1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
(a) Desktop PC, Notebook PC – These were used to create and edit websites.
(b) Telephone – It was used to reach teachers, parents, team members, industry people, government offices, and customer service.
(c) Recording Pen – It was used to record interviewee’s words, as well as voice reminders for ourselves.
(d) Conventional Camera, Digital Camera, Digital Camcorder - These were used to record the entire production process, as well as record our field trips.
(e) Television - It was used for newscasts and related special reports.
(f) Monitor - It was used to view briefings and the videos that we recorded.
(g) Scanner - It was used for scanning pictures and photographs.
(h) Computer Software – (1) WORD2000 - Word processing (2) Dreamweaver MX - Webpage creation (3) Flash MX - Make animated pictures (4) Adobe Photoshop CS - Image processing (5) Adobe Illustrator CS - Illustration for images (6) SwiSHmax - Special effects for texts of title and first page (7) PHOTOIMPACT 8.0 - To edit drawings, photos, and pictures (8) Ulead GIF Animator 5 - Producing photo animation (9) WS-FTP95LE - To transmit data files (10) MS-IE6.0 - Searching Internet information and check results (11) ACDSee32 - Browsing pictures (12) MS-Outlook Express - Sending and receiving e-mails
(i) Library, Cultural Center - We searched for needed information in these places.
(j) Museum - It was used for collecting information and conducting interviews.
(k) Books, Magazines - These were used to search for and double-check information.
(l) Newspapers, Media - These were used to collect articles relating to the main topic.
(m) Verbal Interview - The most treasured information came from the oral narratives of related individuals.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
(1) Paper Survey - We had been taking surveys during the winter break. The topic of our survey was the basic knowledge about tobacco products, and our main subjects are the general public and the students. We wished to infuse some basic knowledge about the danger of smoking into the general public through the process of taking surveys. We have gradually acquired this knowledge after we started to work on this project. We feel that we have the responsibility and the duty to share what we had learned with others.
(2) Seminars - We have held several “Tobacco Control and Prevention” seminars in our school and community, during which we distributed brochures that contain laws and regulations about tobacco control, the health risk of smoking, the effect tobacco products have on our society, and how to stay away from the tobacco products. We asked the participating students and fellow citizens to spend some time to read through the brochures, so we could pass down the health information that could save their lives. After several seminars, we found out that not only did the students and the fellow citizens get drawn closer together, but we were able to accomplish our mission in the process.
(3) Surveillance - Reading thousands of books is no better than walking thousands of miles. Besides holding seminars, we were also taking the proactive approach, as we visited several stores that carry tobacco products to keep an eye on how they display the products. If they keep the cigarettes on open shelves, we would suggest to them that this is not a good practice, since minors would have an easy way of purchasing tobacco products. We even posed as customers to buy cigarettes. Some storekeepers sold them to us without even asking us for identifications. We even asked them, “we are under 18 years of age, are we allowed to buy cigarettes?” It was only then when they became speechless and took back the cigarettes they sold us. We realize that there are still lots of work to do on tobacco control, so even after our project is finished, we will continue our surveillance work.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
(1) Community - We are very fortunate that we have learned a great deal of medical knowledge through working on this research project, as well as understanding the danger of smoking in depth. In order to share what we have learned, we didn’t want to miss any chance to tell the smokers the terrible truth about smoking. Even though we weren’t always able to make them quit right away, at least they always responded positively to our advice, and promised us that they would cut back on smoking even if they couldn’t quit completely. The reaction of the community residents tells us that what we are promoting is working, and we feel an even greater responsibility.
(2) School - In the beginning, when our classmates first found out about the topic of our research project, many would ask us, “we don’t even smoke, why do we need to research into this subject?” We would always patiently answer them, “Just because we don’t smoke, there is an even greater need for us to understand the risk of smoking, so we will never become smokers in the future”. In the past, many of us believed that tobacco control and prevention is a subject that had nothing to do with us, since the school does not allow smoking. However, after we went through the data that we collected, most of us have made a decision that we will stay as far away from the tobacco products as possible. Not only do we not want to start smoking, but we also do not want to become victims of second-hand smoke.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
(1) Minister of Department of Health, Mr. Ho Sheng-mou, MD - On the first day of the 2005 Global Forum for Health Leaders, our volunteer parent talked with Dr. Hou about our research project during the discussion of the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control. Our volunteer parent received a lot of encouragement and supports.
(2) Department of Health Bureau of Health Promotion - We got in touch with them. They promised us to refer to any of the information provided on their website.
(3) John Tung Foundation Tobacco Control and Prevention Group - They are the first non-profit anti-tobacco organization in Taiwan, as well as the first non-WHO member to enter the Framework Convention Alliance. We asked them for permission to use the data on their website. They gave us the permission, and also sent us the correct website address in the European Union, which contains some shocking pictures and health warnings.
(4) Taiwan International Medical Alliance - The Taiwan International Medical Alliance has long been participating in international partnerships in the areas of education, promotion, and regulation. Their principle is to enable the countries being helped to become self-sufficient. We came into contact with the tobacco control and prevention project coordinator Ms. Huang Yi-bi and have obtained her support and the permission to use their data. It substantially increased our medical knowledge, as well as lending credibility to our project.
(5) Asia University Department of Healthcare Administration Assistant Professor, Dr. Ho Ching-song - Professor Ho was the host for the 2003 Taichung County Tobacco-Free Campus Assistance Project, as well as the brain trust behind the 2005 Tobacco Products Knowledge Assessment. He is currently conducting research at the University of Michigan but he still fervently told us some important points of tobacco control and prevention. We followed his direction and made some correction.
(6) Missouri Dentist Li Chih-yi, DDS - Dr. Li is a licensed dentist in Missouri, U.S.A. We got in touch with him through our supervising teacher. Dr. Li has been advising us about certain technical and medical terms, and he has been very helpful in the translation of our articles so we could avoid making context mistakes.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
(1) Discovering Behind Curtains of Tobacco - After we started this research project, we discovered that under the pretty packaging of cigarettes lies tons of unknown truth. The danger that cigarette poses on our health, our environment, our society, and our economy is vividly presented in front of the public after our relentless pursuit for truth. This discovery enabled us to say no to tobacco early, and it prompted us to advise our family and friends that staying far away from the tobacco products is the best thing they can do about their lives.
(2) A Lesson about Respecting Life - Life is just like time, because once it’s gone, it’ll never come back. Therefore life should be cherished, so that the life could be filled with hope. Smoking destroys lives, as it erodes health bodies gradually, which is akin to giving the lives to the Satan for judgment. Refusing to smoke is a way to show respect for lives; not only to one’s self, but also to the family and friends.
(3) The Surprise at Persistence - The social activists are always the incumbent parties, because their goal is to monitor the executive process of our government. Only with the existence of these justice-driven groups can our society and government continue to evolve. In the past several years, the non-profit anti-tobacco groups have been staying true to their original goal even under financial constraint and pressure from the opposition. They are working hard to create a tobacco-free environment for our fellow citizens. Their hard work should be appreciated, and their perseverance is truly amazing!