CyberFair Project ID: 7759

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Dioxin Egg Crisis
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Hsien-Hsi Junior High School
    Changhua County, n/a, Taiwan

8 students, ages 14-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 19, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013

Classes and Teachers: Jen-Chieh Hsu, Hua-Shu Wu

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Hsien-Hsi is a small town located at the seacoast of Midwest Taiwan. It has an extended cost line where many locals grew up spending their time. The beach was filled with golden sand and surrounded by vastly deep blue ocean. It was once the go-to it place for having a fun time. However, the scene was all changed in 1976. The government implemented the plan to turn the seacoast area into an industrial park. Factories were established one after another. In 1993, Changhua Coastal Industrial Administration Center was founded and factory establishment bloomed further on. Now, Hsien-Hsi is still the small town but full of factories. Even though locals are offered with more job opportunities, in exchange, the natural environment falls the victim as a result. The pollution caused by factories has severe effects toward local habitat. For instance, in June 2005, duck husbandry was shamed with toxic produce due to the industrial pollution in the area. The duck eggs were found contaminated with Dioxin which is a poisonous chemical compound. Since then, the duck breeding in Hsien-Hsi became extinct.

2. Summary of Our Project

Ever since the industrialization in Taiwan, various cases of pollution keep popping up on the news. The duck husbandry incident in Hsien-Hsi being one of them, we are challenged with the issue face to face. For our project, we will present a serial collective cases of pollutions in some different regions of Taiwan, but focusing on town of Hsien-Hsi. Through researches, interviews and throughout investigations, we will showcase what causes pollution and how it comes into place and what may be the possible done damages. In the last six months, we’ve also collected and put together a sorted documentation on the relation between factories and pollutions, and how they are linked with each other. We even took the samples and run the diagnosis of air and water quality from places as our supporting evidence. Hoping through our project, the public will gain a better understanding of different types of pollution and raise an awareness of the matter, which further aids at finding solutions.

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The difficulties we were confronted with, one being the utmost inconvenience was time management. As this project is extra curriculum, we only had after school hour to work with. Subsequently, after meeting all the requirements of being a student and a responsible family member, it only left us 1-2 hours at most daily to do the project. Projects such as this one demand a lot of attended hours, we needed to come up with a schedule that every member of the team can work around with individually and interactively. In most occasions, we were only able to gather all the team members and have our meetings on the weekend. Another challenge being, due to a lot of the information was unpublished words of the event involvers. It requires a solid amount of interviews. But some with compelling stories didn’t feel the comfort to share. We needed to make calls, find new contacts and finally be referred to ones that were willing to do so. It can be a prolonged process to just gather raw data. Other difficulties we encountered include, unfamiliarity of the used technologies. One being very challenging for us was web design. With no prior experience and the lack of knowledge of how to, we relied heavily on websites such as Weebly and other tutorial ones. But it was very time consuming reading step-by-step every time when we don’t know how to do something.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Save the Earth, save the future. Do our best.

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

In language learning aspect, we got to practice the art of writing. Especially in the construction of a report and how to turn raw data into meaningful information. In sociology aspect, we discovered some significant pollution events within our local community and by publishing it on our website, it gave us and the community a chance to reflect and a channel to share opinions. In science, we did air and water quality examination at a proper lab. It gave us a chance to put the theories and methods we learned to actual practice. On top of all everything else, this CyberFair project also gave us another opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge we’ve learned in IT class. It is also a more fun way of learning compares to traditional papers and books. The workshop allowed us to actually design a real website rather than just reading the step-by-step about it. With this two-way teaching and learning method, we were able to gain real experience.

Project Elements

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

The information tools used in this project primarily base on internet websites and interviews. We digitalized all data and information for easy access. To avoid unwanted print papers, traditional methods such as newspapers, books, libraries were not practiced. Additionally, most of our discussions were conducted via internet application such as Facebook. It gives us the instantaneity and mobility to receive new updates and keep each other in loop on the latest progress. Furthermore, because our busy school life, being able to download and upload the files whenever we needed is very crucial. One very helpful tools we used were Google Drive and Weebly. It gave us the luxury to do immediate editing. New information can easily be added on or revised online. Group members can all access the files simultaneously without the need to meet up in person on a busy day. Other technologies and devices used include: video and cam recorders for documenting interviews and project related events. Flesh drives to back up files. Projector, for the purpose of briefing when met in person. Smartphones, so everyone can keep in touch and receive the latest information. Last by not least, computers/laptops with internet access. This is the most important technological instrument in our project. We did our research on it, formatting, editing, web designing, virtually everything with it.

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

Most contacts were interviewed or consulted in person or via phone calls. We started with asking around at school. A few of them were named by someone-knows-someone. Then we tried to make calls or pay them a visit at their place and from there, we were referred with more contacts. To find out those who were involved in past pollution cases, we called and emailed Department of Environmental Protection, Changhua division for the stories. We then tried to find the news coverage online and see if any name popped up, then further find their business contact online or contact the responsible companies to set up interviews. For consultation and fact check, we looked online for environmental departments and emailed them the issues we bear so they can provide us their professional opinions. After a load of emailing back and forth, we brought back the information we gathered and found more interviewees for their thoughts on it. The interviewees were glad that we got involved in this issue. Hoping through our project, the public will gain a better understanding of different types of pollution and raise an awareness of the matter, which further aids at finding solutions.

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

During the making of our project, we discovered some worrying problems in our community. Problems that affect and should be of concerns to all of us. However, many including ourselves were adapted to the easier idea of “I didn’t do it and there’s nothing I can do to help” and somehow it seemed acceptable to do nothing. Gradually, nobody spoke nothing and got custom to the life of ignorance. This project gave us a rare opportunity to challenge ourselves and finally brought us to the acknowledgement of the long existing environmental issues. People whom we’ve spoken to for our project, those that shared their first experienced stories, they all expressed a wary concern about how these pressing matters are unheard to many. Being an individual, they felt powerless and saddened by how little they could achieve on their own. Our project gives them voice and put it together to present an appealing case. Show the community how the problems may not be their doings but we all live the consequences together. Our environment is our own problem. In good spirit, we urge to raise more awareness and encourage people to get involved to make a change.

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

A good portion of issues uncovered in the project were unacknowledged by many. Some have never even made to the light of the media. To get the stories, we’ve interviewed many locals, factories and relevant unions. We also spoke to some professionals to get instructions of how to conduct a proper environmental research. Many chipped in their opinions. For instance, Mr. Chen Ping Lin from Environmental Protection Administration showed us how to use their Air Quality Monitoring Network website. He taught us how to read the statistical table and what the number data represents. Moreover, staff from Worthies, an environmental consulting company gave some really valuable lessons on how to do tests on different types of pollutions. Sharing stories on the deadly killer, Dixoin, a major cause of pollution. Next, we also thanks to the explanation of Taiwan Steel Union to let us get the answers to these dioxin issues. Finally, special thanks to people at Department of Environmental Protection, Changhua division and Changhua Coastal Environmental Information Center, without whom, our project will not be.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7759)

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