1. Description of Our Community
[Our Community] Lukang --- Lukang was originally known as Deer Harbor. It is located on the northern bank of the Lukang, to the northwestern of the Changhua Plain. It borders Sioushuei Township in the east, the Taiwan Strait in the west, the Lukang River and Fusing Township in the south, and Siansi Township and Homei Township in the north. Lukang was a hub for commerce in Taiwan in the early days, and was one of the historical towns, “Tainan, Lukang and Manka”. It is a town with a rich history of arts and culture and an important center for the tradition of folk crafts in Taiwan. Lukang maintains its old looks, despite years of modernization. It is known for the variety and quality of craftsmanship. The large number of local artisans, masters and folk artists work day and night, in the quiet allies and lanes, to pass down this cultural heritage.
2. Summary of Our Project
Spring flowers are a traditional craft with a long history. Lovely and dedicate, these flowers were very popular in Taiwan in the past as a symbol of prosperity. There were required as accessories for women on weddings or on a day-to-day basis, as well as decorations in living rooms. Spring flowers have gradually disappeared from the hair of brides as modern life set in. The making of spring flowers takes time and hence is an indication of cultural sophistication. In the era where mass-produced plastic flowers are readily available, the making of spring flowers seems to be a lost art. Fortunately, Lukang has been actively promoting folk arts and activities, and to keep this tradition alive, it is necessary to give it some modern elements. In addition to the old techniques and patterns, many masters are creating a variety of designs to go with modern fashion. They give this time-honored art a brand new look, by using different media, different colors and different styles. We feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn about this traditional craft and will like to share our experience and knowledge. We hope this cultural heritage will make us aware of our responsibility to pass it down for future generations.
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:not sure
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):
The computer speed is sometime unstable, so the research is not quite easy on the net
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
About experience; students have difficult to come up with good questions due to nervousness and a lack of experience in conducting interviews. Solution; A: Preparations during group hours by assigning every member his/her tasks. Recording pens and digital cameras to make it easy to make notes and record the process at any given time. B. Questions gathered from team members and prioritization made to produce a question list, to ensure a smooth interviewing process and avoid any missing parts. About Time; The heavy school work and the limited time-frame as a source of pressure to participating students. Solution; Time management with a tight schedule planned, detailing the targets and follow-ups for each trip in order to maximize outputs with team work. All done during lunch breaks in the computer rooms. About Techniques; A lack of computer skills and familiarity with webpage products of some members, particularly regarding data folders, webpage text formats, file names and image processing. Solution; A. Avid involvement and instructions from Teacher Bing-fu Shih to develop computer and Internet competences among members and facilitate mutual support within the team. B. Learning from each other to enhance computer literacy. About Team Work; Members coming from different classes in different grades, and engaged in a variety of learning activities; difficult in synchronizing the scheduling for interviews and discussions; absence inevitable sometimes due to class affairs, particularly during the monthly examinations; as a result, progress falling behind scheduled. Solution; Using group hours and lunch breaks to summarize reports and gather information, with every member taking initiatives and doing their parts; mutual assistance to overcome difficulties with techniques taught by teachers in order to meet the deadline.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
This was the first time the participating students were involved in a group-led research project. This daunting challenge presented a great learning experience. Students were required to contact spring flower artisans, plan interview schedules, prepare question lists and assign tasks within the team for data collection, writing and editing. We obtained a lot of knowledge in the research process and were impressed with the skills and dedication and craftsmanship of traditional art masters. We feel we should learn from their devotion and persistency as a way of life.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The purpose of Grade 1-9 Curriculum is to nurture democracy literacy, compassion, awareness about the local and international communities and the ability to synthesize knowledge so as to develop lifelong learning skills. The curriculum should anchor on life and respect different personalities. It aims to develop the ability for explorations and reflections and encourages the concern over the society, the environment and the nature. The purpose is to establish in-depth understanding of and identification with local cultures, as well as to respect and appreciate other cultures. The research project on entangled flowers served as a vehicle to students to learn how to formulate research plans, discuss details and allocate tasks. It also encouraged them to step out of the campus and visited folk artists in their own community. This process allowed participants to learn about the cultural background, creation techniques and applications of entangled flowers. The appreciation of the tradition of a fine art makes students identify with their own township. The search of information on the Internet and the production of webpages presented an opportunity for students to explore and consolidate what they have learned. The research project also fostered team spirits by making members work on individual tasks and help each other in problem solving. This project integrated the learning objectives specified in Grade 1-9 Curriculum for different fields and concerning local cultures into the learning experience.