CyberFair Project ID: 7669

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Green Pearl of Xizhou Township—The Stories of Pearl Guava and the Industry’s Development
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Hsi Yang Junior High School
    Changhua County, #, Republic of China,Taiwan

10 students, ages 13-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 10, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2013

Classes and Teachers: Sheng-ping Hsu , Chien-yin Lai, Chun-Chieh Sun

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Situated at the southern tip of Changhua County, Xizhou Township won this name as it is located at the submerged/emerged land where Siluo River and Siluo River (derived from Jhuoshuei River) are running through. This township boasts a historic and a natural feature, namely, Xizhou Sugar Plant and Jizaipi Canal. The former was a major sugar plant decades ago, as the ordinary people of old times depended a lot on sugar plants. In the 1980s, Taiwan Sugar Corporation (referred to as Tai Sugar) reduced its production immensely, and started to sell large pieces of land for residential buildings. In the process, many precious old trees were chopped down, while the Japanese-style dormitories and old structures such as Shicui Building had been torn down. In 1999, some of the land that possessed by Tai Sugar were imposed by the local government and rebuilt into the Township Office and a forest park. The Jizaipi Canal was constructed in the Japanese-colonized period, which was the first ever channel built by the government agency and the second largest irrigation system all over Changhua County. The Jizaipi Canal derived the water from Jhuoshuei River via Xizhou Township for irrigation over southwestern Changhua.

Xizhou Township’s communities and fields are clustered round the channel as the channel water is composed of sandy mud, which contributes to good crops. In addition, the water of Jhuoshuei River is rich in minerals and other valuable components, therefore the rice here, named as “Jhuoshuei Rice,” is best renowned across Taiwan. Jizaipi Canal is not merely a vital line for Xizhou people, but produces excellent-quality agricultural products such as Pearl guava and Malabar chestnut as well.

2. Summary of Our Project

The Pearl guava grown in Xizhou Township has stayed on top of Taiwan in the respects of plantation area, production and quality. Many of the local farmers make a living on guava plantation; hence Pearl guava is as precious as green pearl in the eyes of these local farmers. In short, Pearl guava is economically vital for the locals and a glory for Xizhou Township. In this Cyberfair project, we will give a succinct introduction on the local features of Xizhou, while exploring the topics as follows: 1. Guava Family: an introduction to the species of guava will be given. 2. Xizhou’s Pearl guava: an introduction to the background, subsequent development, weather conditions, growing process, and technology of guava cultivation. 3. Selling: an introduction to Xizhou’s Pearl guava. 4. Professionals: the local guava professionals’ success stories. 5. Current condition and perspectives: innovative ideas about the future development of Xizhou’s Pearl guava cultivation, and sustainable operations of local industries.

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:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

We have encountered quite some difficulties in the process of research over the last six months. Fortunately, we have received valuable help and support from our mentors and community people and have learned a lot from this experience.In the aspect of research focus:In the summer vacation of 2013, the mentors have led us to get familiar with our homeland through field research activities. We have discovered that the Pearl guava grown in Xizhou Township has been ranked as 1st in the respects of production and plantation area in the country, and thus we have reached a decision to focus on Pearl guava in our research.In the aspect of team building and teamwork:The school conducted a workshop for the Cyberfair project during summer vacation to develop our capability in interviewing, taking pictures, photography, and Webpage production and so forth. We have been assigned with specific tasks according to our personal interest and ability.In the aspect of time arrangement:In 2013 summer, we had done actual field activities. In the mid-semester, our mentors helped us to revise and supplement the original report. All of us continued with the work of Webpage production during the winter holiday, and done the supplementary or revised work for information required of this report.In the aspect of information technology:We had found Webpage production very difficult in the beginning phase of the Cyberfair project.We did not consider the editing of photos and aesthetic judgment to be something that need learning so as to make the Webpage inviting to web browsers. Under the guidance of our computer teacher and Teacher Ming-hua Lin, we have grasped the knacks of making good Webpages.In the aspect of data collection:Our teachers organized many sessions on taking pictures, tips on photography, interviewing, and recording. All the techniques have been employed in the process of information collection.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Ever since we began this project, we have gathered for several times, and each time we have achieved a differing purpose, which gave me a lot of sense of fulfillment. I have high curiosity, and have had a habit of finding the answer independently since I was very young. I remember I interviewed a farmer once, and he said that “I am inclined to take a job that is free since I graduated from senior vocational school. And I found I love growing vegetables and fruit.” When I visited his home, I saw so many adorable animals. He reminded me of a great farmer poet Tao Yuan-ming from the Wei Jin and North and South Dynasties. Also another farmer remarked that he hoped guava can have a further improvement in Xizhou in the future. Everybody hopes to see an improvement in their hometown, and I count myself as lucky to have this chance to make research on such a topic. I really wish to have a second opportunity to take a part in the Cyberfair project in the future.

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

Our research project has initiated “action learning process” for all the people involved, teachers or students alike, helping all to get rid of cold knowledge and memorizing: We have integrated many areas of knowledge and community activities in daily life into a system of research. It may well be said that most people, including the pupils in these districts, have depended on guava plantation for a living. Yet it seems that very few people have taken the time to explore the land and natural surroundings of our hometown. It was not until we have confirmed the topic of the research, did we suddenly realize how important the hometown meant to us. Not only should we know where we came from, but we also have to acquire knowledge—from books and everyday life. Memorizing or passing examinations might be part of our schooling, yet there is more to education, such as caring and giving. Hence we realized that the village, the land, Jhuoshuei River, and the farmers, are vital elements in the process of growing up for us.We have developed a spirit and capacity of doing research.Through a confirmation of the research topic, discussions over research framework, the design of questions, interviewing, literature collection, information analysis, report writing, and Webpage making, we have constructed a system of knowledge about agriculture in Xizhou Township and the industry of guava cultivation. This process of knowledge acquisition and research has taught us a lot.We have developed a capability to take advantage of information technology.We did not know that Internet and computer technology could help us with in-depth learning. Through working on the Cyberfair project, we have learned to use a computer to build an exchange platform. By editing photos and adding melodious music and elaborately written words, we have created a presentable Webpage.

Project Elements

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

In the process of research, we used digital camera to shoot photos and employed software to edit pictures in the hope of creating optimal presentation for the Webpage. During the preparation phase, we conducted many on-site interviews, recording the peasants’ remarks with a pen recorder upon their approval and making detailed records of interviews. In order to better understand the present condition and possible issues of the industry of Pearl guava in Xizhou Township, we have also designed a questionnaire to investigate the opinions of the parents. These interviews gave us minute first-hand information. Meanwhile, we have made a thorough search for related information via Websites, and noted the origin of the reference when citing the references. This is to conform to the regulations of intellectual property rights. The IT equipment we used were all belonged to the school, and we have received guidance and training before beginning the project.

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

One purpose of our research was to let peasants know about our concern for the development of the Pearl guava. When we walked into the orchards and farms, they gave us much welcome. During the process of interviewing, these peasants spouted for hours about the present predicament of the industry of guava planation, and what they thought the government could do for farmers. Listening to their remarks, we realized what kind of hard work these farmers were committed to. Therefore we want to publicize the Xizhou’s Pearl guava across the country, create a brand of our own, and let the township office have the right to use our Webpage, so as to facilitate the industry of Pearl guava of our hometown.

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

We have learned from this project where our ancestors came from, and to which direction we are heading. We all know more about our role in the process of globalization and urbanization, and have developed a strong bond with the agriculture of Xizhou Township. We admire our peasants’ dedication to guava industry and hard work to support their families, and understand what kind of role we are expected to take on. Whether it be innovative ideas in R&D or perseverance to guava cultivation, we have got more self-confidence in a bright future. We will be very glad to lend this Webpage to the township office or agricultural union, which can serve as a platform to attract people outside of Xizhou to buy our Pearl guava.

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

There are many guava farms in our community, some of which are owned by our classmates. Therefore we asked some classmates to persuade their parents to accept an interview with us, as well as give recommendations of other peasants. We had finished interviews and visits during summer holidays. Yet later on, we considered to make the sampling base bigger, so as to make samples more convincing. Therefore we decided to give a questionnaire round the parents of our schoolmates. 45 copies of questionnaire were delivered to parents, with 44 being returned.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Land, water, guava, and the peasants constitute a simple, precious culture of Xizhou Township. The Cyberfair project indeed gave us a golden opportunity to get close to our land, and explore the hardworking spirit of our peasants. Even without eloquence or glamorous looks, they are wise people who know how to live in harmony with the Nature with a contented heart and happiness. They have to struggle to support their families, yet they seldom complain. By learning from them, we cherish the present and develop a sense of responsibility for the future.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7669)

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