CyberFair Project ID: 5334

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The origin and history of Mucha string-noodles
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Shi-Jian public elementary school
    Taipei, N/A, Taiwan

13 students, ages from 10-12 years of age worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 8, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2008

Classes and Teachers: Pei Pei Chen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Mucha Region, Wenshan District, Taipei is the major locality for our research. The Wenshan District was originally divided into two parts, namely, Mucha and Jingmei, the former includes the Shihyuen Street, Huahsing Street, Mingyi Street, Minghsing Street, Mucha Street, Muhsin Street, Shunhsin Street, Chungshun Street, Changlin Street, Changhsin Street, and Changchiao Street at the centre of Mucha, the Wanfang region, and the Wanhsing Street, Chihnan Street and Laochuan Street, in the region of Er-ge Mountain. A multitude of talented people flocked and a number of schools stand in Mucha, a culture-intensive region, with the well-known Mucha Zoo and Maokong area within its jurisdiction. Forty to fifty years ago, the noodles makerss moved from Fujian to the vast and out-of-the-way region of Mazha, where the industry of handmade string noodles thenceforth boomed for a long time and which became the source of a majority of the string noodles in Taipei, whence the title of “string noodles granary” for Mucha.

2. Summary of Our Project

In the past, Mucha was called the “string noodles granary” owing to the flourishing industry of handmade string noodles there, but in the change of times, the city development has taken the bloom off the string noodles’s rose, leaving only a few workshops of handmade string noodles remaining the old flavours. Through tracing the history of the handmade string noodles, reporting the status quo of the surviving workshops in Mucha and comparing the machine-made string noodles with the Mucha string noodles in terms of production and taste on the basis of people’s recollection, we wished to understand the development and the wax and wane of Mucha string noodles and demonstrate the value of indigenous education through our study on this special local product, in the hope that more people will know about Mucha string noodles.

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:2-3

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 exclusive computer classrooms, each of which is equipped with its proper network facilities, and the school uses the 2MB/512Kbps ADSL line. In addition, since we each have computers at home, the data were for the most part processed with computers at home.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1) Time: the greatest difficulty is time constraint. Insomuch as most of our team members are six-grade students, who take full-time schooling and for the most part have extra-curriculum lessons or other activities arranged for us after school, we do not have much time for discussion meetings and interviews. Therefore, we had to sort out the available time of the members, and accordingly scheduled a one-hour meeting on every Tuesday after school and the interviews on every Wednesday afternoon. Any team member who have to take remedial classes either requested leave for the interviews or was assigned another errand if the request for leave was turned down. (2) Language: since the old workers of the string noodles workshops and the aged respondents of the questionnaire for the most part speak Taiwanese, which we may speak but are likely to stutter when keyed up during the interviews, we must, before the interview, practice Taiwanese again and again till we are able to fluently articulate questions. (3) Interview: the interview is very tight, in that the workshops and luncheonettes of string noodles are fairly busy. In consideration of the time constraint, we must interview them during the intervals between the busy hours, asking questions and recording answers in haste, and some questions had to be asked several times as a result of frequent interruptions. All these made us really nervous, and sometimes we even misplaced the recording pen and could hear nothing when we returned to school, in which case we could only work out the answers by recollection and by reference to the simple notes taken. In addition, the interviews with the merchants based on the questionnaire further tensed us up, in that sometimes we were frustrated by the interviewees’ refusals to respond or requests to repeat the questions when we did not get them across, but after several tries, we overcome the feelings of tension and embarrassment. (4) Techniques: it is not easy to collate the information and sometimes, we could only work out a small portion after a long discussion. Moreover, we only know some simple webpage techniques, and therefore must rely on the teachers to work out a simple tree diagram from which we could develop a simple website.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

In spite of all difficulties, these interviews not only strengthened our techniques in respect of interview and information collation, but also helped us understand more about the special local products of our hometown, and we all feel that we have made a lot of gains from these experiences.

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

This study project enabled us to apply and put together what we have learnt from the courses to work out a study report. In this study, we exercised the communication and expression skills we learnt from the course of Chinese Language in the interviews and the writing skills in preparation of report and collation of data. Also we used the mathematical knowledge in statistical and percentage calculation, the knowledge of Nature and Living Science in practical operations, the knowledge of Art and Humanity in expression and drawing, the knowledge of Social Science about community relationships, local resources and comprehensive activities in our group cooperation, etc. Our school includes the course of Local Community Survey in its curriculum, requiring us to visit the community in person during the local community survey activity each semester, and these activities have laid a solid foundation for our study, which may in turn serve as the reference for such course in the future.

Project Elements

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

(1) Recording pen – recording the interviews (2) DV, digital camera – taking pictures of the interviews, photographing and recording the activities (3) CD writer – collating data (4) Internet facilities – e-mail, instant messaging system (IMS) (5) Other hardware – computers, scanners, portable disks, printers (6) Software (7) Other information: library, books, field interviews, questionnaire interviews The information was for the most part gathered and processed with such information facilities provided by the school as digital camera, video camera, CD writer, scanner and software, and we also used our own PCs and portable disks as well as our teachers’ recording pens and digital cameras, whereas the books were obtained from the accessible Taipei Library System. Amongst all, the recording pens, digital cameras and computers are the most frequently used devices.

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

In this Special Topic Project, we visited numerous places in the Mucha Region, and while we interviewed them, we felt at heart the warmth and care of inhabitants, and even more, the beauty of this land. We wrote down our feelings and experiences on our web pages, in the hope that the visitors of these web pages will join us in preserving the traditional industries of this land. In addition, we are willing to fill the role of explicators in our school and other places to share our study with others.

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

In this study, we interviewed many people and adopted a number of methods to contact them. For example, as for the handmade string noodles workshops, pastry shops, and other traditional business which hold ethics in great account, we first called them for appointments and then our teacher paid a visit to explain the reasons for our subsequent visits. We contacted the street magistrates and the district offices via telephone and e-mail; we contacted the factories of mechanical string noodles first through the street magistrates as go-betweens and then via telephone to explain our visits; as for the string noodles luncheonettes, we directly ordered some food and then told them the intension of our visits after finishing the food. Most of the local people were ready to give a hand and being affirmative, so the questionnaire interviews were for the most part fairly smooth. They all encouraged us to work hard to preserve the local features as it is very important, and hoped us can make a contribution to the indigenous culture.

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

Our Special Topic Project is no doubt merely a small screw in the building of local indigenous research, but in the process of questionnaire interviews, we discovered that many people, who originally had no idea that string noodles are a special local product of Mucha, became interested in this special product and asked us many relevant questions because of our study. Especially after we acquired more knowledge about the string noodles, we exhibited confidence and a sense of accomplishment in making explanation, and thereby won applause and expectations from the people. We wish that more people would be aware of the Mucha string noodles through our web pages. In spite of all those websites and studies pertaining to string noodles, we still wish to demonstrate the importance of this study in terms of the exhibition and research of the indigenous culture from the perspectives of the development trail and status quo of the Mucha string noodles, and the suggestions of relevant activities we made in contacts with the administrative entities also gained unanimous affirmations.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

In this study, we discovered that there are many byproduct of the advanced city development, such as the predicament of the surviving traditional industries, etc..However, to our delightful surprise, we also discovered that although people generally consider the urbanites comparatively aloof, the strangers we encountered in the interviews, no matter the respondents to the questionnaire or the interviewees, are all very friendly, amiable, and willing to help us, for which we are very grateful.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5334)

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