1. Description of Our Community
Miaoli, our hometown, was originally a residential area for aboriginal tribe named Pingpu Jiasih. Chinese people came here in the Han Dynasty. During the Ching Dynasty, it changed its name Miaoli that lasts until now. Known as its mountainous landscape, Miaoli is also named the city of mountains. Most people in our hometown make a living as farmers. Through thrift, diligence and hard work for years, farmers have developed many special agricultural products like strawberries in Dahu, seasonal fruits in Jhuolan, pears in Sanwan and red dates in Gongguan. Compared to the hectic life style in cities, Miaoli is definitely a good place for relaxing your mind.
2. Summary of Our Project
Almost everybody in Taiwan knows the name of Miaoli, Dahu by its local products – strawberries. But early on, Dahu was also a very important place to produce high quality of silk and other silk products in Taiwan. As it is a labor-intensive industry, sericulture, the technology of producing silk products, has had to face the fate of recession. While this time, in Shitan, we were lucky to have found the only existing sericulture farm and therefore started our journey to the world of silkworms.
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:2-3
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
In our school, there are 2 computer rooms each with 40 sets of personal computers. We can access the Internet through the TANET, by Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) with 1536K uploading speed and 384K downloading speed. Our members use computers to access networks by either 56 dial-up modem link through various network providers or wide band services (ADSL) at home.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
During the process of research, we have paid at least 25 visits to the farm. Every single trip took us about 1 hour so most of us had motion sickness from the ride to the farm. Besides, the safety of transportation is always the main concern for the teachers.
Even most of the time, we are tied up to the busy timetable of school, we still insisted on keeping our schedule and tried our very best to get it finished. Because we know, silkworms would never wait.
With limited resources from school, we had to find every possible alternative to carry out our project. For example, we used a lot of photographs to illustrate the process of raising silkworms. In order to get better quality of pictures and connection speed, we had spent quite some time modifying the photos. Besides, we also surfed the Internet to find websites or went to bookshops for free “downloading” of data we needed. We have tried hard to break the limitation and make our project even better.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Most parents and teachers have a stereotyped view about learning, that is, learning can be only confined in the traditional classroom. This time, we stepped out of our classroom and made some variations in the way of learning for students. Meanwhile, we were also inspired by the change and progress the children have made in these few months. We surely learn things from each other. We hope the birth of this project would help more and more people find the beauty of our hometown.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Traditionally, education can only take place at schools. While this time, the resources of our community and parental supporting have played an important role on the research. We believe that diversified curriculums and more real time experience would motivate and stimulate students’ will of learning. The mission of education is to enhance students’ ability to think, to ask questions and to solve problems by themselves.
Acquiring basic knowledge of computer is one of the benefits we’ve got throughout the research. The trend of using computers has gone international. It’s urgent for everyone to learn how to combine the skills and knowledge of using this modern technology in our daily lives.
In addition to increasing our knowledge in science, we have learned skills like how to organize a team to work on a project, communicate with people and also the importance of cooperation. Learning is not just an individual activity for acquiring and storing knowledge. It’s beneficial to share what we have learned through interaction. Besides, it’s essential for teachers to provide students with an environment of abundant living materials. The result of our research would be used as a supplemental material for science and local social studies subjects.
Our team motto is: cooperative learning, team work, idea sharing and act it out. Through brainstorming, we finally made it to achieve our goal.