CyberFair Project ID: 6749

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: When the Rice Is Shining
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Yizhu Elementary School
    Chaiyi, Chaiyi County, Taiwan

9 students, ages 10-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2011. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005, 2007

Classes and Teachers: Hsu Yuan-Mao, Hsueh Shu-Chin, Shi Xiu-Juan

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Yizhu Township is a small township located in the Chia-Nan Plain. The population of Yizhu Township is about thirty thousand. For several generations, the rural areas and fishing villages still have not changed a lot. The beautiful and changeable Bazhang River, the border of Chiayi County and Tainan City, flows along the south of Yizhu Township. There are no tall buildings, great mansions, and heavy traffic in Yizhu Township. The economical conditions and resources are also inferior to other metropolises. Although most residents are engaged in the agriculture and fishery industries, the agricultural products of Yizhu Township always did not have a great popularity before the year of 2007. Grandpa Weng Wen-xue won the contest of Ten Best Classic Fine Rice Award continuously in the years of 2007 and 2008. This makes a great change to rice cultivation of Yizhu Township.

Tainan Number Eleven, a rice product of I-Mei Foods Co., Ltd., is labeled with 'Produced from the Place of Classic Fine Rice.' This important achievement repositions the rice quality of Yizhu Township, and also brings a niche for Yizhu's economy of community.

2. Summary of Our Project

Taiwan is an area that produces the rice abundantly. To consumers, the nationwide contest of Classic Fine Rice of each year is a strong quality guarantee. And, the Ten Best Classic Fine Rice Award also represents the highest honor to those painstaking farmers all the year round.

Weng Wen-xue, an ordinary old farmer, cultivates crops all his life, shows his affections to people, and is very concerned about the land. He let the nameless fields of food grains become star farmlands, and won the Ten Best Classic Fine Rice continuously in the years of 2007 and 2008. Grandpa Weng Wen-xue also brought a new niche for the recessionary rice industry of Yizhu Township. Yizhu Township originally is not a suitable area for cultivating rice. Grandpa Weng Wen-xue started from a lot of tiny work to improve the soil conditions and enhance the rice quality. And finally, he won the appreciation of gourmets and judges. Grandpa Weng also endeavored to promote his treasurable experience by lectures and education. He hopes to bring more young educated farmers together to take action and unite, and to make the dream, the hometown of fine rice, come true.

Through this project, we hope to understand how outstanding Grandpa Weng Wen-xue is, and hope that more people know the fine rice of Yizhu Township. Besides, we hope to encourage people to meet the challenge bravely when they face the dilemma, and make their dreams come true.

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:4-6

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):

Our school has three computer classrooms with sufficient facilities. The ratio of internet connection is one hundred percent. Our school itself is a local area network. With a special optical fiber network, we can link the Taiwan Academic Network through the Chiayi Network Center. On school days, computer classrooms are also open to students after class in the afternoon. When students come home from school, they also can surf on the internet and transfer their data by using class websites and blogs.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1. The Language Ability Grandpa Weng started to cultivate from his childhood, and he almost answered our questions in pure Taiwanese and professional terms. We often could not understand the complete meaning of what he taught us. So, we invited Teacher Weng Zheng-xian as a volunteer translator. After Teacher Weng translated those Taiwanese words to Chinese, we recorded what he said and then surfed those data on the internet. We also learned a lot of interesting sayings of native language.

2. The Time Schedule The jobs of cultivating rice are under a fixed time schedule. Although Grandpa Weng wen-xue already tried his best to cooperate with us, the flexibility of time schedule is limited. So, our teacher had to shift many classes with other teachers, and gather us together to go out and do this project.

3. The Interview Skill For elementary school students, it should be a difficult task to take an interview and keep a record. With the assistance of record sheets, we finally made an improvement after we practiced many times.

4. The Usage of Equipment There were also a lot of troubles in the usage of information equipment, for example, indoor dim places, little flowers of the rice ears, and quick-witted dragonflies. And, we needed the help of our teacher to adjust the information equipment to solve these problems.

5. The Data Integration The big challenge to us was the last data Integration and webpage presentation. We found it was an efficient way using the blog to integrate and revise data. This project was the biggest assignment that we had done. And, we also learned most from this project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

People grow great by dreams, and diligence makes everything possible. Grandpa Weng Wen-xue cultivated the paddy rice in an area that even the government thought was not suitable for cultivating. And, he only chose a common species of rice, not a super star species. In the face of many disadvantageous conditions, Grandpa Weng Wen-xue successfully cultivated the best quality rice. He not only made his dream come true but also benefited the whole Yizhu Township. This is the most important thing that we should learn and think.

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

The teaching core of our school curriculums is sincereness, concern, health, and excellence. Our project theme is 'When the Rice Is Shining.' This story tells about an old farmer with great enthusiasm for the rice who very cherishes the land and successfully cultivates the best quality rice. We also hope that through this special project we can encourage more people to enhance the quality of rice. We carried out the activities of interviewing the rice seedling cultivation field, the rice miller, and the Tainan District Agricultural Improvement Station (TDAIS). And, we used the knowledge in the fields of language, natural science, social science, and information to finish a series of presentations. From the attitude of Grandpa Weng and the process of cultivating rice, we more deeply realized the interrelationship between the human and environment in environmental education. Grandpa Weng showed his diligence of so-called 'the attitude determines the altitude.' And, this should be the best and closest teaching materials in life education. Through executing this project, we spent an entire semester accompanying Grandpa Weng in cultivating rice by ourselves. We took practical action to research and also experienced the courses in different fields.

Project Elements

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

Our school supported most equipment and our teachers did some too. The most valuable thing was that some equipment was bought by using the bonus, which was left by our senior students after they won the previous webpage competition. With the union of all the help, we had sufficient equipment to finish this project. Each of us was equipped with a notebook, and we could transfer data very conveniently through the internet at home or in our school.

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

In the process of research, we were acquainted with many people who were introduced by Grandpa Weng, such as Miss Huang Shu-zhen, a staff member of the farmers' association of Yizhu Township, Ph.D. Luo Zheng-zong, an expert of rice species and cultivation from Tainan District Agricultural Improvement Station, Mr. Huang Jin-he, a boss of rice seedling cultivation field, Mr. Li Ming-chun, an operator of rice transplanter, Mr. Weng Deng-kun, an operator of reaping machine, and Mr. Wu Guo-bin, a factory director of refined rice miller.

During the process of interview, they not only were very patient while answering our questions, but also very praised us for proceeding this project regarding the outstanding industry of hometown. They also gave their E-mail addresses to us, and welcomed us to contact them any time. We thought that we also helped our school to leave a deep impression on their minds. Ph.D. Luo Zheng-zong even asked us seriously if we wanted to be excellent farmers on our future life.

Miss Huang Shu-zhen, from the farmers' association of Yizhu Township, enthusiastically helped us with arranging a guide to the contest of Classic Fine Rice. In the activities, we were acquainted with many local elders. They were very happy that we could understand this specialized field. They also hope that more people can know 'Yizhu Township produces the best quality rice' after our webpage is completed.

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

Although the development of science and technology can let our life become more convenient, but new problems follow it too. Grandpa Weng brought us, who got used to the culture of fast food, to learn the natural and simple life. He taught us to step on earth and to feel the aroma of soil. With respecting gods and worshipping the land, Grandpa Weng applied the green manure growing slowest, transplanted the rice seedlings in the cold weather, and planted just only once each year. All he had done was trying to let the farmland take sufficient rest. When the golden rice is shining under the sunlight, we deeply realize that it is the most beautiful scene we have ever seen, and it is also the sweetest fruit we have ever received.

In the process of this project, we found the importance of teamwork and learning. Grandpa Weng also needed the support and cooperation from many people to successfully cultivate the classic fine rice.

Maybe, in the era of emerging industries continuously springing up, the traditional industries must go back to the natural way, make use of science, apply innovation to protect intrinsic quality, and then make the perpetual management possible.

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

We have to say great thanks to the Farmers’ Association and Grandpa Weng. Through them, we were acquainted with many experts. After they realized that this project could help our hometown in increasing the growth of rice industry, all of them were very happy to provide their professional opinions, data, and skills to help us to finish this project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

First, the Secret of Good Taste 'Rice seedlings are just like my children, I diligently teach and cherish them until they grow up,' said Grandpa Weng. This is Grandpa Weng's insistence on pursuing his dream. To successfully cultivate the classic fine rice depends not only on a good species of rice but also on many attentions and endeavors.

Second, the Wonderful Nature In the farmland, there are many animals, insects, and plants. The snails, usually considered to be lovable, are the killers of rice seedlings. On the contrary, the spiders, usually the evil animals in a film, are useful insects in protecting the rice.

Third, the Importance of Rice Fields Besides the function of food supply, the rice fields also can adjust the weather and contain the groundwater. This is an issue that we never thought of before.

Fourth, Never to be Defeated by the Dilemma With a common farmland and a common species of rice, Grandpa Weng Wen-xue unbelievably cultivated the classic fine rice. The story of him encourages people to meet the challenge bravely and never to be defeated by the dilemma.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6749)

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