CyberFair Project ID: 7441

Close this Window

NOTE: Due to URL changes, some links may no longer be valid.

International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Follow vine, gourd to find
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Nanguo Elementary School
    Changhua, , Taiwan

6 students, ages 11-13 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 3, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2013

Classes and Teachers: little gourd

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Gourds are grown in Chuo-shui River area and can be commonly seen on the local farm land. The Chuo-shui River closely connected to the local people’s lives for it nurtures the gourds and helps the people to gain high quality gourds from the area. After Pa-Pao Canal was exploited, the agricultural industry in central Taiwan was flourished as Chuo-shui River’s water was diverted to irrigate the crop fields in cities such as Nantou, Yunlin, Changhua…etc.; as a result, crops from central Taiwan not only receives high reputation for the outstanding quality, but also for the high fruiting rate. Other than common crops like gourds, mid Taiwan is also known for other agricultural products; goods such as tea from Yuchi, water bamboo from Buli (known as “beauty’s leg”), rice, flower, guava and grapes from villages all around Changhua county, and the famous peanuts, oranges and tangerines from Yunlin county where one-quarter of the national crops and vegetables are supplied.

2. Summary of Our Project

Gourd is one of the most common crops in Taiwan because it is easy to grow, has high fruiting rate, and are available almost year-round. During the early farming phase in Taiwan, people used to build gourd shacks in front of their houses as the leave-covered gourd shacks can be used as sunshade, and is rather poetic. Even till this day, people still set up such gourd shacks near homes if space is available. Gourds are used in various ways but growing such crop massively requires much effort and is very labor-intense work. However, we are likely to find traces of Taiwan’s agricultural & economical developments simply through these hard working farmers, who are in fact the true foundation behind these developments. Through this study of gourd growing, marketing, and possible applications, we wish not only to better understand the structure of such industry, but further discover Taiwanese agricultural evolvement and local’s self identification to this island as well.

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

1. Main Subject:Luffa is an important agricultural produce of central Taiwan. However, due its lack of uniqueness, it’s hard to differentiate its origin. We had to reconstruct our project framework over and over again. Through what perspective should we talk about? What can we do to lure people into wanting to know about luffa? After long hours of discussion, by incorporating food and entertainment from a more personal perspective, we’ve finally come up with a set project framework. 2. Time:Due to the fact that we all have different afterschool activities and that the project required a lot of group work. However, due to various school activities and other problems some members were not able to meet up at the set time for group discussion. After the second midterm, we realized that we were behind in progress. Therefore, starting in December we decided to stay behind on Wednesday afternoons as well to work on the project. During the winter break we also met in school to work on the project. The obstacle with time had made us realize not only the importance of time management, but more importantly the division of workloads. Not only should we take full responsibility of the work entrusted to us, but we must also let other members understand the content of our own research. This will ensure the flow and completeness of the entire project. 3. Transportation:Our school is located in Changhua City. Since our teacher’s car couldn’t accommodate all of us, it’s very difficult for us to visit the luffa farm. Therefore, we were very grateful that people of various units were kind enough to accept telephone and internet inquiries from us. In fact, we were not brushed off simply because we were kids.The president of Luo Yang Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, Mr. Tsai of Douliu Sanguang Neighborhood and teachers of Transworld University. Through our research we’ve had a lot of help. Thank you everyone!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We never thought that we would make the topic so big and complicated. This beautiful mistake is simply an extension of the luffa related people we met throughout the research. With a careless glimpse, luffa is simply an agricultural product. Nevertheless, just as our topic title “The Entwining Vines of Luffa”; luffa is intertwined closely with our daily lives. Through the exploration we’ve come to realize the heart and soul these people had put into the soil. Their emotions so full of life are represented through each and every luffa. Each farmers, specialists, uncles, and aunts explained so hard in the hope that we youngsters can understand the beauty of luffa. We hope that our project would influence others and that more and more people would learn to love luffa. Although the research was a lot of hard work, yet we’ve unexpectedly gained so much more. The experiences were irreplaceable and these priceless collections are witnesses to our maturity

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

Math: Comply and Analyze questionnaires. Comprehensive: Enhance interpersonal relationship and team member interaction. Explore self-worth and learned to appreciate qualities of others. Health and Physical Education: Get to know the nutritional values of luffa. Learn to purchase and store luffa. Language Art: Enhance writing and reading skills. Enhance listening and speaking skills. Social Studies: Understand the distribution of luffa and its production and marketing in Taiwan. Understand the effects of natural environment to our daily lives. Nature, life, and technologies: Enhance voluntary exploration and independent thinking abilities. Observe and get to know the structure and functions of a luffa. Understand the chemical reaction behind luffa soap making. Art & Culture: Participate in Luffa Art making.

Project Elements

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

*Telephones and Email:Contact and invite respondent, obtain pamphlets *Internet:Use internet to search for relative information *Computer:Use various soft wares to write and summarize reports, and make into PowerPoint and webpage. *Digital cameras:Make image records. *Printers:Print interview outline, web information, questionnaires, interview notice and related material. *USB:Store personal reports and related material. *Scanners:Scan images and photos. *Recording pen:Interview recording, help organize interview script. *Computer Software: 1. Microsoft Word- write work progress, reports, and research reports. 2. Print Magic-Make thank you cards. 3. Microsoft PowerPoint-Make Project Narrative. 4. Windows Media Player-View and listen to films and sound recordings. 5. MS Paint-Edit photos for the webpage. 6. Internet Explorer-search for web information. 7. Microsoft Excel –Comply questioner. 8. Filezilla-Use FTP Storage backup research file. 9. –Webpage making and edit.

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

Luffa is a common agricultural produce in Taiwan, so common that one might feel that its existence natural. We share a different side of luffa with parents and students of our school by organizing presentations and promoting handmade luffa soaps. . When we first started the project, we didn’t know much about luffa. Therefore, we used the internet and library to search for information about luffa. However, our understanding of the material was very limited. So, we used various contact methods and performed different levels of encounter with luffa related personnel; such as conduct telephone and email inquiries, interviews, take part in luffa activities, learn to make luffa art, visit luffa art exhibitions, and handout questionnaires. Thank you everybody for your help. Of the people we’ve encountered the ones we remembered best were a couple of elderly farmers who didn’t know how to speak mandarin. During the interview we seem to be speaking of different things. It was after listening to our interview recordings had we realized that we had mistaken the message they were trying to express to us. There were also some common sayings which had other connotations. We didn’t know it until much later. The farmers were really excited by the fact that we wanted to get to know about luffa. They were a great help to our project. Not only did they try to answer all our questions they also generously shared their produce with us. The farmers spoke of their heart and disappointments. They felt that children nowadays have little contact with farming and that they would like to see more people learn to love the soil and its produce

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

We grew up in the city, so before the project most of our knowledge of the traditional agriculture industry came from the text and the dining table. With this project we walked into the field, visited farmers and professionals of the agriculture industry. From their works and daily lives we learned the intimate relationship between luffa and the people. We incorporate it all into a report in the hope that more people would gain more knowledge about luffa. Apart from the local farmers, Douliu City Office, Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station and Transworld University were great helps to our project. During the research, we digested the professional information the respondents gave us. We presented the information in a student’s perspective, in the hope that we can attract more kids of our age to get to know luffa. Let people know that luffa is not only food but it can also be used more creatively and presented artistically. We presented our project and the students were interested in our research and were looking forward to the completion of our webpage

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

While editing “The Entwining Vines of Luffa” project report, we learned how to present complicated information as a researcher. Each and every word presented on our webpage was the hard works of each one of our members. We collected the data, brainstormed, reconstructed, rewrote, modified, and then incorporated everything and made into our very own report. Sources of our information included first-hand information such as personal visits, interviews, questionnaires, observations, personal picture and films, and professional inquiries. Included were also second hand information such as the web, books and magazines; and third hand information such reports rewritten by journalist and researchers. We also used information from sources which were not open to the public. In such case, we had to ask our school to write a letter of permission to Douliu City Office and Penghu Chungtun Community Development Association. Thanks to relative units for their kindness. These materials were the sources of our work. Compliance with intellectual property rights is a virtue. Our teacher especially reminded us to specify the source of reference and be clear about the author’s terms. If the author had specific terms you must comply. This is how a modern citizen should be.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We often hear teachers saying that “to study the phenomena of nature in order to acquire knowledge “is a virtue in research. After this project we felt it deeply in ourselves the meaning of this saying. Through this project, not only did we learn about luffa, we also learn to see the things around us in a new perspective. Also, through observation and deep thoughts we gained more in surprise. Deepest discovery, “If you want to do something, there will be someone to support you! “Most important experience, “As long as you don’t give up there is always a way out!” Biggest surprise, “See things in a different angle, things (luffa) appear beyond our expectation!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7441)

Close this Window