CyberFair Project ID: 7434

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Rhythm of Dance Steps~The Hallmark of Blessings~The Shenjiang Culture of Luzhou
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Lu Jiang Elementary School
    New Taipei City, Taiwan, R.O.C.

8 students, ages 10-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 8, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

Classes and Teachers: Chi-sheng Cheng, Ming-kui Tsai, Guan-you Guo, Hung-Hsun Weng

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Luzhou: Lu represents the reeds, zhou represents the water dwelling. The name of Luzhou clearly describes the geographical features of Luzhou: a livable and cultivable sandbar covered with reeds in Tamsui River. Luzhou is an alluvial sandbar. Since its low geographical position caused constant floods, the residents struggled with the river to live in the habitat. Therefore, It used to be named “The continent in the river”. Due to the flooding, most residents were hardworking poor people who migrated from southern Taiwan; the population brought a different culture to northern Taiwan. The plentiful temples and constant temple festivals did not only unite the residents but also led to the development of various industries in Luzhou. The religious ceremonies in Luzhou always attracted and gathered numerous pilgrims and Shenjiang troupes. When people praised the abundant and vast festivals of the temples, we, the Luzhou residents, always felt proud of it. However, with the changes of time, modern society has gradually lost its touch of humanity, the tradition of the temple festivals are gradually fading away as well. Therefore, we hope to evoke the buried memories in the locals and make the culture of Luzhou known again by more people through the project, “The Rhythm of Dance Steps~The Hallmark of Blessings~The Shenjiang Culture of Luzhou.”

2. Summary of Our Project

The culture of “Shenjiang,” temple god statues, began a century ago. It is said that a merchant brought eight heads of Shenjiang for sale from Mainland China, Shancai, Longnu, Weituo, Jialan, and two pairs of the Seventh Lord and Eighth Lord. Since the major god of Yonglian Temple is Guanyin Buddha and Shancai, Longnu, Weituo and Jialan are gods who work for Guanyin, local musical clubs, Nanyixuan and Anlexuan, which led parades for Guanyin Buddha, purchased the statues. Since then, the merchant has disappeared. This is the legend of how these Shenjiang statues came to Luzhou. There are more than two hundred Shenjiang statues in Luzhou, both the quality and quantity are the highest among the country. The Shenjiang statues have become an important asset to Luzhou and give Luzhou the reputation of “Cave of Shenjiang” and “Homeland of Shenjiang.” The folk customs of the unique culture of “Shenjiang” deeply attract us. Therefore, through observations, interviews, information and documents analysis, we record the Luzhou “Shenjiang” culture, compile our process, and produce this website. We hope to convey the simple humanistic spirit of Luzhou to the world through the project.

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

Difficulty 1: Different time allocations and common times Most members needed to attend afterschool programs; even their weekends and holidays were occupied. Therefore, we could only meet daily during one-hour lunch breaks to work on the project. Our meetings included the following activities: learning about web page design, assigning work, collecting and sorting data, discussing activities, rehearsing for skits, filming, making posters. As for off-campus events, we had to ask to be excused from afterschool programs. Difficulty 2: Interviews and Research Capabilities It is our first year participating in the Cyberfair project. Due to insufficient experience, we searched for as much information as possible without knowing the efficient ways to begin. In this process, we continually got new ideas and worked on them immediately if we felt they were good ideas. Soon, we figured out there was too much research we could do for our theme, so learning to choose was our first step. After many discussions, we started to carefully, clearly set goals. Before the interview, the teachers collected information regarding interviewing skills. They taught the team appropriate interview conduct in questions, skills and manners, since most of us did not have interviewing experience. After rehearsing for more than two hours, we finally completed the questions for the interview. Certainly, some unpredictable things happened during the interview, yet we completed it. Difficulty 3: Attitude of the parents Due to insufficient time, we had to get absence permits from afterschool programs and sacrifice weekends and spare time to meet for the project. This caused some parents to question whether it would affect academic work. Therefore, the teachers had to convince parents of the positive and influential effects that would be associated with participating in the Cyberfair project; thus, changing the parents’ attitudes towards supporting the activity.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

It has been nearly four months since the Cyberfair project started and we have worked very hard up to the end. We are deeply touched with this sense of accomplishment! We never gave up, even though we sometimes were exhausted and wanted to escape. Now, looking at the growing, rich contents of the project, we are truly touched. We have learned very much during this time. Not only do we know more about our hometown and the community, but we also understand that “protecting our culture” is an important mission.

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

In the process, the students learned about cooperation as well as the Luzhou Shenjiang culture. The teachers’ constant reviews for the project, their interaction among students and with students, have aroused various sparks. How great is the power in unity! The students have transformed from passive learners to voluntary knowledge builders. This, which textbooks do not provide, is the spirit of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, “Portable Knowledge”. Through the Cyberfair project, we learned about the process of interviews in many steps: searching for data, studying data, discussing for interviews, writing questions, and the interview format. We also learned planning and promotional skills for exhibition, and site commentary skills. We learned to spot out dilemmas to find solutions through reviews as well. We recorded the contents of activities on our blog at all times. All of the above promoted our abilities in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and organization.

We worked together closely through the entire process. Everyone needed to be responsible for their assignments, exchange their views, and help each other to complete jobs in every stage. These trainings helped us understand the importance of unity. We adhered to the practice of science research when we faced problems during the process of activities. We learned to think from many perspectives and proposed effective resolutions to develop, for students, the abilities of concluding, organization, judgment, response, and creation. We used various information technologies to help with our interviews, taking photos, and taking videos; we also used various computer software to help us with photo editing (Photocap 5.1), website producing (Dreamweaver) and video production (Power Director 11). In this process, we learned how to use the newest technologies to produce our website, and enjoyed the process of the search and independent thinking.

Project Elements

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

1.Recording pen:Recording interviews and writing subtitles 2.Canon Digital camera:Taking photos during activities and recording videos 3.JVC Video camera:Filming and making videos of the Shenjiang culture 4.NAS Storage and flash drive:Hard disk, thumb drives and web drives 5.Printer and poster printer:Printing information and exporting images 6.Internet & EMAIL:Data search, communicating and submitting of interview records 7.Computer Software:Dreamweaver, PowerDirector 10, Photoshop CS6, Office2013, Photocap 6.0, Xmind 8.Google Docs and Wordpress blog:Collecting data and co-writing documents with Google Docs and the Wordpress Blog set up by the school.

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

The topic, Luzhou Shenjiang culture, is very special to us. Some of our members are Christians. Even though some people make the connection between Shenjiang statues and religion, we were not advertising religion. We were popularizing the Shenjiang culture and studying it more intensively. Culture-learning is the attitude our Christian students have held. We played roles as promotion ambassadors and performed in various ways. We tried hard in everything we did. For example, we collected data through a website questionnaire and advertised the video on which we introduced Shenjiang history in the 5th grade classes, room 12 and room 19, on the website of Lu Chiang Elementary School. In order for teachers and students on campus to learn what activity we were doing, we planned the promotion for the morning meeting of our whole school, and advertised it on the school video broadcast. We made posters to put up at school to let more people know about the Luzhou Shenjiang culture and designed feedback sheets for students to fill with their comments. We also set a booth in the club performance exhibition of the school to let students, who are interested, ask questions. Moreover, we recited a Shenjiang poem we created together in the poetry-reciting competition held by the school library. When we started the Cyberfair project, Teacher Tsai set up a Shenjiang web blog to be a platform for our reviewing and recording. A local TV station has come to visit us in the club performance exhibition as well. Shun-wei Huang and Guan-ting He were interviewed, and the news was broadcasted through the local station. We hope more Luzhou citizens will view this, and know that Luzhou Shenjiang culture is important. We hope we can gather people’s attention by our silent contribution to Luzhou culture, so that more Luzhou people will participate in our activities.

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

Through this monographic study for Luzhou Shenjiang culture, we will be able to pass and carry forth the culture, so that people around the world might know the Luzhou Shenjiang culture in Taiwan, and appreciate the beauty of this culture. Also, through our webpage and instructional video of Luzhou Shenjiang culture on Youtube, we bring more people to pay attention to this dying culture. It’s not easy to preserve culture, but very easy to let it die. We hope through this monographic study, more people will be encouraged to care for and pay attention to traditional culture around us.

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

When proceeding to off-campus visits, the temple abbots, such as Master Wen-chih Lin and Liang-chuan Wang, whole-heartedly hosted us. They answered our questions in good details, provided us with important information, and guided us to find information we needed. We really appreciate their help. We also thank the parents of the team for supporting their children to continuously meet for the Cyberfair project, so that we were able to complete it. Parents’ support is very important. If they didn’t agree with this activity, they would not let their kids participate in all meetings, and then the project could be behind schedule. Therefore, parents’ support was the key to completing the project. We are very thankful for the parents who supported and cooperated with us.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

1. Discoveries: By proceeding with the monographic study, we discovered that so much traditional culture is misunderstood or forgotten. In the trend of globalization, the strong culture dominates the culture of the countries and makes many local cultures disappear gradually. Without doing systematic records, our descendants will be completely unfamiliar with these cultures. What a pity! Through this practical experience of special investigation, we discovered that recording culture is difficult but very important, which makes us respect the people who record and carry on cultures. 2. Lessons: During the research, we noticed that we often interpreted things by subjective thinking. After the masters’ explanation, we discovered our blind spot. In conducting the research, we needed to collect data to study in detail and do interviews, so that we may avoid being misled and restarting later. We also changed our learning attitude. Our learning spirit should be willing and aggressive to try and discover problems. We cannot be content with superficial understanding when learning, and should try our best to understand when encountering unclear problems. 3. Surprises: The culture of “Shenjiang” in Luzhou is really a special traditional culture. It carries the wisdom of ancestors and the cultural customs. Producing Shenjiang statues require that people with different skills cooperate, but most people are not aware of these difficulties. After practical observation and interviews, we realized it actually requires profound skills. At the same time, we also discovered another meaning of “Shenjiang” – spirits of loyalty, filial piety, and integrity. This is what we should adhere to whatever we do.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7434)

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