CyberFair Project ID: 3878

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: A home to the fish
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Taipei Municipal Xi-Hu Elementary School
    Taipei, Taiwan, Taiwan

11 students, ages 10-11 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 14, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Chun-chi Li,Ms. Su-ya Huang,Ms. Wen-Yu Yu

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Taiwan is an island all surrounded by seas, with coastline extending more than 1,600 kilometers, so it is no wonder a good habitat for fish and shellfish. In the past, the fishing industry significantly contributed to the economic development of Taiwan. However, since 1973, the fishery industry of Taiwan has undergone reduced production for the first time in history, because of the following stumbling blocks to the development of fishery industry: labor shortage, effects of over-fishing on the sustainable fish supply, and rising production costs caused by world energy crisis. Consequently, fishermen mostly hesitated to move forward, so their living became harsh and difficult. In the meantime, some artificial reefs formed along the coast of Taiwan by unexpected incidents such as plane crashes, shipwrecks, and so on attracted a lot of good publicity on fisheries. Consequently, numerous fishermen hoped to acquire funds to develop their own artificial reefs, so the notion of artificial reef growth along the coast became a focus of the government and started to be actually put into practice.

2. Summary of Our Project

Since 1999 till now, the Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency has properly used retired electric poles and warships to grow artificial reefs, so artificial reefs have been grown around a wide range of materials. Additionally, the Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency also hopes to apply coral transplantation techniques to artificial reefs in the future, so as to enable the structure and functions of artificial reefs to become more similar to those of natural coral reefs and speed up the cultivation of fishery resources. In this 2005 CyberFair, our theme is about artificial reefs, and we are going to introduce you the design and cost benefits of four artificial reef types, namely, the artificial reefs grown around cement, steel, electric poles, and warships. Moreover, with the hopes to give everyone a better understanding of artificial reefs, we interviewed some people in the related industry, and then promoted the notion of resource conservation from the perspective of students. We hope that, through the study of artificial reefs based on the script, storyboard, and online teaching resources formulated for the needs of primary school students of this school, we can arouse people’s interests and attention to the conservation of ocean resources.

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:more than 6

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):

Our school located in Taipei City is fully equipped with computer hardware. Currently, we have two computer rooms and one fully equipped multimedia teaching material production room, together with computers installed in every classroom and for every teacher, amounting to more than 200 sets of PCs in our school as a whole. Consequently, our computer infrastructure is sufficient for the needs of every teacher and student. In August 1999, our school applied to the Computer Office under the Department of Education of Taipei City Government for the building of an ADSL leased line with a download speed of 1.5MB and an upload speed of 384k, thereby starting our learning and use of the Internet. From our imperfect understanding of the Internet from scratch, through the promotion and teaching of our computer science teachers, teachers and students of the entire school now mostly can have a proper understanding of the use and acquisition of Internet resources.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Under the assistance of Mr. Hsieh Da-wen, deputy director of the Fisheries Agency under the Council of Agriculture, and other staff members, our data collection process was very successful. However, on the one hand, as it was almost winter’s time when we were about to grow artificial reefs, the winds and waves in the northern part of Taiwan were very huge, so we were unable to grow artificial reefs. On the other hand, because of transportation problems in the southern part of Taiwan, we always waited for suitable weather and location. Finally on a fine Wednesday on December 22, 2004, when the waves and winds were not huge, we could successfully grow artificial reefs around steel. In fact, among these four artificial reef types, we were most interested in the artificial reefs grown around warships. However, there was a limited supply of warships, and the 13 warships were totally used up for artificial reef development before our excursion. So, now for our project, we could only grow artificial reefs around steel and electric poles. Despite this, we have requested the staff members of the Fisheries Agency to allow us to take part in such activities if they shall grow artificial reefs around warships in the future!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

In the past, it was the duty of government departments to manage artificial reefs. However, with government downsizing, starting from 2000, the Fisheries Agency has offered guidance to fishermen’s associations in building a management maintenance mechanism for artificial reef areas, so as to assist fishermen with artificial reef area maintenance and the implementation of fish harvest reporting system for artificial reef areas. Since these plans have been implemented, they have successfully aroused fishermen’s awareness of resource conservation. To the best of our knowledge, if people damage our environment or oceans without any limit and control now, there will come a day when all the resources on our earth will be depleted. Consequently, we hope that our artificial reef conservation project can arouse people’s awareness of resource conservation, which is definitely the sincere wish of all the teachers and students in our Taipei Municipal Xi-Hu Elementary School.

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

In our project, our team members were trying to get an idea of “conservation.” Conservation refers to the reasonable and perpetual use of natural resources in a stable and balanced ecological system. Simply put, the notion of “conservation” means preservation and cultivation along with reasonable use. As nowadays the notion of environmental conservation is actively promoted in Taiwan and over the world, especially for our “Life Curriculum” according to the Grade 1-9 Curriculum of Taiwan, our school (that is the Taipei Municipal Xi-Hu Elementary School) has started to incorporate “Ecological Curriculum” into School-based Curriculum since 1997. Right from scratch till now, themes such as “Ecological Corridor”, “Green School”, and “Wetland Aquatic Plant Eco-Park” have become features of our school curricula. Even more than that, collard scops owls took our school as their habitat, so we renamed them as “Xi-Hu Owls,” and our teachers and students all have become the observers of Xi-Hu Owls. Additionally, we further studied the wonders of oceans, and aroused people’s awareness to resource conservation, from the artificial reefs grown by the Fisheries Agency. Furthermore, through the arrangement of integrated curriculum, we also hoped to develop another student-based teaching method that shall integrate “resource conservation” into our curriculum for “Arts and Humanities”, “Language Arts”, “Science and Technology”, and “Integrative Activities.” In this project, our team members were involved in a wide range of activities including participation in the artificial reef development activities of the Fisheries Agency, and interviewing of the director, different government units, artificial reef designers, staff members of the Fisheries Agency, and shipmasters, together with our script design, sound recording, and preparation of an electronic copy to the Fisheries Agency. No wonder students played a true-to-life role of reporters, and carefully conveyed the notion of artificial reef conservation in every project unit.

Project Elements

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

(A).The Internet:Collecting related website information via browsers; Contacting interviewees and team members and submitting reports on “Our Thoughts” by E-mail. (B).Digital Camera:Taking photographs of the interviewing process and artificial reef development. (C).Digital Video Cassette Camcorder:Shooting the entire interviewing process. (D).Image Capture Card:Capturing the film into computer processing and then burning it into video CDs, for students to arrange the interviewing contents. (E).Scanners:Scanning related information and photographs and then converting them into electronic files. (F).Computer Software:Processing and production of photographs, the film, and web pages using Photo Impact, Dreamweaver, Namo Webeditor, Flash MX, & Ulead Video Studio.

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

From scratch, the notion of “artificial reef” was not familiar to students. However, through the films provided by the Fisheries Agency, we got a basic understanding. From our interview, we got related information about artificial reefs. After having directly grown artificial reefs, we developed another teaching idea based on simple cartoon drawing and computer graphics, and finally developed an electronic copy. In this project, team members got an understanding of artificial reefs from the perspective of interviewees, and gave an introduction of sea ranches, from the perspective of sea organisms. For our excursion in Chuwei Harbor, Dayuan Township, Taoyuan County on December 22, 2004, we reached the Chuwei Harbor at about 9 a.m. From the executive director of the fishermen’s association and the staff members of the Division of Fishing under the Fisheries Agency of Taoyuan County, we learned that they had been actively fighting for every chance of having artificial reefs grown! Additionally, the underwater town construction project implemented by the Fisheries Agency is just like the building of a new human town above the sea level. Through community design and building, townspeople have been attracted there and then adjusted to the living styles there. Later, their friends also followed them, thereby bustling the place with people. We hope that we can fully use and love ocean resources, so we completed this electronic copy to illustrate the efforts made by the Fisheries Agency, with the hope that Taiwan’s fishing industry will become better and better, and Taiwan’s oceans will become more beautiful.

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

This conservation project greatly influenced us, so we also hope that our passion for oceans also influences others as well. In our research process, we have got a better understanding of artificial reefs, and moreover, the underwater town-building project implemented by the Fisheries Agency also helps us recognize that human beings should reflect and make every effort to tackle the serious depletion of world’s natural resources, so as to create new arenas from the scarce resources available and then preserve precious coastal scenery of Taiwan.

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

Additionally, with our project in mind, we also hope to arouse people’s attention to the regeneration of ocean resources. In line with this idea, we specially gave Grade 1 and Grade 3 students of our school an introduction of sea ranches and then designed a worksheet for them. Through this interesting electronic copy, students in the lower grades also came to understand artificial reefs and resource conservation, thereby promoting fishery resources conservation.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Before taking part in this project, we always believed that artificial reef is merely the artificial reef grown around cement. After taking part in this project, we now come to know from the interview of Mr. Hsieh Da-wen of the Fisheries Agency, and books that artificial reef is available in various types: artificial reef grown around cement, steel, electric poles, and warships! Moreover, among them, the artificial reefs grown around warships are the most effective, because warships are larger in size, so they can provide the largest habitat for fish. During our project, we actually took part in the growth of artificial reef around steel, which allowed us to have a direct involvement in the job duties of the staff members of the Division of Fishing. They recorded the growth site of every reef. A few months later, divers were dispatched to take photographs of underwater reef growth status. These photographs were studied, and samples were then taken and recorded, so as to record the effectiveness of every reef development effort. Through these activities, we have deeply experienced the persistence and responsibility of all those involved in the fishing industry. Our completion of every minor task surprised the staff members of the Fisheries Agency to such an extent that they came to believe the conservation job has already progressed to the next level. Taiwan is an island, so the fishing industry is a major industry of this island and has played a significant role in its economic development. As the fishing industry can sustain its fish harvest simply because of the regeneration of ocean organisms, Taiwan naturally hopes that fishery resources are sustainable. Hence, our goals for this CyberFair Project are: the conservation of ocean ecology, biodiversity, creation of a distinguished ocean environment, and the perpetual preservation of fishery resources.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3878)

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