CyberFair Project ID: 7785

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Green gold-Reminiscence of Ershui Tobacco Buildings
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Ershui Junior High School
    Ershui Township, Changhua County, , Taiwan

10 students, ages 14-15 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 2, 2014. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2012,2013

Classes and Teachers: Ming-shan Kao

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Situated at the southern side of Bagua mountain, Ershui Township is located at the southeastern tip of Changhua County. With the Zhuoshui River to the south, and Nantou County to the east, Ershui is surrounded by marvelous landscapes. There are many famous scenic spots: Erbawan Ancient Trail, Formosan macaque Educational Hall, Papao Canal, and Lin Hsiansheng Temple, just to name a few. A bikeway has been constructed in the township for the locals and tourists to travel. In short, Ershui boasts cultural flavors and natural beauty at the same time. Many noted agricultural products can be found in Ershui: white pomelo, coffee beans, eggplant, Zhuoshui paddy and red sugarcane. Ershui Township is also an important railway station as the Jiji Line, a major sub-line of Taiwan Railway, stretches over this town and sets up two stations: Ershui and Yuanchuan. The tobacco buildings constructed in the Japanese-colonized period serve as a witness to the once enviable town where tobacco brought in floods of money for the local people. We make the neighboring towns and villages round Ershui as the theme of this Cyberfair project, with Meinong as an example for comparison.

2. Summary of Our Project

With a pleasant climate and good natural surroundings, Ershui was selected as a cultivation area for tobacco in the Japanese-colonized period. Several decades later, tobacco industry saw a decline, although still some tobacco buildings stand out among common residences. The elderly would talk about tobacco industry and the prosperity with enthusiasm. The remaining tobacco barns are a good reminder for the young generation to remember their ancestors’ hard working. We hope to record the phenomenon (a once miracle of economy) with words and pictures before these tobacco barns totally disappeared. By so doing, the history of tobacco industry in Ershui can be well documented for the future generations.

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Students’ background: Most of our students live in Ershui Township, which is a remote town from urban areas. Students have had lesser access to information compared with the counterparts in urban areas, and have had to accept training in compiling materials, making analyses, and writing for this project. Fortunately, many teammates of this project have excellent ability and skills in art design, and have done a satisfactory job in this aspect. Lack of time: We had to collect, compile, and analyze the information in the lunch break, club activity time, and weekends. With only two classes of “club activity,” we had to pick teammates, communicate with all involved about the objective, purpose, and attention items of this project. It’s like ball-juggling to all of us, and we were glad that we’ve made it in the end. Too tight a schedule with too many activities: Besides, we had a rather busy time last semester, as the 51st anniversary sports event occupied a great amount of time. We had to spare time for these events and activities, and thus were all very pushed to squeeze time for this Cyberfair project.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We learned to respect history and comprehend the influence of local industries on the community via observing the rise and fall of tobacco buildings. We learned that our forefathers were capable of building good structures that corresponded to principles of Nature and met economic purposes. This means that Nature and economic development can join hands to make a better world.

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

The ability to analyze information and give response with one’s own words is part of one’s language skills. Through taking interviews, we gathered, compiled, and analyzed related information before making interpretation and putting down in words. In the meantime, we also recorded the cultural and historical attributes of the community life, and made a historic record of the development of the school and its affiliation with the community. By visiting tobacco barns and taking a close observation at them, we have had an opportunity to compare what we had learned in Nature textbooks with the real world, and known about the intertwined relations between all living things and the environment. We also employed computer skills and modern technology to share with the outside world our findings in tobacco industry and the local features of the town. We hope to attract more tourists to Ershui and trigger the local economy and industry development. It is expected that Ershui can find its new position in the network of modern business and prosperity.

Project Elements

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

We have four desktop computers (all well-equipped with printers and patch cords) in the Disciplinary Division, and a couple of laptops, a DV, a digital camera, and a sketch board in the Academic Affairs Division. There are also over 30 desktops in the computer room, where the club members of the Youth Club helped with typing and Webpage production. We employed computer programs such as Photoimpact and namo to make Webpages.

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

We have five steps to get familiar with the local community. First,we made some preparations for field trip to Linbei to find tobacco buildings in advance, and collected related information until today. Second,this field research backed up our knowledge in the industry, and a valuable resource to see the process of drying up tobacco leaves in Linbei Village. Now that the tobacco barns are mostly abandoned in Ershui, it is best to combine the local ecological resources into tourism. Third,we were led by our teachers to see the tobacco building and the making process of tobacco leaves. Meanwhile a well-trained tour guide accompanied us and instructed us how to work as a docent in showing tourists the place and information. The chairperson of the Linbei Tobacco Building Association joined in this activity and told us that their tour guiding was aimed to make the tourists understand tobacco industry and tobacco buildings were the products of economic development.Fourth,in the process of Webpage production, we collected information and realized how the tobacco industry began to prosper and why tobacco barns were constructed to satisfy this economic demand. By choosing tobacco barns as the theme for our Cyberfair project, we have known more about many cultural attributes in several towns .Fifth,We took a field trip to tobacco farms and knew how much work the farmers had to do when growing tobacco. This experience education helps us to appreciate their hardworking spirit.

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

1.Integrates the curriculum into local life: We have integrated our curriculum with the life and industries in Ershui by giving students an introduction and field trip to view tobacco buildings. Students have got to know more about tobacco barns by collecting and analyzing data and past literature and making the Webpage independently. By threading the knowledge found in books and the impression made in field trips, they have gained a deeper understanding of the historical development of Ershui.

2.Develops local feature activities: A small town with fine scenery and warm-hearted people, Ershui Township boasts stretches of farms and fields and Bagua mountain. The tobacco buildings in Eushui are old-time products when tobacco industry was the vital lifeline of the town. Currently out of use, they have historic value and are worth taking a picture.

3.Makes a bid for outside resources: We began to publicize the tobacco buildings of earlier times and make the world understand how our ancestors dried up tobacco leaves with the facilities of tobacco buildings. By giving a new meaning to tobacco barns, we hope that the connection with local communities could make tobacco barns an advantage for tourism and trigger the economy of Ershui.

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

1.Field trip to Linbei to find tobacco buildings We made a trip to Linbei and interviewed the locals and the chairperson of Linbei Community Development Association, Mr. Huang, to better understand Ershui Township and tobacco buildings of the past. We also observed the making process of tobacco leaves and explored the ill effects of smoking and the economic growth it brought forth in this town. We hope to promote the tourism in Ershui Township through this Cyberfair project and create more revenues for the neighborhood.

2.Field research:tobacco dried-up process Through a field trip to observe the baking process of tobacco leaves and to sightsee the historical monuments and sites of Linnei Village and Ershui, we realized how we could integrate the local resources into tourism.

3.Trained as docents The chairperson of Linbei Community Development Association, Mr. Huang, told us about the historic value of the tobacco barns and tobacco cultivation and tobacco leaves dried-up process. He helped us to communicate with local farmers, to know more about the ecological environment and historical and cultural reasons of the rise and fall of tobacco industry.

4.Making Webpage for the Cyberfair project Through the contact with the Linbei community, we’ve got many photos, videos, and materials and better understood the meaning and historical development of tobacco buildings. Thanks to the help from the chairperson, we have gathered information and made the Webpage in due time.

5.Field trip to tobacco farms We took a field trip to the tobacco farms and observed the tobacco buildings in Ershui. Through interactions with local farmers and community residents, we knew better about the value of tobacco buildings as assets for tourism. By taking a field trip, we’ve come to comprehend the direction and objectives of the Cyberfair project.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Discoveries:In the field trips to Linbei Village, we knew more about the history of tobacco buildings and about their structures. From the experience activity in dried-up tobacco leaves, we knew more about the rise and fall of agricultural patterns. We also were enlightened about the magic of incorporating local features into tourism and the intertwining network of the community and the campus. We heard about intriguing anecdotes and stories from local silver-haired people. In the earlier times, tobacco cultivation was regarded as an industry that made profits and could trigger economic development. Now that such structures are mostly deserted, it seems that they can be used as historical monuments to attract tourists all over the world. Lessons: We’ve learned to respect, appreciate, and cherish the historical assets of today through the trips round tobacco buildings. We determined to make contributions to the conservation of tobacco buildings after discussing the current condition of tobacco barns. It is expected that through transformation, Ershui may rebuild itself as a hot spot for tourists from the globe with the development of other local industries. After all, it is best to make a priority of the nationals’ health while promoting economic growth, and transform tobacco industry into tourism that publicizes sustainability and brings in revenues. Surprises:We knew about the historic beauty and cultural features via the field trip to the tobacco buildings in Linbei, and came to understand the inter-connectedness between tobacco cultivation and villagers via interviews with the locals. In addition, we learned how to find ways to preserve the historic monuments and adhere to old-time spirit. We are convinced that only through appreciation, respect, and humility can we preserve historic assets and make the future prosperity of Ershui come true by promotion of tourism in the years to come.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 7785)

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