1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
Interview: having an interview with the experts in the field of calligraphy and computer Chinese fonts. Internet: Surfing the Internet to look for the relative websites and discussing the schedule of our project through MSN Messenger. Book, magazine: reading the publications about Chinese etymology, calligraphy and calligraphers to know more about the development of Chinese words. Digital camera: taking the picture of various Chinese fonts to presents clearly the figures of Chinese words. Personal multifunction and all-in-one: used to scan the images of print words, do images editing and copy the information we need. Large-format printer: used to print large posters for our promoting activity. Telephone, mobile phone: used to liaise with our interviewees and confirm details. Computer software: Photoshop 4.0/5.0、FrontPage98/2000、Real Encoder、WS_FTP…etc... Ps. Most of the equipments above are offered by our teachers and parents.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
When just getting started, we couldn’t find a specific goal for our project. “Chinese characters” seem to be a very broad subject because they influence every aspect of our life. Though later we came up with the idea of having all our teachers and students join our project, at first some people thought it’s unpractical to make thousands of people spend time on our small project which basically needs only a couple of students. But finally because of our enthusiasm and our principal’s encouragement, we won every one’s recognition. We picked up sixty pieces of works, every ten offered by our students at each grade (1st to 6th grade) and held an activity of “Chinese words beauty contest” on our sport day. Interestingly, on that day, a few 2graders, wearing the colorful election ribbons (note1) with the sign “It’s the election for words, not for people!” on them, were our perfect ambassadors. So our activity and these adorable ambassadors attracted many News media to have an in-depth report instead of visiting other school’s sport activities. That proved our “Cute ambassadors” strategy worked!
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
Our project and creative activity make our school emphasize calligraphy education much more than before. To make more students how to write calligraphy well, our school turns the video tape of our calligraphy teacher, Mr. Jiang Jinhua, and Cyberfair participants demonstrating writing calligraphy into DVD and plays it in the public areas like the corridors. And many news media also take the idea of our activity “Chinese words beauty contest” and held an activity “My favorite Chinese word.” It’s amazing that our school project can arouse the highly attention of the whole society toward our traditional culture. Besides, because the calligraphy class is one of the required courses in elementary in Taipei city, our project and homepage becomes a very useful teaching and learning material for teachers and students. Even some educational institutes has put our homepage on their websites, hoping there are more people learn more about Chinese characters through our website.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
1. Our calligraphy teacher, Mr. Jiang Jinhua, has devoted himself to calligraphy teaching for several years. In this project, he gave our participants a lot of advice, taught them much professional knowledge in his field and instructed them to tape their calligraphy writing. 2. The President of Dynacomware corp., Mr. Lee Chen-ying authorized us the 2003 updated Computer Chinese fonts and offered their computer font dress for our dress show on the sport day. 3. Our students and their families help us gather the most beautiful words by taking the pictures of the shop signs on the streets and collecting the logos on any print publications. Their all-out involvement enriches our project and activity. 4. Bureau of Education of Taipei City Government has been thinking highly of culture and art. So it informed many reporters to visit our school. Many reporters had to sacrifice their holidays to report our project and made more people know the beauty of Chinese words. 5. As our computer teacher, Mr. Chen Kuan-lin taught us the skills of image editing, homepage and animation designing. He instructed us how to solve the most difficult problem—having the complicated image of Chinese characters shown clearly on our homepage. 6. Our English teacher, Chang Ling-yun, not only translate our project into English but offered us the information about the difference and similarity between Chinese and English words, hoping more people oversea can see the result of our research and love calligraphy, one of the most unique art in the world.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
Last year Hsing-ya primary school combined China music with the Internet and won the platinum award in 2002 Cyberfair contest. This year we tried to research Chinese words — a totally different local art. We find that Chinese words are much more than a graceful art. They contain Chinese culture and its history. So it’s quite hard for our 5th-grade participants to understand the complicated background behind Chinese words. On the other hand, we know a lot about Chinese etymology in the process of doing this project. Based on what we have learnt about Chinese characters to introduce it, maybe this way we can make people who don’t know much about Chinese words have great interest on them as we do. Besides, in the process of studying Chinese words, we realize the importance of learning Chinese well and how to use the most specific words to express our feeling. In the future, we’ll keep learning all the knowledge about Chinese words. Above all, we realize that though we’re still students, our finding can teach many people, including adults, how to appreciate our local art. The true meaning of education is no loger limited to school education. Through Internet, we can teach other people ourselves or learn more from them. We still remember that during the past few months of working hard on our projects, every day we had lunch and discussed our project in the research workstation and spent every holiday to learn how to do our homepage, looked for all kinds of information about Chinese characters. We’re glad that finally we finished our project on time and know how to do a professional project. But most importantly, we know how important it is to work together to achieve our goal and never quit. So next year no matter what kind of project we are going to face, we’ll remember the maxim “Unity is strength.” and moreover, hand down it to the juniors for next Cyberfair contest.