1. Description of Our Community
Hsienhsi Township is located in Taiwan’s Changhua County and is a part of the “Wind Head, Water Tail” area. The Taiwan Strait lies to the west of it, and in the past when the Changhua Coastal Industrial Park had not yet been developed, the west of the expressway was a vast expanse of tidal flats. During high tide, these tidal flats are often submerged under water. Hsienhsi Township has the smallest area as well as the smallest population in the county, and more than 70% of the residents are farmers. Because of its rural location next to the sea, its unfertile soil, as well as the strong north-eastern monsoon, only one rice crop can be grown each year; during other periods of the year, people grow crops that are more cold-resistant such as water chestnuts, garlic, or onions. Residents also raise oysters and clams, as well as go fishing on the sea to support their family. In the early 1960s, many people also engaged in ducks raising as their secondary source of income, and during the heyday of the industry there were more than a million ducks raised in the area. That is why it was once called “the Duck Kingdom.” However, in recent years, the farming, fishing, aquaculture, and duck-raising industries have gradually been on the decline, and Hsienhsi Township is trying to transform itself into a tourism and recreational town that integrates its local industrial cultures.
2. Summary of Our Project
In recent years, Taiwan’s leisure and recreation culture has been on the rise, and the Lin Family Horse Stable also began engaging in the winery business and established the White Horse Winery. They have also further combined the local livestock raising, salted egg production, and winery industries to create a composite tourism farm that combines local industrial cultures called “White Horse Farm.” Our team mainly conducts research on this continually transforming local industry, from its farming activities and products, to how the founders established their businesses. Our research also extends to the area’s agricultural problems, and provides first-hand information by actually visiting the area to engage in direct observations and recording.
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: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
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1) Lack of time: when we were working on our Cyberfair project, we were forced to temporarily put our project work aside during various holidays, our school anniversary, and midterms. However, we used our lunchtimes and holidays to compensate for the lost time, and completed our Cyberfair project through division of labor and teamwork. (2) Bad weather: the cold and rainy weather of winter, as well as typhoons, made it difficult for us to make visits to the area. However, we were able to overcome this problem of bad weather by going a few more times. (3) Lack of experience: we often run into problems when using computer software and producing reports, but our teacher would always help us solve our problems.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Throughout our participation in the Cyberfair project, we ran into many difficulties, but we did not give up, and in the end, we were able to overcome all of the problems we ran into. Through hard work, we were able to complete the project. Through this project, we not only learned many new skills, but also met many new people, came into contact with many new things, and participated in many fun experiences; even more importantly, we completed this project through cooperation and teamwork. This project has been an exceptional experience that has proven to be one of the highlights of our junior high school lives.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Through our participation in the Cyberfair project, we learned many skills that conform to the academic goals our school curriculum is designed to achieve. The following shows the skills that we learned as well as the area of study they fall under. First, it is language. Through writing reports, doing interviews, producing progress reports, reading articles, as well as gathering, analyzing, and organizing data, we were able to further develop various language skills, including our writing and expression capabilities. Second, it’s related to society. Through engagement in a project on a local topic, we were able to learn even more about the history, cultural background, and geographical characteristics of the area. In addition, we also gained further insight in to the area’s social transformations and changes in its economic activities over the years. Third, through our on-site visits and photography of local scenery, we learned many photography and image placement techniques. In addition, through website and illustration production, we learned many techniques for artistic design. Next, through team-based activities, we were all able to understand our individual capabilities and find our own sense of self-worth and value; we also got a chance to understand our own strengths and weaknesses, and we learned to appreciate other people’s strengths and advantages. We divided into teams to engage in interview activities, and each of the members in the team took turns in performing interviewing as well as recording, allowing each and every person to be able to clearly express their questions and ideas. Last but not least, we learned many skills and knowledge in the area of information technology, including hardware skills, software skills, as well as techniques for performing Internet searching. In the end, we also produced a webpage to present the results of our entire project.