CyberFair Project ID: 3904

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Discover the Beauty of Gourd Crafts in Taiwan
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Yu Chang Junior High School
    Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

6 students, ages 13 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 21, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004,2005

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Huang Yuan-hung, Miss Tung Hui-ching, Ms. Huang Li-fang, Miss Chen Chen-ying

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Kaoshiung is located in southern Taiwan. Kaohsiung, an important industrial city in Taiwan, used to be regarded as a place without cultural activities. Recently, the government of Kaohsiung City has gotten not only all kinds of constructions but also different kinds of cultural activities moving. With a whole new urban landscape, Kaohsiung is now a beautiful city with dynamic cultural activities.Not all the cultural activities are from other countries. Most of them are about our local native ones. Festivals or programs possessing local or native characteristics enrich the cultural activities in Kaohsiung. And of course such activities let the citizens get the chance to get more familiar with the place they live in.

2. Summary of Our Project

Gourd, a kind of plant, is of a great variety. A long time ago before the material 'plastic' was found, gourd was greatly used in people's daily life almost around the world. It was used as a tool, an utensil or an appliance. Later, it was used as a crafting material. People crafted it into a decoration. In Taiwan, there are several gourd artists devoting themselves to this kind of art -- gourd crafts. Combining Taiwanese cultural characteristics with their art works, they have developed an unique and charming style of gourd crafts. Mr. Gong Yi-fang, who is respected as the great master of gourd crafts in Taiwan, Mr. Chang Jia-nong, and Mr. Chen Ji-lu are especially regarded as the most important and influential artitst in Taiwan. They have developed at least twenty techniques for the past twenty years. And most of the techniques are unique in the world. Through interviewing with all of them, our research will introduce the gourd crafts in Taiwan in detail about not only this kind of art form but also the achievement and efforts from those artists in Taiwan.

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):

In such an era full of information, we can surf the Internet almost everywhere in Taiwan now. Our school uses T1 as the Internet access, and computer is one of the important lessons that every student has to take for his three years of junior high. Every student in our school can learn basic computer knowledge and skills and can even get master about it. Besides, most students have computers at home and can also get on the Internet easily. That's why we are able to go on our project research either at school or at home. And of course, the computer and the Internet become effective and important tools of communication among us, all the members and teachers.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Firstly, we had a little trouble defining our topic. We orginally wanted to make a research on the movies about Love River in Kaohsiung, but unfortunately to find we had trouble finding out enough information for that topic. Then we decided to change our topic into the one about the stamps in Taiwan. After we spent a lot of time gathering the related data, we found the topic was too wide. Meanwhile, we read an article on a magazine which introduced a gourd-crafting creator and we were all impressed by the fabulous works of art. We finally decided to choose this topic for our research -- The Gourd Crafts In Taiwan.Another problem we faced was our poor computer abitity. Some team members were not that familiar with all the skill of building a website. Thanks to our computer teacher Mr. Huang, who really helped us a lot and finally we all became master website-builders. Most important of all, we learned a lot about computers.The last problem was that when we were busy carrying our web-building out, one of the members gave up his work because his family would immigrate to Canada. We could not but take over his work. Due to our memebers' consideration and cooperation, our research could be accomplished in time.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

With the completion of our web gages, we cannot but admire our cooperation. This project will be the sweet fruits of our efforts and we will forever remember all the days of laughter and tears. Our three teachers, who lead us into the wonderland of cyberfair, will always in our mind. We would espeically say thanks to the three gourd artists, whose efforts and insistence on the gourd crafts really give us a good lesson -- never giving up is the key to success.

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

We are having an educational revolution in Taiwan, and its purpose is to provide our students that kind of studying circumstance which values the multiple intelligences of the students and encourages them to learn know-how instead of know-what. High technology and native cultures are contained within the procedure of learning which emphasizes the importance of participation. After working on it for several years, we are glad that our students seem to be more conscious about Taiwan, the place we live in. That's why we choose this topic, the gourd crafts in Taiwan, as our project research. We hope to do something for the native gourd crafts because the gourd artists in Taiwan feel it difficult to let more people both in Taiwan and around the world understand the beauty of the gourd crafts by means of web pages. It is really our duty to carry out their wishes just because our students are accepting the complete and multiple education. Our research, including collecting information, interviewing with the gourd artists and building the web pages, is mostly completed by our students themselves. Just take a look at the working records which show the whole process of how hard our students have worked, and you will see what our students have done do correspond with the goals of the International Schools CyberFair -- students work collaboratively and use technology to let more people understand what is worthy to learn in their community.

Project Elements

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

Ways to gather information: 1. Books, magazines and Internet: We tried all possible ways to gather information about the gourd crafting in Taiwan. Though just a little, we found some information in some books, magazines and the Internet. 2.Intervies: We had interviews with three experts in the field of gourd crafting. They shared with us their experience and provided us their precious collections and works of art. With their help, we got the important information which we could not find in the writing form information and took a lot of photos of our topic.Tools to use: 1.Hardware: notebook, digital camera, DV, recorder, and so on. 2.Software: Use Namo Webeditor 4.0 to build the web pages. Use Flash MX to make animation. Use Ulead Photoimpact 8 to deal with the images. Use VideoStudio to edit the films.

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

During the procedure of research, our students successfully played the roles of 'cultural ambassadors' and accomplished two tasks: By means of having interviews with three gourd crafting creators, we let them know that there are a group of hard-working students and teachers from Yu Chang Junior High School who are trying their best to popularize the local arts with the method of building a website. And of course, they will, under any possible circustance, introduce our school to more other people about our efforts on the maintaining of the traditional art. Besides, the web pages we built will provide a great quantity of Internet viewers a good way to undersstand the gourd crafting, which can unfold a new point of view about Taiwan before their eyes.

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

In Taiwan, the art creators of gourd crafting have developed at least twenty kinds of different skills, and most of the skills are original and unique in the world. Their efforts upon the gourd crafting show the strength of art creation in Taiwan. But unfortunately, the beauty of this art can only been seen in some exhibits or local activities. And now, our research on this topic, with a complete introduciton about the gourd crafting, will give not only the people in Taiwan but also the people all over the world a good chance to get familiar with this kind of art and furthermore understand Taiwan.

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

1.In this project, we had interviews with three experts and they gave us a lot of advice and even provided their preciosu collections to enrich our web pages. 2.Our teachers, Ms. Huang Li-fang and Miss Tung Hui-ching, taught us how to gather information and how to organize the data. They also accompanied us to interview the experts who live far away from us. And our computer teacher, Mr. Huang Yuan-hung, taught us the skills of image editing, designing the pages, and many other techniques. he also reminded us to catch up with our schedule all the time and helped us to solve the most difficult parts of our pages.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

During the nine-month process of our research and web page building, we recognize that cooperation is the best way to get success. At first, we were not sure whether we could finish our project or not. Everyone did his or her best to finish his or her own task, and then the combination of everyone's efforts worked. As an old saying goes, 'Where there is a will, there is a way.'


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3904)

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