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.