taiwan. In fact, our school used to be named after this place. 2. by discipline:geographic vicinity doesn't quite do the word "community" justice, because people share COMMON INTERESTS as well as COMMON MEMORIES. Thus our team members DREW their common memories in hopes that others who share the appreciation of the arts could feel closer to us. 3. by race:similar interests still doesn't quite meet our definition of community because as human beings we share so much more than just our zip code or hobbies. Thus, we chose to be as comprehensive and diverse as we can in choosing different ways of presenting our project. So when you read about people like Mr.Pan who single-handedly saved his town, or Mr.Six, the six Japanese martyrs/teachers who died for education, or the six graders who built roads as a part schoolwork, or the two 3,500-year-old skeletons... please bear in mind that these "different" people, whose laughs and tears and passions and regrets still touch a part of so many of us, just like the 21 Dr.Dragon team members who felt some mysterious connection and drew those wonderful portraits of where their ancestors used to live, dream, and die, actually have a lot more "in common" than you might think... Oh, and for that matter, YOU, my friend, are in the same community, too!!
2. Summary of Our Project
Our project tells about Chee Shan Rock ( "the Rock" ). Associated with her are: the dawn of modern education in our country ( our school, Shih Lin Elementary School, is "the" first school in Taiwan, and was named Chih Shan Rock Public School over 100 years ago ); the beginning of mankind in Taiwan ( in December of 2000, two well-preserved skeletons were discovered in the Chee Shan Rock area, and were dated over 3,500 years old, making them the earliest settlers yet discovered on this island ); other cultural/historical/botanical/geological treasures are found here ( various folklores, legends, temples, Chinese calligraphy, monuments, memorial halls, fossils, snakefrog stones, martyr/teachers, miracle fountains, interviews with someone who actually drank from that fountain...); such is the subject matter of our project, and we chose to present it and share it with you in the most sincere form we know how -- with thorough research, live interviews, and most importantly, hand-painted portraits to give not just your brain, but your eyes and heart, the same type of touching and humbling experience we felt during the project.
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:none
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
learning about the technical stuff was hard, but easy to overcome with our passion and determination.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
In a project like this, the amount of time that must be put in is simply staggering. Our students had to "sacrifice" ( later it became "enjoy" ) their weekends and holidays and spend it in Chee Shan Rock. In addition to their regular school work, which is already heavy pressure, they must learn sophisticated and often difficult knowledge such as advanced webpage designing and information processing. But like we mentioned earlier, with a sense of teamwork, and a passion to present this wonderful place to the world, nothing is unmanageable.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Computer artwork may satisfy the eye; research information may fulfill the mind; but it is the paintings that truly touch the heart.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
A brief overview would reveal how many different disciplines were involved in this project. We learned about geology, plantlife, archeology, history, computers, and most of all, team work and a sincere concern for preserving our community and treasures. The internet has definitely helped us gather information, and computers helped us process and present them. But we also discovered that all of the modern technology is so fragile and "floating" when it lacks the human emotions such as determination, passion, and admiration as its backbone and foundation. For example, through the live interviews with the elderly and the tourists, we discovered that preserving the natural environment is so important to some of the residents that they were quite emotional about the issue; we also witnessed the possible setbacks of modernization; most importantly, we learned that no matter what era it is, human beings still possess the best ( like the six Japanese teachers who sacrificed their lives for the education of a foreign country ) and worst ( modern tourists might exploit the historic sites or litter ) qualities within us, and it is entirely up to us which side we wish to show to the world and leave for our next generation.
1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
In terms of technological tools, we used digital cameras, camcorders, traditional cameras, computers, and varios softwares. In terms of sources of information, we conducted oral interviews, found news articles, researched databases, read books, journals, magazines, and looked at memorial stones with calligraphy on them. The most valuable tools are scanners ( even though we felt the inadequacies of them, so we added our own drawings to convery the cultural atmosphere ), and of course the various softwares with which we could better gather, compile, and present valuable information.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
In terms of ambassadors, we think that the entire community has taken up much more notice of the Chee Shan Rock than before. Our project touched the lives of thousands of people through the internet competition and the participation of our students. This is evident by the fact that several media covered the story about "the Rock" and the skeletons, and in the upcoming month, there will be a big local festival celebrating the history and culture of "the Rock". The feedbacks that we received varies from people who gave us cakes when we conducted oral interviews right on the scenic spots, to people who dug out old family albums and offered us pictures of their great grandfather who happened to appear in one of our stories, to the English translator, who, after seeing the entire website, was so touched by the richness of the project that he is planning to bring and invite over 100 of his students to formally visit the place and ask the Dr.Dragon team members to act as young tour guides. These team members can not only talk about the place, but also talk about their DRAWINGS of the place. It is such a miracle how the lives of so many people from such diverse background can be knit together through this project.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Simply put, parents are impressed with the way education is shifting from the old memorization and testing to the much more liberal interviewing and doing projects. Many local residents, after viewing the project, thanked our team for letting them realize what a "treasure land" they are living in, and are determined to not only let more locals and tourists know about it, but also do their best to preserve this holy place for our generations to come. Through school competitions, students are first forced to learn about the historic site, but after just a few weeks, everyone simply fell in love with it, and have done so much more "outside" of the project to help introduce the place to others, such as telling relatives who might not live in the area, and invite them over during holidays, or tell foreign friends to visit their website to see for themselves what the place looks like. Most importantly, students learned two valuable lesons. One, teamwork is everything in the modern world where there is simply too much information to be processed by one single person; two, preservation is critical in the modern age, because it is so easy to lose sight of the historic treasures as we are easily attracted to the immediate conveniences of technology, and forget about the generations after us.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
We would like to pay special thanks to the organizations who helped us with data research and computer technology assistance. They offered their help and support not because of any commercial purposes, but simply because of the "common" vision that we had -- first, "share" with the world one of the best historic sites around, and second, "preserve" it. And it is with these two goals that we worked closely together.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
I am the translator for the project, and I feel honored to be a part of this team. I must say that I have "discovered", and learned "lessons", and been "surprised" many a times by this team and the project they have accomplished. I lived in both the U.S. and Taiwan during my elementary school years, and I am proud to say that what was then a big difference in education methods and beliefs has now diminished. I am so happy and surprised to see that in just 15 years the education reform in my country has succeeded this much. Not only are the team members hard working, responsible, ( these two were old traditions ), but also cooperative ( in the old days, we just had to ace the tests, and there were certainly no room for "teamwork" there ) and most impressively, creative ( just look at their drawings! ) and environmentally conscious ( this is the latest lesson that my country is learning ). I would also like to mention that as a part of the inherent cultural/linguistic differences, some feelings that the original project tried to convey might be a little "off"; but let me take this opportunity and very unselfishly ( I have nothing to gain from their "score" ) say, "this is simply the most impressive project that students of ANY GRADE LEVEL could manage to put together. You don't want to miss it."
View our CyberFair Project
(Project ID: 1527)