CyberFair Project ID: 7494

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Friendly Environment at Local Farmers Market~ Be Good House Of Hualien
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: Zhong Zhen Primary School
    Hualien, Taiwan, Taiwan

14 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 25, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2012,2011,2010

Classes and Teachers: Chin Hao Lin,Ren Nian Liao,Ya-Xun Lin

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Hualien is always a place where people look forward to visiting. Then, they enjoy themselves so much that they do not want to leave. As one drives along the East Rift Valley, one can see the Coastal Mountain Range on one side, and the vast crystal blue ocean on the other side. The topography, the diverse soils, and as one goes farther inside, one will discover a different world, which has towering canyons, clear streams, abundance in flora and fauna ecological resources, and a much better view of the big ocean if one goes up streams. These ecological resources are uniquely God’s gift to Hualien. And yet, aside from these resources, the agricultural crops in Hualien county are also multi-variant. Planting crops is much easier than selling them. To sell organic fruits and vegetables at a more expensive price is even more difficult. But for those farmers who are engaged in ‘organic’ and ‘natural farming method’, and with their common ideals of wanting to attain environmental-friendly lands, the establishment of ‘Be Good House Of Hualien’ has provided them with a channel that eliminates exploitation from traders, and lets the customers understand the ideals they stand for. It is a place that builds a deep friendship between the farmers and the customers. Moreover, it is a place where consumers can appreciate art and culture, where they can experience a special ‘market’, a unique culture of Hualien.

2. Summary of Our Project

In Hualien, there is a group of farmers who love their lands with passion. They plant rice, vegetables, fruits, yams and other agricultural crops. They are also engaged in food processing. They formed ‘Be Good House Of Hualien’ farmer’s market, wherein they specially sell their own products there. The distinctive feature of ‘Be Good House’ is that the farmers apply the natural way of cultivating crops, they do not make use of chemical pesticides, nor chemicals to grow them. They use an environmental-friendly method of planting crops because they value and cherish their lands, and their persistence has resulted in producing unattractive fruits and vegetables from what we see in the market. Although their ideal of planting non-toxic products is good, its disadvantage is the lack of marketing channels. Thus, in December of 2010, a group of land-loving farmers founded a farmers market, ‘Be Good House Of Hualien’, and the location is fixed at the railway culture park, second building. The market also holds many activities that include local hand-made creations, DIY experiences, parent-child interactions, cooking, farming experiences, lectures, and musical concerts. We hope that through this study, we will be able to spread to the world the ideals of Be Good House, and let more people join in the ranks of people at Be Good House, and to attract even more supporters, and they will come to buy their food at this market so that our small farmers can continue to hold on to their ideals and still continue to make their living.

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

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

At present, every classroom and office in our school has computers, and we can surf the net. And also, there are two computer classrooms and one multi-media computer classroom. Our school uses 10m optic-fiber for Internet access, which is quite fast and convenient for uploading and down loading information. In addition, students use ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) to obtain Internet access at home.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1.Be Good House market only opens on Saturdays, so we could only go there on Saturdays. However, some of the students had to go to cram schools on Saturdays and they were not able to go because of the conflict in the time schedule. We did not have enough experience in interviewing people, especially when it came to interviewing strangers. We needed to overcome our fears when we came face to face with strangers. That was why before we did the interview, our teachers let us practice with one another, pretending that the other one was the person we were going to interview. Some classmates even practiced in front of a mirror! 2.The students did not have enough knowledge in the area of webpage making techniques, so we also spent a lot of time learning things that were related to this.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Developing mutual trust from our interactions is something that we have learned from our study. In reality, the manufacturers don’t have direct contact with the consumers. The relationship between the two has been alienated. Through direct marketing, the farmers and the consumers foster a definite relationship between them over a long period of time. The farmers will treat the consumers as their friends, thus they will even give more importance on their products to make them healthy and safe for the consumers, and the consumers in turn, will trust the food that the farmers have planted even more. In this era flooded with information from the Internet, this creates an estrangement in interpersonal relationships. We have experienced the importance of interpersonal interaction and trust from this research study.

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

At present, our school places great importance on the arrangement of integrated curriculum. Our competing at Cyberfair is the best example of integrated curriculum. We also used this opportunity to write a teaching plan, and hope that through this opportunity, we could lead our students and let them take part in the actual side of society’s economic actions. From actual observations, the students use what they have learned. We are extremely lucky to have this opportunity to get close to the farmers’ actual way of living, and to understand everything there is to know about organic farm products and also about the development of Be Good House. From our study, we have developed skills on how to write an essay, and how to edit (language); how to have control over the flow of our study project plan, how to do an estimation of our study budget (mathematics); how to do interviews, how to deal with and work together with our group members to form a capable team (humanities); how to manage webpage images and editing (art and computer), and many others. These are all the things that we have gained and learned.

The process of web page research is actually an example of cooperative learning. The teachers can also play the role of a leader to the students, growing and learning along with them. This research activity has made us realize that under the method of integrated curriculum, a student does not have to be kept inside the classroom, he can freely explore knowledge. The teacher, of course, has to have more educational resources. This is what we are trying to convey to our education administration authority.

Project Elements

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

During the making of the webpage research study, we used phones, msn to make contacts; we used mp3 in recording our interviews; we used the digital camera and digital video camera to get the pictures and images we needed, and lastly, we used Photo Impact digital imaging software to make our pictures, Word to write our data, Dream Weaver web development soft ware to complete our web-page study plan and our works. Of course, we also used the Internet to search for information we needed, and we went to the library to look for old newspapers, this was how we got our information. Other tools included ftp, e-mail.

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

At the beginning of our study plan, we used phones and e-mails to contact the people we wanted to interview, confirming the date and place, and drafting before-hand the questions we were going to ask for the interviews. During the interviews, we prepared mp3 recorders to record the content of the interview. After going back to school, we had to re-arrange and put our information in order. We also used a digital camera or a digital video camera to take photos of our interviews. Through several interviews with and studies on people we didn’t know, we’re introducing our study plan, and this process was actually a form of marketing. We are marketing our school and the enthusiasm of the local enterprise. Even the ones we have interviewed agree that a ‘research study’ can start from something small. That’s why after we have completed our work, many people are impressed and they have given us a lot of encouragement.

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

The development of the agricultural enterprise in Hualien, along with our topic-Be Good House Of Hualien. We hope that through our study and introduction, more people will be able to understand Be Good House market and its objectives. We hope to change the present situation of alienation that is happening between the manufacturers and the consumers. Once the consumers and the farmers develop a positive relationship of mutual trust, the farmers will use his love for the land to cultivate his crops, and produce healthy and non-toxic farm products. The consumers will in turn be willing to buy their products even at higher costs.

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

At the start, because we were not familiar with the topic, we didn’t know where to begin. Luckily, some teachers in our school know the people working at Be Good House, so they provided us with some references in this direction. And during the actual study process, a lot of people also helped us, including: the contact person of Be Good House, Prof. Jian-Fu Tsai, the farmers at Be Good House, the people in our community, the teachers in our school, and others. Either they represented the opinions of organic agriculture, or told us how to make use of these resources, or shared with us some related histories, transformations and distinctive features, etc. Mostly, we are most grateful to all the participating teachers and students. It’s because of everybody’s hard work that this finished product can be presented to the world. We convey our thanks again to all those who have helped us.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

While doing this project study plan, we have discovered that ‘listening and paying attention are all knowledge and wisdom’. The ones whom we have interviewed have some fascinating views to tell, especially their knowledge relating to cultivating farm products, how to take care of pest infestations without the use of pesticides, using natural enemies of these pests to attain the same effect! All of these have become our greatest motto that followed us throughout our study. Of course, not everything went smoothly! From contacting people and visiting them, we have encountered many difficulties, and it has made us realize that the key to all lies in people: How to deal with interpersonal relationships? How to negotiate? How to control, handle, advance and retreat? These are all knowledge. We are glad that under the guidance of our teachers, we have this chance to learn. We believe there are even more surprises awaiting for us to unearth from our surroundings.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7494)

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