CyberFair Project ID: 6589

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Ceramics- A Charming asset to Miaoli
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Chien Tai Senior School
    Miaoli, Taiwan, R.O.C

12 students, ages 17-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 23, 2011. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004

Classes and Teachers: Senior 2 Experimental Class

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Miaoli county is located in central Taiwan. With the suitable soil for ceramics and being the only area rich in natural gas in Taiwan, Miaoli county has been famous for the development of ceramics since Chin Dynasty. Known as the Home of Ceramics, the Miaoli County Government set up the Miaoli Ceramics Museum, featuring Miaoli history, Hakka culture and life through the collection of more than 1000 pieces of ceramics antiques and artworks.

2. Summary of Our Project

The subject matter of CyberFair in 2011 is “Take action and become united!” From past to present, countless ceramic fanatics have done much to popularize the ceramic industry. They just hope we can inherit their enthusiasm and purpose, keeping promoting the ceramic industry. In order to understand the ceramic industry thoroughly, we put much effort into our research. We visited many kiln factories in Miaoli and several ceramic museums around Taiwan. We also called on lots of professional masters and promoters of ceramics. Producing the web pages, looking up and translating the articles, sending out the handbills and recording the contents when we go visit strenghtened the cooperation between us. We do our best to complete the work, and we also help and encourage each other. Togetherness and mutual trust are what support us during the period. We believe that by exposing people to more information about ceramics, we can save ceramics industry from fading away, so we select ceramics to be our subject matter. We are aware of the fact that we should take steps to make the ceramics industry go strong in the future.

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:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We were encountered with two problems. First, we had language problems. We were not familiar with most of the special terms in ceramics. They are Greek to us. We spent lots of time surfing websites to find out their English translation. Words like Nadorigama, anagama, grafting, backdraft, grouting are never heard of in our daily life, and are never seen in our English textbooks. What's worse. We are not good at writing in English. Our writing was full of mistakes, and we could only count on our English teacher for giving us guidelines and eventually, we did try our best to finish the translation. The other obstacle was time management. As a student in a private high shcool in Taiwan, our schoolwork keeps us busy yearround. A lot of work had been delayed and some of us were procrastinators. Members of us are from different classes, so the only time we could get together were nap time and after class. In a word, I had great difficulty keeping up with our schedule. Still, we found ways to get though every thing and finally, mission accomplished. Yeah!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We learned how to manage our time and make a great improvement in our English writing skills. We also learned a lot of ceramic history in our hometown. Most of all, teamwork counts the most. Without each teammate's effort, the project could never be completed. We took advantage of geography classes and English Speech classes to show our project to other students in our school, who were impressed and had a great desire to know more about our work, the competition and globalschoolnet.

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

In the process of participating this Cyberfair project, we benefited a lot from books, computers, as well as Internet. Data collection has never been easy when doing research. Internet provided us with a very efficient way to gain access to topic related books, people, and other sources. Afterwards, we divided the research work into several parts, some responsible for interviewing ceramic masters with our geography teacher, some paying visits to several museums, still some doing extensive reading about books on ceramics. Each of us contributed something to the project and gradually every one of us becomes familiar with this topic. We were even able to have an intelligent conversation with one university professor about the work we did. By talking with some ceramics operators in our community, we found the ups and downs in this business, and we hope through our website, people will come to visit those ceramic masters’ studios, and preserve this old but beautiful craft.

Project Elements

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

Tools used: one digital video camera, three digital cameras , two laptop and three desktop computers, e-mails ,Chinese-English dictionary, some self-designed questionaires and personal interviews...etc. Software used: Corel VideoStudio X3, Flash 8, Photoimpact 11.0, Microsoft Frontpage 2003, Microsoft Office 2003,...and so on. Most useful tool: The loptop enables us to record the imformation and build the pages anytime anywhere without any delay.

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

Our students have seven times represented our school to visit Miaoli for personal interviews with local people, shop owners, the Miaoli City Hall , the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum. Taiwan Woodfire Ceramicsart Association also gave us surport to introduce the history and the way to make product in Miaoli.Furthermore, questionaires were also used to expand our contact range to avoid prejudices or incorrect hearsay. All these activities make them 'ambassadors' who are genuinely worthy of the name!

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

Before we decided to participate in this project, we had never expected to tackle on such a topic related to ceramics. In fact, most of us were unfamiliar with this industry That’s why made the whole project such a challenge to me and my teammates. Lots of time spent in collecting data, visiting people, and putting out thoughts into words; in the meantime, we were struggling to strike a balance between our project and our schoolwork. However, in the whole process, each one of us gradually realizes that the project we were doing might make a difference to those operators in the ceramics industry. When an industry is fading away, the essential culture behind it is also not preserved at all. People are dying, tools are deteriorating, and skills are losing. If we don’t do something, this industry will become unknown to the generations to come in Miaoli. It is time that we raised public awareness to save the industry. When the local government was thinking to tear down old kilns because they were on the route of the High Speed Railway scheduled to built, we are glad to see people coming out to protest against it. The other day, one of our teammates received a beautifully made ceramic angle doll from a friend, who told her that he still got lots of these ceramic dolls at home form a neighbor who just shut down his ceramic factory. We are sad to hear that. Although our website is newly built, the number of visitors is growing, and we hope in the near future, through our website, more and more people will be exposed to the beauty of ceramics and so are willing to preserve this cultural heritage.

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

We found three most important helpers through the Internet. We were lucky that they all gladly squeezed some time out of their buy schedule to have interviews with us. We had special thanks to Shu Hui, Teng, a professor in Chiao Tung University, who launched a campaign to call on the preservation of one of the oldest kilns in Taiwan, which happened to be in Miaoli. She was happy to see people in Miaoli start to take cultural preservation seriously. We would also like to thank Hung Ta, Hsien, the curator of Miaoli Ceramics Museum and Hsiang Chun, Yeh, the executive officer of National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute. Both of them gave us enormous encouragement in our attempt of building a website on ceramics.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We were surprised to find one of the four oldest kilns in Taiwan was located in Miaoli. To our regret, it was dismentled because the government's building of High Speed Railway. Although Prosfessor Shu Hui, Teng and other organizations protested against the decision, the kiln is no longer exist. We were so sorry about this result. We sincerely hope the other three can be well-preserved.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6589)

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