CyberFair Project ID: 6143

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Delicious in the Deep Mountain–Bei Kou Dai
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Xun rang xiang center school
    Xining, Qinghai, China

5 students, ages from 13 to 15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on January 22, 2010. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): none

Classes and Teachers: Qi Guo-zhi Yan Ya-nan Wang quan-de

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Datong County in Qinghai Province is a beautiful place. There are twenty-four peoples here including Han, Zang, Hui, Tu, Mongolian, etc. Datong is located in the east of Qinghai, sits by the upstream of Huang River and at the south foot of Qilian Mountain. The whole county covers an area of 3090 square meters and is 33 kilometers away from Xining City. The terrain in Datong County is high in the northwest and low in the southeast. The altitude is about 2280- 4622 meters. It is full of rivers and lakes, which created deep valley and canyons. The landscapes here are wriggling and splendid. The forest coverage rate is as high as 29%. Datong County has a long history as well as great natural views. It is the hometown of ancient painted pottery with dance ornamentation, the ecological home for flowers, and the south path of the ancient Silk Road. Colorful exotic minority-group customs and modern industry bases are as well blended as milk and water, which make Datong a beautiful and magic place. Our school is in the Nao Mountain area of Datong County. It is an area of Tu people gathering, an area of clear water and beautiful mountains, and a tourist interest. Summer is the best time here.

2. Summary of Our Project

The outline of our monographic research is as follows: in order to rich campus life and active academic atmosphere, teachers and students in our school cooperated and made a team named “home of ants”. Under the condition that our campus internet grows and with the support of school leaders, we chose “The Delicious in the Deep Mountain–Bei Kou Dai” as the subject for the web-page making competition. We learn through the process and we value the participation. We hope we introduce our culture to the world.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:none

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dial-up modem

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

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

1) Campus network environment: our school only has one computer room and 30 computers for students to use. We have access to the internet through Qinghai telecommunication fiber. 2) Network environment in students’ home: our school is located in the Mountain Nao and students’ houses scatter among several villages in the mountain where there’s no internet access. So students have a very limited time to use internet.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1) Hard to reach consensus Because this is our first to participate the International Schools Cyber Fair. So at the beginning, we felt lost, we don’t have experience and adequate devices, our minds didn’t come together, and it was hard for us to become harmonious and work together. However, under the lead of Teacher WANG Quande, first we got a lot of computer technique trainings, such as access the internet, become more proficient with computers, and accumulate knowledge of web pages. After a while, we gradually reached the consensus and eventually put all our efforts to work as a team.

2) Hard to learn the computer techniques Due to the lack of computers in our school, teachers and students didn’t have much chance to use computers, which gave us a lot of problems during the preparation for the competition. Our school leaders was concerned about this situation and worked very hard to get us more access to the internet. They tried their best to allocate as much time as they can to us to use the computer room. Now our internet skills are getting better and better.

3) Hard to learn about web page making Students had quite a low starting level. We didn’t even know what web pages were, not to mention web pages making. So it was very hard to keep us focusing on the monographic research and knowledge learning. However, after we got the computer room, we could access the internet much easier. In addition, Teacher WANG Quande, who coached the first group of teachers and students for Town and Talent Project last year, helped us to realize how important the Town and Talent Project is and how much efforts this activity involved from not only us but also lots of people with warm hearts. Students gradually changed their attitudes, participated the research more and more, and eventually became devoted to the monographic research.

4) Hard to interview We didn’t have any interview experience before this research activity. We didn’t know how to ask a question, how to express ourselves, how to write an interview report, which brought tremendous difficulties into the research. In order to finish the interview section for the competition and to help students write something good, our teachers worked together, gave us a concrete plan, and led us to do the interviews. Eventually, by giving us hand-to-hand training and by practicing skill while we were doing the interviews, we learned how to interview people and write the report.

5) Hard to commute Our …

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Teacher WANG Quande has been leading us to make the website for almost a month. We’ve been through the ups and downs together and cultivated tacit cooperation. At the beginning, we just wanted to have some fun, however, later the website making became part of our lives and made us happy. It brought us joys and sorrows into our lives. Web page making became part of our daily topics. In our leisure time we scattered to collect information, visit different places, and make web pages in our lunch time. From knowing nothing to knowing well, we’ve worked through a lot of difficulties. We are happy that we are united and finally succeed. We, teachers and students, received a lot of education. We feel that our hometown has a lost delicious food – Bei Kou dai, it is hidden in the deep mountains and it shows the happiness of harvest, the romantic simple life of the local farmers. All the students got involved in social practice, and we finished every assigned work and learned a lot through the process. Our objectives are to introduce the unique local Qinghai food to other people and show the mysterious, tempting, unique-flavor Bei Kou Dai to the world.

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

“Ants Home”The goal of our team is to use this research as a mainline and further explore the local catering culture. The contents of this research involve local history, geography, customs, culture, computer science, and social communication. At the same time, this research activity combines tightly with the teaching activity of our school. The activity brings local culture into the campus and class. In addition, students in the team helped to publicize the activity to their classmates and helped the combine the research activity with the school courses.

The logo and methodology of our team:

Since the establishment of the “ Ants Home ”, we try to divide the tasks clearly and assign the responsibilities. Xuan Ma collection, interviews, and making Bei Kou Dai are mainly collective activities, so we emphasize on the spirit of teamwork all the time. The most important thing is that we managed to combine the individual independence with the collective principles. When individual ran into questions, they would solve it by themselves or they would come to the team to find the solution.

The specific conception in our research:

First, the conception of folk culture. Because Xuan Ma is part of local catering culture, it should be included in local folk culture.

Second, folk diet. Though the positioning of folk diet is quite vague. We insist the characteristics of folk diet determinates largely the historical backgrounds of Xuan Ma as a special delicious snack hidden in the mountains.

Third, historical heritage. The origins of ” Bei Kou Dai ” are connected closely to its history. It was because the most area of Qinghai couldn’t grow grains last century due to the severe natural conditions and local farmers lived on whatever they could find. Therefore, the normal and nutritious plant Xuan Ma became the special snack, Bei Kou Dai, to treat the most honorable guests and senior people.

Again, market effectiveness is one of the important specific conceptions in this activity. In nowadays, in the farmhouse restaurant market and special local products market, you can find dishes and other processed food products made of Xuan Ma.

Project Elements

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

Our devices include a digital camera, a video camera, and nearly 30 computers. Computer operation is always under the teachers’ instruction, so we can avoid malpractice and editing mistakes. We borrowed the digital camera and the video camera from our school. The most important devices are the computers. Without computer, we can’t even start the research project.

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

As a local snack, “Bei Kou Dai”is not just some necessary materials in the local agrarian culture. To certain extent, the publicity of Xuan Ma is the accolade of our national folk catering culture. So the five members in the “Ants Home“ play important roles in publicizing and inheriting our country’s folk catering culture.

There was an old man. He wasn’t willing to be interviewed at first. But our team members didn’t give up trying and we finally convinced him to accept the interview. We summarized that our team members paid attention to details and communicated closely and modestly with local people – that’s why we didn’t have lots of difficulties during the interview process. In order to complete the project, the team members helped the local farmers with their farming and began with whatever topics they liked to talk. After a few minutes talk with us, lots of people changed their attitudes and became cooperative. In the later period of our project, some people even found us and asked information about this activity. They agreed with what we were doing and said they would update us with any new information.

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

At the very beginning, we are unfamiliar with the snack with special name and special way to eat. The only thing we know is that we want to achieve one goal which is to let more people know “Bei Kou Dai“ under the condition that the highland natural environment is protected. However, after a few interviews and experiencing the Xuan Ma making personally, our hearts are deeply touched by the profound meaning and the abundant information behind Bei Kou Daia. We enjoyed the scene that the Tu people immerse themselves in the joy of harvest and cook the special Xuan Ma snack.

In order to accomplish this research project, we travelled over water and land. Various people got involved in the process of Xuan Ma collecting, information collecting, interviews, making Bei Kou Dai, and website design. After two-month efforts, the farmers in Bali, Xunbu, Galou, and Gugujia, the four villages involved in this research, were amazed by the fact that the normal Bei Kou Dai was so popular in the outside world. In the mean while, most of local people were very supportive and offered lots of help to us. The locals showed surprisingly enthusiasm for our project to publicize the special delicious snack.

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

Some interviewees, such as young villagers, elementary teachers, local officials, paid close attention to the process of this activity, and they often gave us suggestions and comments. In generally, to them, through the internet the nonmaterial folk culture get to be better inherited, the long history and the cultural meaning of Bei Kou Dai are advanced to different extent. In the meanwhile, people who didn’t access internet before got the chance to learn the basic knowledge of internet and they were deeply amazed by the internet – by the platform of Bei Kou Dai web page, we can introduce a normal local plant and a unique local snack to the world. Thanks for the internet!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The whole “Bei Kou Dai“ is a piece of nonmaterial folk culture, especially the every apparently primitive and maybe even clumsy move and every subtle and complicated procedure in the process of making Xuan Ma all convey one piece of the important information – the “Bei Kou Dai“ is traditional yet creative, historical and present. It is self an important topic worthy discussing and observing. In the peaceful mountains, the snack accompanies the daily life of Qinghai farmers in a silent way. We only reached out a small step and observed some fragment of their lives. But what is more than we can say is the spirit of local people and the feeling which can only be experienced when you are at the scene. We hope we can introduce the delicious snack to the world and let the flavor of Bei Kou Dai flout to the outside world from the deep mountains.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6143)

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