CyberFair Project ID: 1924

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Ode to hotsprings the Taipei remake
Category: 4. Local Specialties
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Taipei Municipal Shihlin Elementary School
    Taipei., Shihlin, Taiwan

17 students, ages from 12 to 12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 4, 2002. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2000, 2001, 2002

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Chin-Fu Hsu, Ms.Tung Su Fen, Ms.Hsu Mei Fang

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Yangmingshan belongs to the Datoon volcano region, which is located north of our school.

The Yangmingshan National Park enjoys a fine reputation that is internationally recognized, with her beautiful forests, breathtaking flowers, and of course, her one-of-a-kind "hotsprings."  Shih Lin residents often claim jokingly that :we don't need to buy summer or winter houses. Just take the bus, and 10 minutes later, we're at our "secret back-garden." In addition to the flowers and the forests, the hotsprings provide the elderly in our community a daily routine and ritual to dip in the hotsprings every morning. The buses 15 and 16 have already become synonyms for relaxation, fun, information exchange among old friends, and more importantly, the revitalizing and beautifying hotspring trip.

2. Summary of Our Project

why is hotspring dipping so popular? what are the characteristics of the Datoon hotspring? Besides relaxation of the mind, are hotspring really theraputic? Is there a medical basis for that? what is the influence to the neighborhood? what type of economic impact have hotspring made?   The above mentioned provide the teachers and students of Shih Lin Elementary School much to discover. However, there isn't much in the textbooks.

 Thus, we've decided to take the students into the real sites of these hotspring, and offer them hands-on experience and combine the information gathered with the latest website design technology, and help the students learn through doing. In addition, the finished project could be used both for the education purposes for the school itself,and also to enter national and international competitions to learn from other schools.

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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

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 school has ADSL networking using virtual IP with two NT servers and one NT workstation; the workstation is responsible for being the "firewall" and the servers are mail servers and run things like proxy, www,and DNS.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1)After we decided to name our project "Taipei virtual hotspring " the end of September,we suddenly realized that this August and September were filled with typhoons and thunderstorms and thus the mountain areas might be extremely dangerous. Thus we postponed the actual field trips and started with data research first. Not surprisingly, when we started the field research around November and December, much of the geological information has changed from the ones in the books and websites.

(2)When taking water samples in a public tub, we were often escorted out by naked men,until we gave them a full explanation of our intentions were we able to proceed with the project.

(3)The correct way to dip hotspring s is to be naked, and no photographing.But in order to make our research project more complete, the nice owner of "beauty hotspring " kindly let us use the public tub within a special time.

(4)As we were trying to photograph vendors we were constant being stopped until we guaranteed to them over and over that we were simply teachers and students doing research, not journalists or policemen    From the above experience we realized that the only way to really learn something is to communicate and manage information, and to think creatively.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

discovering and solving problems is the only way to accumulate knowledge and enhance personal growth

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

Information education has been the main focus of our school's curriculum for some time now. We begin computer classes at the third grade level, which aims at providing students with a basic idea on information, child/parent computer classes are another source of education in our system.On a more advanced level, students learn about more in-depth internet concepts and intranet ideas. This project, the "Taipei virtual hotspring" is a testament to the abovementioned efforts that our school has put in to our students.

Due to our country's latest attempt at education reform, we have tried extremely hard to abide by the guidelines and visions set forth by the government. In detail, our government has listed 7 major fields of learning for the children of our country, and the following answers to the questions shall explain with examples and sincerity how an international webpage competition can actually help contribute, strengthen, and actualize the more vague education reform ideas of a small country named Taiwan.

In addition, we strongly encourage our students to do three things: care about the community, think what you can do to improve the community, and most importantly, DO what you THOUGHT could help the community. Thus we begin, underwent, and finished this project. 

Project Elements

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

As with any other science/social/humanities project of this scale, EVERY POSSIBLE RESOURCE was utilized by us. Just to name a few, we received a telephone call from our instructor, and took the MRT to the Baytow Hotspring Museum, where the guide there showed us slides on a large screen projector.

In addition, we found out their number on the internet, then confirmed that the phone was the most convenient means of communication, then we checked out information from libraries, websites, and bookstores for written data.

As for the more recent updates and happenings, we resorted to the news programs on TV and the radio. In fact, we had to watch a television show produced on the same topic, hotsprings, on Channel Three every weekend to get more relevant information. As we go to the actual sites, digital cameras were helpful in editing and storing the photos, but some parents felt that traditional cameras capture light a little better, thus comes in the play of scanners. During interviews, we found that tape recorders were much better and accurate than just jotting down notes here and there.

 When we have accumulated enough data, under the guidance of instructors, we used softwares such as Little Painter and PhotoImpact to assist us in the artistic work of the webpage via computers. Also we transformed the Microsoft word documents one by one to the appropriate files, namely, the HTML files, and then we transformed that again to simply text files, which are then edited and arranged by Dreamweaver, before they are finally uploaded to the designated contest site via uploading softwares.

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

The "Taipei virtual hotspring" project was both larger in scope and larger in reallife size. The Yangmingshan is situated at the Datoon volcano region, which makes it quite difficult to photograph and collect data. Thus, we held school-wide photo competitions in order to let everyone know about this project, and hopefully call to their attention our precious environment, how beautiful it is, and how dangerous it is to neglect it or even destroy it.After the competition we realized that there are so many more caring parents than we expected. They not only care about their children, but also about the community they live in. In fact, they cared also about the children of other families and the next generation. Thus parents were all excited and anxious to share whatever resources they had to offer, as well as provide precious experiences and knowledge about the project. A friend of our parents, for example, provided us a clue which ultimately led to the discovery of the owner of "beauty dip" in the Tienlai hotspring region. Mr. Hong, the owner, was not only friendly and kind, but also well-read and knows everything there is to know to the region. He generously offered us a full day of "educational tour", consisting of a "walk back to time" -- the sulfur trail visit, and to find the fountainhead of hotsprings, and what made us all happy and excited was: we all got to take comfortable dips and great meals afterwards!  We also set up "hotspring gremlins" village in the internet community which provides different people to exchange thoughts and ideas on the project.

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

 The students in this project are the first group of students who were completely educated under the education reform program in our country starting in 1996. Their creativities exceed their fundamental trainings, and thus this project provided an excellent opportunity for the instructors to train and instill some seriousness and hard-working attitude in these kids.

 In conducting the relevant research for this project, we realized two things: one is that there were already quite a few researches, books, and ideas on the region; two is that we are extremely lucky to be blessed with such treasure in our environment. However, as we studied the region even deeper, we realized that there are also many problems that demand to be solved in this wonderful community. Thus, we decided to think of some ways to improve and reform her. However, due to legal restrictions and practical considerations, we couldn't physically go "change" or "tear down" certain places. Thus, the creative students and intelligent instructor of our team came up with the simple yet fun and refreshing idea of "regional make-over". What we would do is that we would divide among ourselves several regions. Then we would each try to give the region a make-over, both in theory and in practice. The "practice" part would be to actually design, draw, and create a virtual blueprint for the region in question. We found this idea not only creative, but also help us analyze deeper and explore further the infinite possibilities of changing the place. The possibilities are infinite because we were only drawing them on paper, but at the same time the analysis could go deeper than usual because of the same reason.

In other words, we have become the creators of our environment, not just a passive resident who simply accepts what is already there.

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

In order to finish a project of this detail and scope, a team of poeple is definitely needed. Luckily, we could always trust and rely on our fellow citizens.

(1)Quanta Computer Education Foundation, upon learning that we were still going to integrate "technology" with "humanities", generously sponsored our webpage production, making us a good example of how businesses and education could mutually compliment each other.

(2)Mr. Shee, the local gentleman, upon hearing our project, wisely reminded us that the Baytow hotspring region has already been discussed too much, and that we ought to focus on the less talked about, but equally interesting and important Yangmingshan region ( also known as the Grass Mountain, due to the spectacular Mon Grass that fills the mountainsides )

(3)During the beginning phase of research, Mr. Young Wen, Dong Hwanshin, and Ms. Hsu Shuming sacraficed quite some time to brainstorm with our team members and we owe them our deepest thanks.

(4)The parents are highly supportive of the way we uses project research to apply what we learned in class to real life experiences, especially when it involves our own community. In addition to helping us with finding resources and financial support, they've also surprised us with their incredible artistic talent when they shone in the photo contests.

(5)Yangmingshan National Park Office has trained their guides well. The volunteers not only told us everything they know, and kindly offered to help with some research, but also taught our students by example how one can always give back to the community through what one has learned in class and in life.

Also, Mr.Hong Tiending showed us how to develop communities and regions andMr. Wang Waytren, Mr. Lin Mingyi both helped us shoot some wonderful photographs. Last, but not least, we owe much thanks to the people who accepted our interviews and gave us candid answers.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Whithead's theory on what is called the "inter knowledge" clearly points out to us the setback of traditional education. From a teaching material's point of view, the textbook designs are too hung up on the "structure" of knowledge, instead of learning more about the "big picture", which is often times less clear to convey in words and put into a "structural" form. Thus students of the traditional education system often find it difficult to learn simultaneously through different fields.

Our project, then, focuses on helping students to understand "when" and "how" to apply what he or she has learned; we tried to put some incentive for them to learn, and in turn they will find a deeper learning strategy to manage the knowledge learned. Only through the integration of knowledge and life will the students feel the pleasure and joy of learning.

 When the classrooms are moved to the outdoors, the contents are immediately more lively and more fun, thus more tempting to the students. When creativity comes into play, everything is brought to even newer heights. Our students have learned not only to accept knowledge as we receive it, but also through the intelligence and creativity of our mind, we have successfully "transformed" and "elevated" the old information, and made it into something different, something new, and something more.That, our dear fellow citizens of this global village, is what's important,that's what keeps us improving, that's what makes life bearable, that's what really counts.

In conclusion, through learning about your community, then making it into something new, something different, something more -- that is called "education".

And this refreshing definition of "education" has been, still is, and always shall be,the greatest reward of our months and months of hardwork put into the project.

In fact, this "education" itself is our very own discovery, lesson, and surprise in life.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 1924)

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