CyberFair Project ID: 7659

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: From Rice Paddies to a Winery
Category: 3. Business and Community Organizations

School: Kaohsiung Commercial High School
    Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC

10 students, ages 17-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 6, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2009~2014

Classes and Teachers: Three teachers and two classes

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Originally, Daliao was named “Fongtan,” serving as a flood pond as well as a military stronghold. In Ching Dynasty, it was under the juridiction of Fongshan Down Tamsui River. Because the soil of the riverbank was so rich that it kept attracting migrators, coming for reclamation and settlement. The settlers made their homes with sugar cane materials. During Kangxi Emperor period of Chin Dynasty, great number of Han people began moving to this place. The dry lands along either side of Kao-Ping River (also known as Down Tamsui River) were often devastated by floods, which also made the soil much fertile, conducive to farming. For hundreds of years, to prevent their homes from being flooded, the forefathers made make-shift liaos, temporary dwellings, as short-period abodes. Among the liaos, there were four large settlements: “Sipu Liao,” “Chaozhou Liao,” “Ding Da Liao,” and “Sia Da Liao,” which were merged as “Daliao” druing the Japanese Occupation. Decades after on December 25th, 2010, its title was changed to Daliao District of Kaohsiung Municipal, following the restructuring of the five Municipals. Daliao District, situated in the southeast of Kaohsiung Municipal, is rich in geographical appearances. Geographically separated by Fonglin Road, its west is Fongshan Hill, while its east is Kao-Ping River Alluvial Plain. It is now populated by 109 thousand people. In addition to mountains and rivers, fertile soil and aboundant eco-systems, Daliao is also abundant in humanity and history. Daliao Plain was formed by the flooding of ocean sedimentary formations, with a height of 16.2 meters above the sea level, easy for farming. As the major industry of this district is farming, the farming of crops adopts three-stage production. From 1961 to mid-1970, the plantation in this district was mainly rice. After the second rice harvest, farmers didn’t smooth the land for farming; rather, they planted the red bean seeds by digging holes between the rice stalks, making good use …

2. Summary of Our Project

With the development of the times, people are becoming reluctant to take farming, a costly-and-susceptable-to-climate industry, as their profession. Instead, they take second or third industry, such as skill occupation or knowledge profession. What’s worse, entering WTO, followed by opening up the rice market to the global community, surely has a devastating impact on rice farming. Thus, rice farmers have been forced to transform to other higher economy-valued crops. Originally, we focused our attention on the transformation from rice to red beans. Yet in the process of the discussion, we found that in addition to the previously mentioned transferred crops, some rice farmers make good use of the rice harvest to pursue the higher-valued manipulation or reproduction—turning it into alcoholic products, the main purpose of the Cyberfair Project. In the project we hope to better understand the transformation of the agricultural industry, the motives of transformation, the predicaments of transformation, and finally the strengths and weaknesses of transformation to the industry. Taking Feng Lin Winery for example, we follow up its developmental stages. Originally a rice planter and even has its brandname rice, “Rice of Farmers,” to cope with rice oversupply and the problem of not being able to be kept fresh for long, Feng Lin transforms its sorely stage 1 farming to integrate stage 2 processing and stage 3 customer service. It is the first rice-farming-turned winery, who chooses the traditional manual way of wine making, different from modern mechanical way. During the process of transformation, in techniques as well as in marketing, it has brought great impacts and changes to its original rice-farming business, which is the focus of this Cyberfair 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:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

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):

School backbone network is optical fiber/cable bandwidth of 100Mbps, The same specification of wireless Wi-Fi.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Many problems and difficulties arose during doing the project. Team members had to face both schoolwork pressure and took care of extracurricular activities, which were draining our energy and making us unable to get together for more discussion sessions. We solved it by seizing every opportunity we could to hold meeting with instrcutors and team members. Since we were not computer software experts, we really found it difficult to create web pages. To deal with this situation, we consulted relevant books, sought instructors’ advice, and pleaded or coerced schoolmates or friends to give us a hand. And we were so inexperiecned in interviewing people that we felt extremely nervous before. To lessen our anxiety, we went through the interview contents as many times as we could and read the background information of the VIPs we were scheduled to interview thoroughly. Besides, favorable cooperation came slow. In the beginning, meetings were either unfocused or fierce. Not until the first three meetings did we get to the right track, with the instructors’ guidance and everybody’s efforts. Last but not least, our parents misunderstood. But this situation was solved by itself when they found our using a lot of computer was to collect information for the project and edit the contents. We really learned a lot from doing the project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Though troublesome and exhausting, doing the project was a fantastic experience. Students felt thrilled and instructors felt enlightened when having meeting with VIPs, experts, and professors. To students and instructors alike, doing the project was a journey to Knowledge.

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

Actually, doing the Cyberfair project was to complete a PBL program. We are a commercial high school requiring all students to select some courses concerning commerce. So far, we've had business management courses, accounting courses, etc. Doing the project, we had to integrate all what we learned. For example, after collecting the necessary information and materials, we had to do editing jobs, requiring our language ability and logical thinking. When doing the analysis jobs, we had to resort to our knowledge on business management and more than one kinds of computer software. Not until after doing the project did we know that all learning has its share in completing the job we are doing ,no matter how small size it is. And we also realized that there are some things that we could not learn in classroom settings, such as interviewing people and attending press conference. We really think that the Internet can be an effect way in teaching and learning, in which all kinds of information and materials are easier to share, edit, and upload.

Project Elements

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

All the classrooms in our school have Internet access. We even had a computer classroom for us to use exclusively when doing the project. Every team member had a dedicated desktop computer. In the beginning, we went to school library and community library, sometimes NPUST library, to check out books and materials we needed. Then we complement them with information and materials from relevant websites on the Internet. During the interviews, recording pens, and occasionally our cell phones, were used to record the content of the whole process. Often, we could not complete all the assignments at school. When that happened, we used our own computers at home to continue the editing and uploading jobs.

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

In the beginning, when some of our team members told their parents that we were doing a project on wine-making industry, some fo them seemed relunctant to agree. In their opinion, promoting alcohol drinking is not decent research. After our explanation, they finally knew our intention was not promoting alcohol drinking; rather, we were doing a project about a reponsible winery manufacturing quality alcoholic drinks. The same situation happened when some of the teachers heard of our project. But they were quickly to justify our project when we briefed what we were doing to them. Most of them even gave us their valuable suggestions. The most difficult part was when we went to the streets handing out the questionnaires asking them to fill out for us. Some immediately declined to help. A couple of the passersby ask why we were doing a part-time job for wineries rather than honorable stores. We sincerely stated our intention to them, which was rewarded with apologies and kind help. They called some of their friends by cell phones to fill out the questionnaires for us. From this incident we learned that misunderstanding is not that hard to break if you are serious about what you are doing and you are polite and sincere enough. But annoying enough is that our mothers, who think we are wine experts now, often ask us which rice wine brand is the best in Taiwan.

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

Alcohol drinking has a long history in Taiwan. Taiwan has been notorious for gulping all knids of wines, which has been causing serious traffic accidents. Our teachers think highly of our research, unveiling the mystery of wine-making industry in Taiwan. Some schoolmates learned of our project from our school website. They encouraged us when knowing we were participating in teh 2014 Cyberfair project competition. Most street passersby also praised our research for introducing a responsible winery to the public and publicizing it to the global community. The community librarian once asked us where she could have a look at our complete work of Chinese version. She said she wanted to share it with her friends. Hopefully, our finished project could practically help Feng Lin Winery, in both publicity and sales locally and globally.

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

The completion of this project was a lot of people's doing. In the beginning, many teachers, including the school principal, encouraged us and gave us valuable suggestions. Some of them even helped us out with our outlines. Both school and community librarians patiently answered our questions and located the books, journals, and magazines for us. Our classmates' precious notes when we had to skip some classes did help us a lot, preventing us from failing the courses. The support from our family meant much. At some late nights, our parents had to pick us at school, because we had to stay there that late to complete the assignments. Professors from College of Agriculture NPUST and experts from agricultural organizations also deserved our most sincere thanks. Without the helping hand from all the above-mentioned people and those who are mentioned here, the project could not be completed.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

We really learned a lot from doing the 2014 Cyberfair project. Feng Lin Winery is the first local rice-farming-transformed winery, the most noticeable feature of which is that it created a management mode of undertaking to do everything by itself from rice production, to wine making, and to marketing in order to cope with the management difficulties arising from Taiwan's entering WTO. Through this rare opportunity, we’ve realized that from selecting seedlings to producing fresh polished rice requires complicated processing procedures and strict filtering, not as simple as we imagined it should be. One more thing deserves mentioning is that what seems catastrophe could turn out to be great fortune if you really try hard to find the way, just like Papa and Mama Huang turning aging rice into fragrant wines.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7659)

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