CyberFair Project ID: 4994

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Story of a small Town-Sanyi
Category: 5. Local Attractions (Natural and Man-Made)

School: Wesley Girls' High School
    taiwan, N/A- Does Not Apply, taiwan

6 students, ages 16-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 7, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006

Classes and Teachers: Yu-wei Lin

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

San-Yi, located at the south of Miaoli County, Taiwan, is a perfect place for relaxation and a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.Art: This small town is home to the only government-run woodcarving museum, where you can enjoy the overwhelming wood sculpture masterpieces. To an ardent collector of wood sculptures, the old street near the Museum is also a place not to be missed.Intellectual: Huoyan Mountain Eco-Museum, just recently opened, provides detailed information and knowledge about the geological formation of Huoyan Mountain and the specific animals and plants residing or growing there.Spiritual: In addition to the best known tourist spots Shengxing Railway Station and Longteng Bridge remains, here a nature lover can also indulge on all kinds of beautiful holiday farms or leisurely walk along mountain trails. One more tip, the best time to visit this town is of course is when all the camphor trees are blooming ---in April, when the whole town feasts themselves and tourists with festivities and beauty.

2. Summary of Our Project

San-Yi is naturally abundant in camphor trees and therefore has developed its unique culture and style of woodcarving. Sanyi once lost its place in the sun when Taiwan was step by step developing into an industrial country. However, in recent years, with the efforts of local people, this small town has again revived.Therefore, with some introduction of history, geography, regional customs of Sanyi, and research of their successful community redevelopment, we conduct as well some interviews with local people, woodcarving masters, and those involved in the redevelopment project so as to allow more people to know about the different faces of this small town and to appreciate its beauty and renewed vitality.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:4-6

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):

The 100 computers in the two computer rooms are not always available. Without teacher’s permit on the application to the school authorities, students can not use them except during the computer class. Although the speed of internet is rather fast, yet the speed tends to slow down when there are too many files to upload. Besides, under the control of the school authorities, some websites are not available, causing much inconvenience.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Challenge1: Language Participating in the international-wide contest has long been difficult for us. While designing own website, the first obstacle we met was “English-to-Chinese and Chinese-to-English translation”. As high school students living, growing up in Taiwan, speaking and thinking always in Chinese, we found it hard to read all the rules, regulations, procedures and terminologies stated in English. When we were introducing the tea-related products, we need to either create some new terms in English or use Ping-Yin Romanization System to name our products. Under the guidance of our teachers, we have overcome the difficulties, and for the first time in our lives we found English ability really essential. Challenge2: PC skills Computer skill is another challenge we faced. In our team, none of us had hands-on experience in designing a website. It was actually our first close encounter with many computers software. We exercised our muscles to learn, to ask, to search reference books to carry out our plans. One of our concerns is setting the size of the website page, that is the “Viewing distance” of the page; at what distance, on what layout of the page will the viewers feel comfortable and relaxed reading our pages. We kept on adjusting, adjusting and adjusting, just for that ideal “Viewing distance”. Our equipments, mainly computers, were provided by our school, and we also relied on our own desk-tops at home. The various characteristics of our desk-tops and the ever inconsistent performance of the internet system greatly influenced our timetable. Challange3: Time We actually live in this school---a boarding school. From Monday morning to Saturday noon, without permit no one can leave school. We lead a 6:00 A.M. to 10:00P.M. life, so we have had little time at our disposal, only the ten-minute recesses and the noon breaks. All the interviews, questionnaire distribution and website design could only be done on weekends and holidays. We need to coordinate the spare time of our team members and the interviewee---the ever-busy manager of Ten Ren Tea Shop – Mrs. Chou. The most frightening and nervous part of our research is when distributing our questionnaires to total strangers. No matter how they reacted, we were always smiling. On several occasions we communicated with the Japanese customers in English plus body languages, that was interesting.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

From this project, we have learned a lot about wood carving, while interviewing, we realized how the craftsmen carved these beautiful sculptures with their hearts. We were impressed when we saw the local people work hard to their hope of leading a better life in Sanyi. We have also learned how to introduce to others the art of carving. Most importantly, we realize that if we work hard and never give up, we can achieve our goal and that good attitude may brings about great achievement.

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

The project has to be presented on the Internet, which is so different from the conventional way of written reports. Therefore, cyber literacy is more than just a course and Internet facilities have become an issue in school management. We also exposed ourselves to information that is not to be learned in the textbook, like wood carving and business management. In addition, we've learned how to efficiently search data online or how to use the digital camera in a more advanced way than just taking photos. The popularity of computers and the Internet have made a great difference in our daily lives, so should they be applied to our schooling. With the Internet, our learning will become more diverse and interesting, giving us faster and easier access to knowledge with no limits, and this is what conventional education needs most.

Project Elements

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

-Digital cameras -Computers -The Internet -Museum -Interview some professionals -Recorder -Questionnaires -Computer software (Microsoft Excel)

***How did these tools help you? (1) Digital camera helped us present things that were hard to describe, for example, scenery and food. (2)By means of interviews, we got more knowledge that only local people would know. (3)Through Internet we found useful information about this place. (4)Through questionnaires, we got better ideas about public opinions about Sanyi. (5)With the help of Microsoft Excel we could present the result of questionnaires clearly.

***Where did you locate each tool? We had digital cameras, computers, the Internet, the recorder, and Microsoft Excel at home.

***Were any tools donated by businesses or schools? Yes, the computers we used were donated by schools.

***What were your most valuable tools? Why? Questionnaires. Because we make investigate through the questionnaires to 50 local people and 50 tourists. And the result was satisfying. The information we got through was very valuable.

***Which technologies were the most helpful? How? With computers, we could integrate data into a whole, send information, and present the outcome.

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

However, through this project, we’ve learned people are not as cold as we thought. Indeed, at first, we were rejected. That was became interviewees took us as strangers, with a smile we started by telling them who we were, and the goal of our project. After they realize our aim, most of them were willing to give us a hand. During the interview, we constantly reminded ourselves that we were on behalf of our school; we had to show manners, and characteristics. With such attitude, we successfully finished our project in the end. It is our attitude and way to communicate with the society.

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

In the hustling and bustling city, among hundreds and thousands of stores, few people even notice the spirit and mission of Ten Ren Tea. Our website created an opportunity for viewers to know that this locally founded company has Chain stores globally. And this company’s spirit and mission is to serve and to educate. Not only we researchers learned much about Ten Ren , our teachers, the judges of the contests, all the students who have gone through our websites have found this website an eye-opener.

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

First of all, we would like to thank our teacher Miss Lin, Yu-Wei, and the seniors. They gave us valuable advice in upgrading this project. For example, they helped us in data processing and network application. Besides, we feel grateful not only to the villagers in Sanyi but also to Miss Chang, Ming-Hui, the secretary of Sanyi Museum of Wood Sculpture. In addition to accepting our interview, Miss Chang introduced this small town clearly to us. In fact, she took us for lunch, and we did enjoy the local food. And she even took us to the train station, since it was our first time there. Her information proved to be very useful to our project. As for local villagers, they were enthusiastic about answering our questionnaires. We really feel thankful to all of them. In brief, without their help, our research couldn’t have gone so smoothly.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

In the beginning, we had seven members in our group. For personal reasons, one of our members, Coco, decided to drop out. When the other six members learned about her project, we all felt disappointed and mad. How could she quit her work so easily? There were still many difficult problems and researches waiting for us to solve and overcome. After a few days, we understood that it was no use blaming her anymore, so we decided to face the cruel reality and pluck up our morale. From the project, we have learned how to distribute the work fairly, use the time efficiently and deal with the knotty problems. Next time, we face any difficulty and don’t know how to solve it, we will no longer worried or cried. Instead, we will face it bravely with confidence, because we know we can do it and we can ask for teachers’ help, look for the information in the book or on the net and make investigate through the questionnaires all by ourselves. Through this project, we have realized that collaboration is the most important secret to success.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4994)

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