1. Description of Our Community
Taiwan, as a small island, lies in the western Pacific Ocean, To the west is the Taiwan Formosa Strait, which separates Taiwan from the Chinese mainland. As to Taiwan’s climate, it is mostly subtropical. Taiwan has many indigenous species and every year, the warm currents bring us plenty of fish. Also, with a variety of local unique cultures, Taiwan is an ideal destination for international travelers. Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is the largest city and many government organizations are located here. For people living in Taipei, they have easy access to all kinds of public transportation including metro. Our school is located in Shilin District of Taipei City, and we have Shilin Night Market, National Place Museum, Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, Taipei Astronomical Museum, and Science Museum nearby.
2. Summary of Our Project
Since we got into junior high, we have been encouraged to take part in all kinds of voluntary work. Because of the precious experience, we enrich our learning outside the classroom and make contribution to our community. Thus, we are getting more and more interested in voluntary work. Once luckily we had a chance to interview Vivianna Lin, who used to work as a volunteer in a a children’s home in Eswatini, and we also listened to her speech. From the interview and speech, we get to know how Vivianna’s dream of working as an international volunteer in Eswatini came into shape. Being enlightened by her contribution to homeless kids in Eswatini, we start collecting voluntary work information, join the charity sale, interview the staff from Youth Development Administration and invite Taiwan Starlight Charity Association to have a fundraiser at our school fair. Through these activities, we have an insight of international voluntary work and its influence. Our members in this project also seize the chance to work as volunteers in school, reception in Taipei Astronomical Museum, recycling drop-off stations and community clean-ups. We hope that we can make a difference in the world through voluntary work.
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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our school lab provides computers and internet for us to search for information on the topic. On holidays, we use our computers at home to organize materials. Line, Facebook, and emails are useful and time-saving media for our teamwork.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The biggest challenge we had was how to squeeze the project in our tight schedule. To attend some seminars and interviews scheduled during school days, we inevitably missed some classes at school. Therefore, we had to make up the time on our own. Besides, in order to collect information, we had to visit somewhere or interview someone on weekends. However, it was not easy to set a time that worked for everybody. Also, because of COVID-19, our parents didn’t feel safe to let us visit public places. Other challenges were like how to digest, organize and type in tons of information we collected. Another thing that made us disappointed was that kids in Eswatini originally planned to hold an exhibition of their art works here in Taiwan. However, the event was cancelled because of the pandemic. But in the end, we had a video conference instead so that we could meet each other on line. Before the on-line conference, our project members spent some time working on our self-introduction in English. To be honest, it was not easy for us because some of us didn’t feel confident speaking English.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Through interviewing Vivianna Lin and the staff from Youth Development Administration, we gain a deeper understanding of voluntary work and Africa. We are surprised to find out that there are so many young Taiwanese working as volunteers abroad and they are now making effort to make a difference in this world. They are our role models and we hope some day we can be like them doing something meaningful with love and contribution.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
1.Language art field: While facing large clutter of information, we need to keep a record of what we read, identify the main idea and organize our writing. Before the interview, we prepared questions. To talk to kids in Eswatini on the video conference, we practiced introducing ourselves in English. 2.Math field: On our school birthday, we did a survey. After we had our questionnaires back, we made data ananlysis and used Excel to present our results with charts and graphs. 3.Social Studies field: We googled Eswatini and learned a lot about its location, climate, people, culture and so on. We also spent time working as volunteers in our school and community. 4.Integrated activity field: Doing our research on volunteers abroad leads us to know more about ourselves. We start to ask ourselves what we are capable of and good at and we now give a real thought about our future. 5.Art and Humanity field: Our interviewee, Vivianna, is the co-founder of an art education program in Eswatini. The goal of this program is to help kids in Eswatini to ease anxiety, build confidence and also trigger their potentials through painting. Due to this project, we got to watch these kids’ paintings, and in return, we made self-introduction videos showing them our paintings. At our school fair, we also made posters to introduce voluntary work and Taiwan Starlight Charity Association, which was established later on by the founders of the kid’s art education in Africa. The poster design allowed us to put our art skills and creativity in use.