CyberFair Project ID: 4303

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Join the Party of Taiwanese Endemic Plants
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Da sing Elementary School
    Wai pu Village, Chang Hua County, Taiwan

10 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 26, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Nien-Yun Szu, Hsun-Te Cho,Hung-Chang Chen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Taiwan has own diverse ecological environment than any country. Chang-Hua County is situated on the plains in the middle part of Taiwan’s west coast. The climate is dry. Chang Hua plains is the northern tip of the mid- and south plains. It is just south to the Da-Du Plateau. The coast line goes from Northeast to Southwest. The ocean winds directed blow to the plains, therefore, the plains are severely damaged by sea-salt.Because of the subtropical climate, there are many kinds of fruits, vegetables, Colorful flowers, and trees in our hometown.Wherever you go, you can see farmer working and planting. On the leisure time or weekend, most of people always come to our campus for exercise. Because there are a lot of trees can provide fresh air and a large playground can play. All of us love trees and flowers, don't care what kind it is. Exactly speaking, we totally ignore the influence among plants, insects, even people's life.

2. Summary of Our Project

From the Green Cancer—Bine Blue Blossom to the scary and deadly Red Fire Ants, foreign species of plants and animals have created serious impacts to Taiwan’s environment and have affected our lives. The impacts of foreign plants to Taiwanese endemic plants are of our major concern here. Our school, Da Sing Elementary School of Chang Hua County, was assisted by the Chang Hua County Government to become a plant ecological campus. Species of newly planted trees in the campus exceeded two hundred. Among them, most are Taiwanese endemic plants. Especially worthy of mentioning, there were twenty kinds of Taiwanese endemic trees, such as Taiwanese Rhododendron, Yu Shan Myrsinaceous, Taiwanese Triangular Maple, and Lan-Yu Cassia, etc. This research will introduce Taiwanese endemic plants available in our campus, the relationships between Taiwanese endemic plants and foreign plants, and the effects they have. By collecting data and information, visiting Taiwanese species research institute, Chang Hua’s Protophyte Production and Marketing Farm, Happy Ecological Park, Tianwei Road Garden and interviewing scholars and experts, we were able to delve deeper into the subjects – “Taiwanese Endemic Plants in our Campus” and give a better introduction. Through visit our website, everyone can 1)learn to obseve those plants surrounding you and me. 2)make a journaling by myself/yourself. 3)share my/your thought with eneryone. 4)become an environmental protector. 5)all in one, then our planet will blue forever.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

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

Our Network Environment: 1.Percentage of students using the Internet at home: almost 50%. 2.Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom: Each classroom has own one workstation, total 18. 3.Academic Broadband Optical-Fiber Network: We set up a “Campus Ecology Information Network” website and instantly shared the data and photos for the research. 4.We have one Computer Classroom. There are 35 computers for students to use. Our schoolmates are 517. 5.Team Member’s Network Environments at their homes: Each team member has a computer at home collected to the Internet by ADSL. After school, we use e-mails to continue the research work. 6.Students use PDA and notebook computers to inquire relevant data wirelessly in the campus.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We, the Sun Forest Explore Team, started full with energies and excitements and continued to the end, just like the sun. Difficulties Encountered: 1. Interested team but with very little knowledge 2. The trees are still small. It’s not easy to provide photos with good examples. 3. It’s not easy to identify the names of the plants,the reasons are: ;Advances and improvements on the plants Natural genetic mutations; Books available in the current markets have not listed or added the new plants. Ways of Solving The Difficulties: 1.Use connections and networking to find the right human resources. 2.Internet Resources Database 3.Visiting organizations and botanic gardens, interviewing experts. 4.Read related books and discuss in small groups. 5.Visiting relevant botanic gardens or parks, taking photos for comparisons and for doing introductions. 6.Search on the Internet (respect intellectual property rights) 7.Ask for expert’s view. 8.Reference to indexes for Master’s or Doctoral dissertations and documents. Because of our poor English ability, we miss 2005International Schools CyberFair activities. We come again this year. We try to proof our inspiration.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Local plants are very charming, beautiful and natural. They are flexible to fit into the environment to survive. It is important to classify our knowledge and learn how to be a good member in the Mother Nature. We had fun and we really cherish this valuable experience.

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

1.Teacher’s Professionalism Through continuous discussions with the students and teachers of other fields, the teachers contributed their expertise in the activities. We also had to be familiar with the process and skills of conducting the research project. Also, we were able to set up good foundations for doing similar professional researches in the future. Not only these, we also enhanced teacher’s personal professional images and professionalism; reached the objective of allowing students and teachers to learn from each other. 2.Student’s Learning Experiences In the One-to-Ninth-Grade Curricular Reform, we emphasize integrating individual subjects and applying student’s own competencies. Throughout the research processes, the participating students were able to enhance and integrating their various abilities in different subjects. They also applied to the homepages. 3.Concrete Learning Results are as the followings: 1)Social Science --Experience and get to know the current local environments --Respect, care, and think about people and the environments --On-site observations and interviews --Find resources and build up connections with field experts outside of our school --Develop skills for collaborate learning 2)Natural Science and Technolog --Observations, discussions and recording --Building of a website --Developing skills fordoing inductive analysis; understanding; analyzing --Communicate with peers, share the fun of the activities --Classify plants 3)Health and Physical Education --The benefits of plants to humans --Observing plants, exercise by walking and exploring, improve one’s bodily health and mind 4)Arts and Humanities --Appreciating the beauty of nature --Different forms and ways of expressing art 5)Language (Chinese) --Fully integrate the skills of listening, speaking, data collecting, reading and writing, etc.

Project Elements

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

1.Magical data-recording technological tools – PDA Palm Computer Please visit the “Technology Aided Section” of this website for relevant photos of students using technology. The functions provided by PDAs used for the research this time: 1)taking digital photos and recording digital audio-video clips 2)accept handwriting inputs for note-taking and store memos 3)record digital sounds 4)wireless broadband Internet connection 2.Introducing our school’s wireless broadband environment: 1)Numbers of wireless base stations: 4 stations (each station is equipped with strong-signal antennas) 2)Each base station can cover a distance of over 300m. 4 wireless base stations can fully cover the outdoor environments of our campus. 3)Use notebook computers and PDAs provided by our school can connect us to the wireless broadband Internet.

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

All interviews are on-site interviews. Before each on-site interview, we used telephones or e-mails to get connected and decide the time of the actual on-site interview. Dr. Tseng of the Endemic Center personally gave us lessons to learn the shapes and types of leaves, making us feel as if we were university students. Mr. Pei-Chuan, a formal county councilor, now at the Huan-Shi Botanic Garden gave accounts to various kinds of plants and pot-plants – palm trees, Myrtaceae, conifer, broad-leave, etc. We learned that interests can turn into a profession. We visited Mr. Wu Chan Jay of the Ur-Ling Endemic Plants Promotional Class. The theories and interests all integrated together. After the interview, each one of us was given a pot of Taiwanese Cassia. That was great! Later, Mr. Wu came to our school. We visited the endemic plants in our campus. We discovered that the triangular maple trees and the Yu Shan Myrsinaceous died, and we were sad. Mr. Wu told us that those plants were supposed to live in mid-high altitude and not by the sea-shores which were bad conditions for them. It’s no surprise they had died. He then promised to provide more Taiwanese endemic plants suitable to be planted here, and he encouraged us to work together. He is willing to provide assistance anytime.

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

So far Taiwan’s economy development and ecology cannot yet reach a good equilibrium. Through conducting this research, the best finding is: this is not just a research, it has become a focal activity for the entire school. Our homepages stress our ideology of continuous preservation of the ecology; provide teaching materials, teaching plans and worksheets for observing plants. We can even use the wireless network to conduct teaching in our campus anytime, and we will continue to expand materials in the homepages. We waited for the winged-fruit of the acajou trees to spiral down; we expected the flat cherry to bear fruit; we wondered if the fruit of the white-rice trees really tastes like real white rice. What are the differences between the Taiwanese Sparrow Fig Trees and the Diamond-Shaped Fig Trees? Would the first one attract more birds? We care the plants; observe the plants; print the leaves; collect all kinds of seeds; try to understand the Taiwanese endemic and unique plants and their contributions to our lives. Our passions spread like fireworks. The parents have also recognized our efforts. The chairman of Tianwei Farmers’ Association we interviewed praised us and commented that we know more than the students there. He said that our attitudes are positive and lovely. He also said that if all teachers of Taiwan can lead their students to care and preserve local plants like what we did, the ecology and environments would be better.

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

We really appreciated all Participants's Contribution. Students:Chen, Yu Shu; Chen, Ban Chan; Tsai, Ming Huan; Hsu, Chih Nan; Liang, Shin Lin; Wu, Shih; Chan, Shih Ting; Chan, Huei Zu; Liang, Huei Juin; Wang, Yin Ping Working items:Working Items 1.Interviewing related people 2.Photo-taking 3.Recording interviews 4.Editing and writing data 5.Set up outlines for interviews 6.Fill up progress reports 7.Collect data Teachers: Nien-Yun Szu, Hsun-Te Cho,Hung-Chang Chen Working items: 1.Call regular meetings for the group 2.Induce and analyze researched data 3.Guide and inspect research homepages 4.Name and plan the research project 5.Teaching and assisting computer technology Parent:Yu-Ching Tseng 1.Contact interviewees 2.Planning consultations 3.Assist with provide transportations for interview activities People in the Community:Pei, Chuan; Tseng, Yian huei; Wu, Chan Jay; Peng, Shui Ling 1.Provide Information 2.Identify and explain the Taiwanese endemic plants in our campus Others: Huang, Jian Tu; Huang, Yu Hung; 1.Assist in building homepages 2.Flash programming

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

To find seeds falling down and producing new offspring is not something new in our campus, which is filled with many green trees. Trees like Ceiba, Black Board Trees, Taiwanese Golden Rain Trees breed and grow with fast speeds whenever their seeds follow the winds or bird’s excretes and find suitable environments. But with another perspective, we would think that the green fields are supposed to be only the green fields, the flower gardens are supposed to be only the flower gardens. The trees are supposed to be planted in certain places, not anywhere. We would think only the original mother trees are acceptable; the new ones should not grow. But when it comes to cutting trees, some people in the community would question and take the positions to protect the trees from being cut.


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