CyberFair Project ID: 5786

Close this Window

NOTE: Due to URL changes, some links may no longer be valid.

International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: How is Ta Liao Kun River?
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: elementary and junior high school
    Qui-Shan, Tao Yuan, Taiwan

5 students, ages 13-14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 20, 2009. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007,2008

Classes and Teachers: Chien-Wei Lin, Tien-Wei Lao, Chiow-Chein Huang

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Huei Long community is situated at Ta-Liao-Kun Valley between Lin Ko Plateau and Guei Shan Hills (Shan Czai Jiao mountain range). In 1929, while Taiwan was still under Japanese rule, a north-south highway was built across the mountains from Mt. Guan Yin to Ying Ge. Because its topographic shape is akin to the backbone of a dragon, it was named Slain Dragon. This name was later beautified to Circuitous Dragon (Huei Long). Since Huei Long is conveniently located at the border of Quei Shan Village in Taoyuan County, and Hsin Chuang and Shu Lin in Taipei County, industry and commerce have thrived, along with a rising population that tended to be concentrated. In addition to Shu Lin Industrial Park and San Hsing Industrial Park, this area also houses Longhua Technical College and Paul Hsu Senior High School, resulting in a zone with self-contained education system. Spiritually, Chuan Jen Taoist Temple, Huei Long Temple, Czihui Tang Temple, and a Presbyterian church are found here. Unfortunately, prosperity has brought environmental problems to this region. Beneath the cover of pollution, however, are many pure hearted souls, who, along with many teachers and students, are striving to improve the quality of their environment.

2. Summary of Our Project

This project focuses on the clean-up and management of Ta-Liao-Kun River. Because of illegal gravel extraction from early days and continuing illicit dumping of waste water upstream, this region suffers from serious soil-water imbalance. Silt build-up has shrunk the width of the river and elevated riverbed, causing severe flooding during raining season -- a recurring nightmare for residents downstream in Hsin Chuang. This study aims at educating students about river management methods in Taiwan by means of field study. At the same time, it offers an opportunity for students to think about river management ideas that suit the unique needs of Ta-Liao-Kun River.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

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:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

We have a state-of-the-art computer facility at our school -- two fully equipped computer classrooms and a multimedia production center. Most classrooms are equipped with a networked projector and a screen that enable multimedia teaching. The library and teachers’ office have many computers and printers. Further, our Wi-Fi system allows students and teachers to gain access to the Internet everywhere. Externally, our network is connected via FTTB academic network provided by the Ministry of Education. The multimedia production center contains an array of hardware and software, including digital camera, digital camcorder, scanner, audio recorder, projector and audio-video editing software. In addition, every one has an electronic account, web storage and an email box (50MB per student and 100MB per teacher). Every department and home class has its own web page and students are guided in designing their personal web page. With a state-of-the-art information infrastructure that facilitates interactive learning, students and teachers alike are learning and adapting to the next generation of information technology. We expect that our participation in International Schools CyberFair will demonstrate the success of student learning that is fostered by the robust information infrastructure at our school.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We had expected to come up with new and creative ideas in the management of Ta-Liao-Kun River. Despite our best effort from initial research direction to the final web presentation, results are not perfect. Still, with persistent effort, we overcame some difficulties: 1. Technical issues: This was our first time taking part in International Schools CyberFair. Generally, there was not much trouble in designing and making web pages, thanks to a regular intramural web design competition and the rigor of web design by each home class at the beginning of each semester. The more troublesome part is in the many divergent opinions when it comes to color and esthetics. With our current knowledge, it was difficult to achieve the desired effect. Fortunately, with the assistance of teachers, the results turned out to be very satisfactory 2. Lack of Collaboration Time: It was a big headache trying to find a block of time that would work for everyone for group discussion. Many students needed to go to after-school classes and teachers had other classes to attend to. We could only use lunchtime and holidays to conduct field investigation. Therefore, it was through the help of many people that this study was completed. 3. Difficulties encountered in investigation: The trip to Bei Tou Water and Soil Conservation Area was a highly anticipated part of the investigation. This is because we could enrich our investigation by learning from the experience of others. However, due to difficulties in office communication and in staff scheduling, it was hard to settle down on a trip date. After many tries, the trip was finally a reality. We were grateful and elated the moment we arrived at the sanctuary.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

n the day the school term ended, our teachers took us to a restaurant near our school to share a meal together. As we were passing a bridge, I looked down at a river, which was flowing slowly, with white foams floating above it. The smell of the air was not so fresh. Shaomai asked one of our teachers, “Can the efforts we made really make Ta Liao Kun River better?” The teacher did not answer at once. He instead pointed at the sign in the distance and said, “Have you read what that sign says?” “It’s everyone’s duty to protect rivers and creeks,” Gihwa read out loud. “That’s right! In the things we do, we might not see the effect immediately; however, if we can influence more people's attitudes towards our environment, our efforts will be worth it!”

In fact, no matter how time changes or how the society develops, we cannot break away from our relationships with people and the environment we live in. The ecological destruction and the illegal gravel extraction, for example, is the result of the selfishness of mankind and has changed the original appearance of Nature. Instead of blaming ourselves for destroying our natural environment, we focus on the retaliation of Nature and God's mercilessness. I remember, once, one of our teachers told us, “Only when we start to respect Nature – love and stay close to Nature - can we coexist with the Earth in peace!”

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

The purpose of doing this research is to arouse local residents’ self-awareness to their surroundings. That is a goal we wished to reach most. Being as observers and researchers, we would take you to experience the beauty of our hometown. We went into the communities to spread our touch of “approaching water and loving the water”. We fulfilled the spirit of Nine-Year Consistent education and got an ability that would help us deal with our life and people. What we have already learned is not knowledge from books. Our research report can also be as a supplementary teaching material for classes concerning our hometown in order for more people to understand the problem of our river and the difficulties of reviving it. The knowledge we get from books provides us with theoretical foundation, but making good use of the knowledge we learned to integrate local characteristic and living experience might be a good feedback to the land where we grow.

Project Elements

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

Oral Interviews?DC?DV?Image catcher?Scanner & Printer?Computer software packages

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

We often took field trips to gather necessary data from local residents. Generally speaking, they were glad to share their life experience and give us their suggestions, although they were shy to accept our interviews and we lacked experience in interviewing them and made them not be able to state things clearly and even made them doubt our motives of interviewing them. The more we visited to the place, the more we mastered how to raise relevant questions to ask them. Later, they were used to us and would like to tell us what they know in return as they thought it was good that young students were willingly concerned about their hometown. We proudly find there is still a land full of life after our many short-distance contacts with local people and the land.

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

Remembering in one summer school class, five of us were called by our teacher. He outlined the research project to us and we thought it was only an interesting matter. Later, on one visit to the Stream, our teacher spoke us some words, quoting as follows: “This stream is polluted as same as other rivers in Taiwan. I did not grow up from this town, but you do. Naturally, to this river I will have no such feeling same as yours. You are growing older and older. Have you ever found any change of this stream in the recent ten more years?” So, we began to ponder over his words. Ten more years passed. The more we have learned and accumulated knowledge from books, the more we are curious about foreign matters, except that we become much more indifferent to our hometown. That day after school we overlooked the stream of shallow flowing water. It was changed very differently. A great part of the stream was covered with concrete and the water turned dark. The memory of our parents faded away. No small fish and shrimp existed in the water any more. We do not want our environment to become worse and wish this research can recall the awareness of all residents to love our hometown. Water pollution is not just a news broadcast on the television. It happens in our surroundings. All of us need to take actions to protect and conserve the land to avoid any further regret happening in future.

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

We divided our team members into three groups for data collection, photographing and documentary investigation. We are very thankful for the people we have met and interviewed during our visits to Tar-Lao Col. They let us be able to ensure the credibility of the data we found and they also often gave us surprise and warm encouragement. We also thank our school teachers, such as Mr. Chiu Guo-Wei and English teachers. Mr. Chiu who directed students to participate in the International Schools CyberFair 2008 helped us a lot to set up the web site and gave us some valuable suggests on this research. Our school English teachers helped us to complete English web pages for the International Schools CyberFair 2009 with their full supports. In addition, We would express our many thanks to those who work voluntarily in the Qui Zi Kun Conservation Area to spread the important idea of soil and water conservation and environmental protection. They taught us the knowledge and the experience that schools would not teach. They let us understand that action is sometimes better than speaking. Owing to them, our web pages can be much more readable.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Discovery: We spent much time finalizing the topic and the ways of doing the research. Subsequently, things needed to be done quickly piled up higher and higher and it seemed that we had to take 48 hours or more to finish every day, otherwise, we could not finish the things on hand. We almost used up our after- school time to gather data and put data in order. As to our three instructors (our school teachers),they had classes to teach in the day time and needed to check and revise our research data and find relevant information for us in the night time. We know we have learned and grown from the research project, and we believe it would be an unforgettable matter for our teachers to recall the time when they were young students. Lesson: In the beginning we did this research with highly enthusiasm as we thought it was interesting without difficulties, however, following the development of the research, we found time for some of our scheduled data-gathering field trips and time for our school activities overlapped. So, our scheduled visits or interviews were postponed or cancelled. Such matters caused some of us not be able to keep in pace and complaints were unavoidably heard. “ Accept the facts that things can not always go smooth and be done perfectly as we think.” said our teachers, then. Participating in the International CyberFair 2009, we not only upgrade our computer skills, but learn to solve problems we encounter. Besides, we learn how to use our limited time and the resources we have to minimize the influence of problems. Surprise: This research project stimulated us to release our potentials. We changed our attitude from feeling interested to that of doing the research perfectly although we did not have any idea for the topic of this research at all in the beginning. Can we do it? The question appeared in the mind of each us very often, too. Near the completion of this research, an unspeakable joy with an unspeakable touch slipped into each of our hearts and occupied it fully as we knew that the dream of completing the research would come true soon. Moreover, at the last moment of our completion of the whole web pages, a new feeling of burden release with a subtle moody feeling was full of our hearts, and it seemed to tell us“ it is not an end, it is a new start of obligation for you to do.”


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5786)

Close this Window