CyberFair Project ID: 7127

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Say No To Artificial Flavoring
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Taipei Municipal Guangfu Primary School
    Taipei, , Taiwan

8 students, ages 10 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2012. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006-2011

Classes and Teachers: Teacher Tsou Yu Hsiu, Teacher Lai Ying Ru and Teacher Lin Yi Jen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

We live in Taipei, a 120 year old city in the north of Taiwan, and with a population of 2,620,000, it is of considerable size. Aside from being highly developed industrially and commercially, Taipei is also the cultural and political center of Taiwan, and with building a sustainable city being one of our foremost objectives, we are impelled to realize various public policies concerning healthcare and environmental protection. Our school is situated in the bustling East District of Taipei City, right next to Taipei City Hall. In compliance with the government policy of integrated curriculum, our school has successfully established courses that encourage students to engage in them as if they were student club or groups, and integrates resources from the school itself, teachers, parents, community and society as a whole in order to further develop future coursework. We wish to create a unique sense of belonging in this urban jungle, and to thereby realize our vision for education in the new century. During the crisis of plasticizing agents, school authorities actively promoted the importance of food safety, provided teaching tools for teachers to utilize in the classroom, organized skits during morning assembly to demonstrate food safety knowledge so that students may enjoy their meals without consuming excessive amounts of food additives. Eating safely and eating healthily is the only way to bring up children with healthy minds and bodies.

2. Summary of Our Project

Sometime ago we were caught up in the crisis of plasticizing agents in food products, when it was became known that plasticizers causing hormonal changes in the human body had been widely used in consumer products. This issue of chemical additives caught the attention of the general public, and drew inquiries into the nature of food additives. Why is it that the “products” we consume are “foods” enhanced by and treated with chemical additives? The purpose of this project is to begin with the plasticizer crisis and inquire into the nature of food additives, to discover the extent of their usage, and to uncover their potential effects on the human body. We wish, as a further step, to educate consumers how to choose their foods wisely and carefully, to enact our objective with skits, and to promote our slogan of “No Food Additives” at campus fairs, so that more people may learn how to adjust their eating habits, how to say no to artificial flavoring, all with the goal to live a healthier life.

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:4-6

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

Our school provides ADSL for linking to internet with an upload speed of 100Mb and download speed of 100Mb. The wireless internet was completed in 2004. We can receive the internet message in the campus everywhere. There are four computer classrooms and a multi-media center for making teaching materials in our school. Moreover, a desktop is equipped in every classroom, and laptops are provided to all teachers. Each computer connects to the internet through an exclusive line, and various web services are available for application. The school’s servers, including Web Server, Mail Server, DNS Server and Proxy Server, provide convenient online application environment. Every student has his or her own E-mail address, and all are capable of web making.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1) Experimental materials not readily available Part of our research calls for usage of food coloring flavorings and other chemical additives to recreate the sodas and soft drinks children love to drink. We found that most chemical additives can only be purchased wholesale, but the amounts were so large it was out of the question. We were almost in despair until “Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation,” an organization that has been continually promoting food safety knowledge, came to our rescue and provided us with the materials and formulas we needed. (2) Chemically treated foods difficult to dispose of In order to make comparisons between natural foods and chemically treated foods, as well as to obtain product information from packaging, we purchased a considerable amount of foods and drinks with chemical additives. After our experiments were done, we encountered the problem of disposing of these chemically enhanced products. It seemed wasteful to simply throw them away, but we hesitated to eat them ourselves, and we have been in a dilemma since then.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Usually, the more vibrant-colored, fragrant, tasty and inexpensive the food is, the more likely that it is chock full of food additives. Commercial products such as bottled tea and juices seem healthy and tasty, but they may also have undergone chemically enhanced processing, and having completed this project, we don’t dare to purchase these drinks anymore!

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

(1) Illustrating The subject of food additives may seem a little hazy to most elementary school students, so in order to arouse their interest in the topic, we tried to embody our slogan of “Say No to Artificial Flavoring” in illustrations so that it is more accessible to young children. (2) Making Posters In order to promote our slogan of “Say No to Artificial Flavoring,” we set up a stall in a campus fair. To properly demonstrate our objective, we needed to make posters that illustrate the importance of reading product information before making purchases, as well as to directly paste food product ingredient lists on the posters, and that’s how we learned to use “PrintMagic” for poster production. (3) Image Processing A project report is only complete if photos are edited into the content; photographs also projects validity, and that’s why we learned how process images using PhotoImpact. (4) Research Skills Thanks to the internet, we were able to find abundant information and videos on the web and on web media. As long as you are perceptive and persistent, the internet can be a handy tool for research projects. (5) Report Writing The contents of this project report have been obtained through reading, interviewing, watching videos and experimentations, and it has been a challenge for both students and teachers to systematically integrate and edit all this information into a coherent narrative. First, we went over all of the information we obtained, then we categorized the data and added to that our experimentation results and personal findings while our teacher assisted us with editing, and that is how we gradually put together a group report.

Project Elements

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

1.Recorder: During our interviews, paper notes with writing could not catch up so that we used a recorder for assisting us in memorizing the missed portion. Digital camera To record what we did and what we heard. The photos were also selected for using in our web. 2.DVD Digital Video Recorder: To record what we did and what we heard in the video recorder with audio and video. It was a very good recording for our visit and interviews. 3.Mono-gun projector: To project the images and photos on a screen for purpose of presentation. 4.Memory bar: For easy saving of data. 5.Scanner: To digitize the photos taken with traditional camera. 6.Internet: To search related photos, information, telephone numbers and addresses available online. 7.Computer software: (1) Internet Explorer:to search web information (2)ACDSee:to browse digital photo. (3)PhotoImpact:to amend and cut digital photo. (4)Neo Imaging: (5)Microsoft Word:To write work schedule, wording report and research report. (6)Dreameaver:Web making. 8. E-mail To send digital information.

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

(1) Watching Videos: After watching “The Secrets Behind Restaurants” we decided to pursue the issue of additives, and through watching related videos on Youtube, learn how food additives are used in our daily meals. (2) Seminars: We invited groups such as “Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation” and “The Homemaker’s Union and Foundation” to give talks, so that we may have a better understanding of the nature and usage of food additives. (3) Experiments: We made real and artificial orange soda, baked natural breads, and compared natural and chemically enhanced foods by observing their shape and color. (4) Advocating our Cause: Through putting on skits and taking part in the campus fair, we tried to advocate the importance of consuming less food additives to the entire school by calling to their attention the nature and consequences of food additives. This was in order to promote our slogan of “Say No to Artificial Flavoring.” (5) Teaching Demonstrations: Our teachers gave two demonstration sessions on how we carried through our project research, designed our website and translated our project report into English that were attended by the teachers of Taipei City and passed on our ideal of doing as best as we can to choose foods with “No Additives.”

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

(1) Saying No to Artificial Flavoring We know that food products with bright colors, strong fragrance and delicious taste are often those made with food additives, therefore we should learn to avoid such products and choose natural foods over highly processed foods. (2) Choosing Fresh Foods over Processed Foods Choosing natural, organic foods over “artificial” processed foods can bring us better health and keep the harms of consuming food additives at bay. (3) Reading Product Information a Good Habit If you look at the product ingredient list on its package and see a long list of strange ingredient names that you’ve never seen or heard of, beware! Always choose foods that have relatively less additives.

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

(1)Tse-Xin Organic Agriculture Foundation: Providing seminars on “Say No to Artificial Flavoring” to teachers, raw materials and formulas for making orange soda and cola, and advocacy posters for campus fairs. (2)The Homemaker’s Union and Foundation: Providing students with “Say No to Artificial Flavoring” seminars to students, showing students the ingredients list of various food products, and games of “Guess what this is?” (3)Teacher Xue-fang Guo: Teacher Guo is a teacher at our school and a parent of one of our project members, she taught us to make natural bread and grain & nut beverages as well as showing us comparisons between natural breads and commercially available dessert breads. (4)Ms. Chu-jun Hu: Ms. Hu is a parent of one of our project members, she taught us to make all-natural strawberry jam with no additives, and gave tastings of the jam. (5)Teachers, Students and Parents of the School: Advocacy sessions during morning assembly and campus fairs, joining in advocacy events in morning assemblies and campus fairs.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

(1) “Wow, that’s scary!” After learning how many of the foods we regularly consume include massive amounts of food additives, we were shocked to recall how much of our daily meals were comprised of products with excessive food additives, something that always led us to consider foods with no additives as pale in comparison, in both color and flavor, which is a completely unnatural state of affairs: to see food with chemical additives and normal, while natural foods were considered strange. It is easy to see how the enhancements brought by food additives have shaped our idea of food!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7127)

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