CyberFair Project ID: 7702

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Hardship of Oyster Farmers
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Fangyuan Junior High School
    Changhua City, Changhua County, N/A, Taiwan (R.O.C)

10 students, ages 13 - 15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 26, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): None

Classes and Teachers: Chu-yue Chou-Huang, Hsiu-chao Chen, Pei-jun Lin

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Situated along the southwestern coast of Changhua, Fangyuan Township was nicknamed as the pearl of the western coastline, with a prosperous aqua-cultivation. It was the second outer port for Lukang in earlier times. Over the last decades, such prosperity could only be known from old-time anecdotes since some geographical changes and moving out of local population. Entering Fangyuan Township via Provincial Line 17, one may immediately feel the slowness of the time. In the nearly deserted village, a visitor may see several old women sitting around to cut oysters into half, with the ousters piled under sunshine. One may also see puppies frolicking and cattle grazing the grass amid the weather-stricken old tile-roof houses. You barely hear bustling noise of big cities; all you can see is manatee pulling carts at its own slow pace. As the sandy land of Fangyuan Township proved a disadvantage to grow crops, the people here used to make oyster growing and fishing their major line of work, and a fishing village thus developed over time. The intertidal zones of Fangyuan Township are not only good for oyster cultivation, but has boasted a wide variety of marine resources. The scene of manatee-carts moving toward sea is a very special activity that can only be viewed in Fangyuan Township.

2. Summary of Our Project

“Go out for work at dawn, seeing the sky turn white, and who knows I’ve done a laborious work? Sailing the boat to the shore, to the shore, to do my work and support my family. Never afraid of the icy cold seawater.” “Scorching sun burn my skin, and I feel the heat barely bearable. Sometimes I have to split the oyster, and sometimes I have to wash clean the oysters, just to earn a living and make the future brighter. I work and work on, sweating all over from daybreak to twilight.” “Seeing the sun setting over the horizon, we have finally finished our work of today. Sunshine or rain, hot or cold, all the family depends on the oysters. The bigger the oysters grow, the better our lives become.” Situated at the western coast of Taiwan, Fangyuan Township is known for its intertidal zone which is exceptionally good to grow oysters. Most of the locals grew oysters for a living at earlier times. Over the years, however, the younger generation moved to urban areas while those remain in the town for oyster farming have dwindled. Young kids here know nearly nothing about the oyster work that their grandparents and parents did. We hope to make younger people realize how hard the oyster work should be and alert them to the spirit of the township through this Cyberfair project. By so doing, we help to strengthen the community, facilitate the transformation of the oyster industry, and let many more people know about Fangyuan, a township where marine resources abound.

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: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 school: The TANet (Chunghwa Telecom) would get slower when more users are downloading/ uploading at the same time. At home: Most students use Chunghwa Telecom’s ADSL at home.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Through fieldwork and interviewing with oyster farmers, we came to realize these farmers’ hardworking spirit and long-lasting energy, as well as the awesome beauty of Fangyuan. We then developed identification with and care for our hometown, and received gratitude and enthusiasm from the community people as they saw our concerted effort in rebuilding the hometown. We hope to document the historical progress of our hometown, and incidentally, we have created a deeper bond with our family, because we know how to appreciate everything we have. We are now making efforts to let outside people see the beauty of Fangyuan.

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

Project Elements

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

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

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

A poem titled as “Compassion for farmers” by a Tang Dynasty poet read like this: “Digging the soil at noontime/ my sweat falls onto the ground/ who has ever known/ their meals come from our labor.” Although this poem depicted farmers instead of oyster grower, it can be slightly changed and described the hard-working of the oyster growers accurately. It was not until we worked on this Cyberfair project did we understand how blessed we are to have so much in our lives. The delicious oyster meals on our dinner tables come from the labor of oyster farmers the whole year round. They work industriously no matter how the weather looks like. Witnessing the hard work of these elderly people, we vowed to present their life stories in our Cyberfair project as faithfully as possible. The elderly persons felt a surge of warmth seeing us do research diligently. The advocates felt pleased to see us working on a project that aims to promote our hometown. The parents felt proud too, as they found out their kids were doing something meaningful. We wrote about the work and life of oyster farmers in our Webpage. In addition to knowing better about what oyster farmers do for a living, local people who visited out Webpage would feel a passion for the hometown like we did, since all we sought was a sense of responsibility and recognition for our hometown.

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

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7702)

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