CyberFair Project ID: 7584

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The dusty mother river ~ Investigation and study of fugitive dust on Chuoshuei River
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Tuku Elementary School
    Yunlin , Yunlin County , Taiwan

9 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 20, 2013. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2012

Classes and Teachers: Principal Hsun-fei Yang, Teacher Chia-wei Hsu, Teacher Shu-wei Chen

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site: http://

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Chutang Township is located in the southwest area of Changhua County, next to Chuoshuei River and neighboring Yunlin County. The local alluvial fan in the center of Chuoshuei River is formed by the flow of water from Dongluo River, Siluo River, and new and old Huwei River. The piece of alluvium is named “Chutang Township”. It was first called “Neilu Chutang Village” and was changed to Chutang Village in 1920. Later in 1946 its name was once again changed from Chutang Village to the Chutang Township we know today. Chutang Township appeared during the Qing Dynasty, Daoguang Period. Magistrate Chou Hsi stated in the Chronicles of Changhua County that there were two possible reasons for its name. One reason wass that the region consisted of low laying lands and was covered with a natural plant called “Lo-di-ah” or “Lo-chu”. With this reason in mind our ancestors named the place according to its landscape and called it “Lu-chu-tang”. Later, in consideration with the distance of the land to the sea, the land was again changed to “Neilu Chutang” and later simplified to Chutang Township.

2. Summary of Our Project

Tuku Elementary School is located in Chutang Township by the Chuoshuei River. The lives of its residents and its industry were tormented by the fugitive dusts of the Chuoshuei River. In the river mouth of central Taiwan, due to drought in the winter its water level dropped and resulted in an increase in bare soil on the riverbed. During the northeast wind season the area is prone to fugitive dust, which greatly affected the living quality of the area. In the downstream of Chuoshuei River, the original plants were destroyed and washed away during the flood season. After the end of October the river level decreases, and exposed sand bars begin to surface. On top of that due to the northeast wind period, and the plowing of the farmers, the problem of the fugitive wind is exacerbated. The lives of it’s the residents are even more devastating. Our school is only a few hundred meters away from the Chuoshuei River. We also suffered from the fugitive dust. Therefore, we chose the “Chuoshuei River dust” and the environment as the theme of our project, in the hope that we can get to know, research, and solve the problem of our hometown. We hope the students of our school will have a better understanding of the place we live, and use their creativity to help those who “eat rice with dust”; hence, enhance the necessary ability required in response to the demands of future.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Lack of Mutual Understanding in Group Cooperation All members of our team are in the fifth grade. However there is a significant variance in the students’ abilities. Also most of the students don’t have computers at home. On top of that we couldn’t excuse the students from after school curriculums and academic classes to work on the Cyberfair project. Therefore, we would have to make use of whatever little time we have left to work on the project. We usually make use of the flag-raising time and lunch break to do various research activities, and we also made use of after school and other free time to write-up progress reports, and then ask our teacher to upload them. We often spent a lot of time waiting for the other members of the team. However, we’ve gradually learned to make good use of our discussion time and are able to research and finish our work more efficiently. Furthermore, through each stages of the project our teacher is always there for support. Our teacher also scheduled and made arrangements with our interviewee for us. In this way we were able to learn more things and grasp the main idea. Insufficient Computer Facility Chutang Township is a small agricultural town, so the chance of having a computer at home is quite slim, which led to our lack of computer operating skills. Also, we faced numerous difficulties writing up reports and on top of that we have little time to practice computer skills in school. Therefore, we can only try our best to learn and make good use of the teachers’ supports and aids.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

The Cyberfair project is a challenge to all of us. From the setting of interview questions, to the creating of website structure, to the presenting of project material, they’re all great obstacles to us. Especially since we’re a small suburb elementary school with a class size of only six classes and there are very few teacher and students in our school. Normally our teachers are very busy teaching and doing administrative work, and on top of that they even had to spend hours instructing us. Luckily, none of us complained that we were tired. In fact we were bonded even closer. Therefore, we would help one another by taking turns to make website, conduct interviews and write progress reports. The true meaning of” unity is power” is heartfelt by all of us.

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

Whenever possible throughout the project we uploaded interview materials, discussion results, and afterthoughts to the internet hard drive, and then share and discuss them together. Therefore, the endless writing had enhanced our composition abilities. Although, before the actual interview, we’ve already prepared interview scripts and practiced scenarios, out of nervousness I would still read straight from the script. Due to weak oral expression abilities, I was unable to broaden the topic in a timely fashion and enrich the contents of the interview. However, after a few interviews, gradually we were able to grasp its secret and our interview skills had greatly improved.We investigated the cause and prevention of fugitive dust, and also had contact with people and things which were critical to the topic. Furthermore we interviewed personnel relative to the topic of fugitive dust. Included were, Prof. Chuan-yu Lai and Prof. Shizoom Wang of National Chung Hsing University, and Mr. Tzu-yun Liu and Mr. Chia-yang Chang of Changhua County Environmental Protection Bureau. On top of that we collected lots of valuable data and information from the Chuoshuei River riverbed, communities along the Chuoshuei River, and Chutang Township Office which helped enriched our knowledge of fugitive dust. At the same time, we’ve also gained different attitudes to life.Unity is strength, when we divide the work, work as one, help one another, and encourage one another. Through this opportunity, we made good friends and wonderful memories. We worked together as “Fugitive Dust Prevention Environmental Junior Pioneers” and to achieve our ultimate goal, we worked hard in unity.

Project Elements

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

1. Ability to utilize information facilities: Information facilities used were software and hardware used for the making of the website. Recording pen, digital camera, and digital video camera applied during interviews were also used to make up for any omission or miss interpretation during the interview, and with the complement of the traditional pen and paper result is optimized. 2. Enhance interview technique ability: Information collection is the first step to interview preparation. After that, an interview outline must first be established. Prior to the interview, our teacher even let us rehearse the script to prevent confusion. This way this hard to come by interview won’t be for nothing. Since each and every interview were arranged beforehand. The opportunity did not come easy. Therefore, we must make good use of the time, ask the questions clearly and record the information. 3. Make good use of internet resources: Using the internet to collect information is very convenient. However, some of the information still has to be confirmed of its legitimacy. You can’t believe everything you see on the internet. Especially sometimes the subject which you searched about may have answers which were poles apart. Therefore to have good research ability one must also have proper judgment ability or he or she will be lost in the world of internet.

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

In the hope to uncover the veil of fugitive dust, we visited Chuoshuei River to observe the current condition of the fugitive dust, and interviewed experts and scholars. Through the contact of our school principal Hsun-fei Yang, Prof. Chuan-yu Lai and Prof. Shizoom Wang of National Chung Hsing University, and Mr. Tzu-yun Liu and Mr. Chia-yang Chang of the Changhua County Environmental Protection Bureau gave us their full assistance and gave the entire school the opportunity to take pulmonary function tests. This way we would be able to have a better understanding of our own health. Throughout the entire interview we learned diligently. We hope we can be good spokespersons.

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

Through the Cyberfair project we investigated the environmental issue of Changhua County with the topic ~ “The dusty mother river ~ Investigation and study of fugitive dust on Chuoshuei River”, and gained an understanding of the effect of fugitive dust on the health of local residents. We also learned, investigated, and designed an experiment which could help others in the understanding of fugitive dust. Due to the fact that, we members of the Tuku Explorers usually help one another during the investigation, the uncles around our school would give us valuable advice. The bonding between our classmates is even closer. During interviews with the professors and chats with the neighbors and elderlies, we spoke in a generous and polite fashion. It’s as if we were really fugitive dust prevention junior reporters! The most exciting part about the Cyberfair project is that when we were working hard on our project there would be friends from other schools who were also working the Cyberfair project leaving words of encouragement on our message board. Members of Tuku Explorers team were deeply touched. Therefore we would do our best to create a website on the fugitive dust on Chuoshuei River to let everyone know about Changhua County. The beautiful mountains and waters are in need of our protection. Tell everybody information on fugitive dust prevention. The children can go home and tell their loved ones about the importance of the knowledge of fugitive dust prevention. Through this time no matter whether it’s academic knowledge or truth of life, we all learned a lot.

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

Through the entire project, we would like to thank the instructing teachers and members of the Tuki Explorers team and some of the homeroom teachers. Firstly, we would like to thank Prof. Chuan-yu Lai and Prof. Shizoom Wang of National Chung Hsing University, and Mr. Tzu-yun Liu and Mr. Chia-yang Chang of the Changhua County Environmental Protection Bureau for their full support and assistance. Through their careful explanation of each question, our doubts were cleared and we were able to grasp the key points of this investigation. Nonetheless, we would also like to thank the patriarch of Tuku elementary school Principal Hsun-fei Yang, Director Chia-wei Hsu, and Teacher Shi-lun Guo. Throughout the project they had arranged various interviews and trips, and seeing them working so hard to instruct us, we were truly moved by their spirits.There were also zealous teachers such as Director Chih-jung Pan, and Teacher Ya-hui Huang who gave us lots of valuable advice. Thank you all! Furthermore, we would like to thank the experts, scholars and community residents who generously accepted our interview, and the students and parents who help us for making our project more enriched and meaningful.Lastly we would like to thank our instructing teacher Mr. Chia-wei Hsu for the planning of daily progress, supervising the writing of afterthought, instructing on website making, and directing discussion on personal related problems. Teacher Hsu also provided information on past Cyberfair projects which helped us grasp the direction and progress of the project. His teaching of website making techniques, website editing and website integrating, had helped us gain a lot of valuable knowledge, hence successfully complete the website.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

In the past I never knew that the hometown which I lived was facing such a huge crisis! In fact, it was not until I’ve truly seen the inconvenience which the fugitive dust brought to the community residents, that I realized the seriousness of this problem. In the beginning the condition of the fugitive dust of Chuoshuei River wasn’t so bad. There is a still chance of preventing fugitive dust with special methods. Prof. Chuan-yu Lai and Prof. Shizoom Wang of National Chung Hsing University, and Mr. Tzu-yun Liu and Mr. Chia-yang Chang of the Changhua County Environmental Protection Bureau gave us their full assistance. It was not until now that I’ve realized that to become a fugitive dust prevention environmental junior pioneer you must have many qualities. Apart from being brave and being able to share with others, you must also acquire the knowledge of fugitive dust prevention, and must also be sensitive to environmental issues at all time. In addition, when I use the computer to help me learn about fugitive dust, I realized that it’s a great tool when searching for information. We should make good use of computers!By taking part in the Cyberfair project, we deeply realized that we must be responsible for the things we do, and we shouldn’t rely on the help of others. You must face each situation with a serious attitude. We also learned the true meaning of team spirit. The strength of a group is far superior to the strength of a single person. To divide the work between groups, not only can enable effective learning, but can also build mutual understanding between team members, which added some color to the memory of our elementary school life. During the making of the project, there were times when we were a little lazy. Fortunately, with the constant reminder and encouragement of our teachers, no matter the hardship, we were still able to fight to the very end. To our knowledge, rice bran is something trivial. We never thought that by processing recycled rice …


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7584)

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