CyberFair Project ID: 4657

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Reviving the hundred-year-old dust-laden façade – the Mansion of Scholar in Luchou Shuinan
Category: 6. Historical Landmarks

School: Luchiang Elementary School
    Taipei County Lujhou City, Taiwan, Taiwan

13 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004, 2005

Classes and Teachers: Shu-hui Chang, Mei-hong Lin, Zih-yu Huang, Li-shu Weng

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Lujhou was not a piece of land a long time ago. In late 1600, Lujhou was still at the bottom of the river before it formed into shoal, and not until early 1700, Lujhou emerged from the water. Where is Lujhou? It is at the northwest part of Taipei Basin, west bank of the downstream of Tamshui, adjoins Tamshui River on the northeast, and faces Shetze Island of Taipei City Shilin District, neighbors Wugu Township on the west and Sanchung City on the southeast. The Mansion of Scholar is located in Shuinan area of Lujhou, which was the first developed area in Lujhou. It was the residence of Scholar Li Sheng-yuan in the Ching Dynasty. At that time, Taipei was a newly developed area and the education level was quite low. A Scholar was rare at that time, and the status of Scholar was admired by the local residents. The residents would seek the advice of the Scholar for all matters taken place. Therefore, people called the residence of the Scholar – the Mansion of Scholar, and Shuinan area became a famous place. If you have a chance, come and visit the second largest mansion in Northern Taiwan one hundred years ago, and see this 2000ping large mansion for yourself.

2. Summary of Our Project

Lujhou was an area in northern Taiwan developed quite early, thus, there were many hundred-year-old mansions of wealthy families. However, nowadays, many mansions were demolished, and only a few were remained. As we passed by the Mansion of the Scholar, we suddenly realized that the scholarly atmosphere of the mansion was about to disappear because it is soon to be demolished as well. The Mansion of Scholar was the residence of Li Sheng-yuan, a Scholar in Ching Dynasty, and Li Jan-sheng, the Governor of Haishan Prefecture in the Japanese Occupation Period. Although being a traditional Chinese structure, it incorporated Western style architecture, such as red bricks, green roof tile, arch, and arcade. Such mansion is a witness of the historical development of Lujhou, though it is now deserted and shabby. Why is the fame now rarely known to the people today, and why is the magnificent architecture now broken and about to be demolished? We find ourselves responsible for saving the historic monument, or at least write down its past regardless of the outcome. We hope to discover the beauty of Lujhou culture from investigation of the Mansion of Scholar.

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:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

The computers in the school are connected to the Internet via 100MB cable directly linked to Taipei County Educational Network Centers. The computers in students’ homes are connected to the Internet via ADSL.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

1. Schoolwork and after-school classes have occupied our time. The members of the team have to attend English, piano, or painting classes at night, as well as various talent classes over the weekends. Therefore, we could use only lunchtime, from 12:30~1:30pm everyday to create websites, discuss the research plans, write logs, and conduct meetings. 2. The subject concerns some interest groups. The ownership of the Mansion of Scholar belong to several hundreds people. Some suggested to preserve the structure, and some had sold the ownership to the developer already (the owner of the construction is one of the owners). Our aggressive move in preserving the structure may be conflict with the interest of the developer. 3. The preservation of the monument involves a wide range of aspects, and many people are pessimistic about our subject. From the very beginning, we wanted to seek the opinions of Lujhou City Hall eagerly, but our contact person kept responding that the preservation of the monument is not within the responsibility of the city hall, but involves a higher authority. 4. The descendents of Scholar Li had already divided up the family property and parted, the story was difficult to carry on. We know it’s hard for the landlord because the descendents of the family were widely dispersed and no longer showed concerns on some family matters. When we saw those beautiful rooms filled with trash, we knew that the owners of the structure no longer concerned about it. 5. Watching it fading. Every time we visited the monument, we could feel it fading and aging. The green bamboo woods in November became a pile of ruins and withered bamboos in January. On February 23, the left wing of the structure was being demolished by the construction excavator.Please go to see a compelling story,

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Mr. Lian-fu Yang said to us, “You’re writing history.” We are very proud, and think that sacrifice of our lunch break, weekends, and spare time on watching TV and playing was worth it. After several months of work, we found ourselves grew up a lot, gained deeper understanding about our local culture, and became more skilled in organization and teamwork. Teachers said to us, when we are older, we could bring our own grandchildren to the Mansion of Scholar, which may be turned into an ancient style coffee shop or art gallery. We could tell our grandchildren about this experiment and imagine their admiring expression. This would be far more amazing than scoring number one on the exams. Wow, that’s what “writing history” means.

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

1. To teachers (1) Deeper understanding of the community issues: In the past, teaching was limited to knowledge on textbooks. Although native teaching has been promoted in the recent years, the teaching never actually reached the community outside of the classrooms, and we never felt closely our hometown. Through this project, from initial discussion to deciding on using the Mansion of Scholar as our theme, we explored many community issues, and learned more about our community. (2) Improvement of professional ability: Such project involves a wide range of aspects, and demands for diverse professional abilities, from research method, Internet usage, to integration and teaching of cross-disciplinary knowledge. The teachers were able to utilize their specialties, and improved their weakness through continuous discussions and learning. 2. To students (1) A different learning approach and experience: Participating in Cyberfair project is indeed different from classroom learning. Students were given the chance to gain various experiences through a series of activities, such as cooperative learning, in which the students learned to cooperate and work with others through discussions and researches. Also, because the students had to go through preparation and practice before the actual event, they learned that careful planning and thoughtful thinking prior to the event could make the progress smoother. Those experiences could only be learnt outside of the classroom. (2) Deeper understanding of the local culture: When people talk about Lujhou, the first impression is flood. Actually, there are historical cultures of Lujhou that worth exploring, such as the Mansion of Scholar. It once played an important role in the residents of Lujhou, but was forgotten nowadays. After numerous visits, the Mansion of Scholar came back to us. Through a series of events, we brought our precious cultural asset to the people of Lujhou.

Project Elements

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

mp3-Recording the interview, carrying files. Internet-Searching related information, sending email, transmitting files. Digital camera -Taking photos of various events, scenes, and paintings. Digital camcorder -Recording the public hearing, performance, and interview. Image capture card - Capture the recorded images of events and interviews to the computer. Printer -Printing data, posters, cards. Telephone -cell phone Communicating with interviewees and team members. USB, DVD-RW -Storing related information, recording to DVD. Applications - Namo-for creating webpages, PhotoImpact-for image processing, SwitshMax-for creating animations, Microsoft Excel—for creating questionnaire and charts, Microsoft Word-typing the information and log, Microsoft powerpoint—creating the presentation.

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

As we learned that the Mansion of Scholar was to be demolished, we decided to make it the theme of theCyberfair project, and shoulder the mission of preserving it. Through this project, we attempted to recall the memory of the Lujhou residents on the monument, as well as the attachment to the local culture, so that the monument could be saved. To present the beauty of the Mansion of Scholar to more people, we visited a painter in Lujhou, Teacher Shu-cheng Weng. We also sketched the monument onsite, invited poetry and paintings about the monument from students. For the activity, we created learning slips and presentation, as well as ad for the public hearing. Many students participated in the activity and revealed their talents and creativity. Organizing a grand public hearing for the Mansion of Scholar was our first thought. So we shot an ad to promote our public hearing, and created posters and invitation letters, and asked the Principle to invite the Mayor, elected representatives and officials to participate in this public hearing. For the event, we presented drama performance, narration, presentation, statistical analysis, and the project achievements at the location of the public hearing. It was a bustling public hearing, a fiesta of us. The adults we invited all attended the public hearing, and gave their promises to preserving the monument in various ways. The students and teachers were all excited, and felt that the hard works have been paid off. Our project even attracted interview from Da-ai TV Station, and present our work in two episodes of “Campus Talents”. Through the TV program, we introduced the Mansion of Scholar to more people, and were confident that the history and beauty of the architecture could be presented to them. President Lian-fu Yang of Aisiang Cultural Association said to us, “You’re writing the history”.

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

At the initial stage of the research, when asked our classmates, teachers, friends, and family members about the Mansion of Scholar, and found out that only seldom knew about it. Even for those who claimed they knew, they only heard about the name. The fact shocked us. A beautiful architecture that witnesses the history of Lujhou is fading in the memory of the locals, and then fading from the environment. Is Lujhou really turning into a concrete environment without memory of its history? We are glad that we participated in the Cyberfair project, and chose the Mansion of Scholar to be our theme, so that we devoted ourselves for a good cause. We presented our learning package (which includes the introduction on the history of Lujhou, short film on the Mansion of Scholar, learning slip, ad for the public hearing, invitation for poetry and paintings from students) to every teacher so that students in other classes could learn about it. For the past few months, the campus has been filled with the topic of the Mansion of Scholar. Every student knows about it, and some students even asked their parents to bring them there. People have started to discuss about other monuments in Lujhou. Such change is satisfying to us. Topics on local culture need to be reminded, and we are glad that we are angels to revive people’s memory of the history. The public hearing was a grand fiesta because we invited councilors, elected representatives, the Mayor, and other powerful people to the event. We explained our efforts, delivered performance designed for the topic. The adults were touched by our passion toward local cultures, and gave their promises to preserving the monument. We have made a great step to the preservation of the Mansion of Scholar.

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

1. Thank Mr. Li and his family who are residing in the Mansion of Scholar. We apologize for interrupting his life. 2. Thank Aisiang Cultural Association for providing us related information. 3. Thank Teacher Shu-cheng Weng, who accepted our interview, taught us how to paint and sketch, and supported us project throughout the way. She even included our paintings to her exhibition in May. 4. Thank students and teachers of our school for participating in the invitation of poetry and paintings created by students. They showed deep concern for our project, and created poetry and paintings for the Mansion of Scholar. The exhibition would bring more concerns for the Mansion of Scholar. 5. Thank the students, teachers, and parents of our school accepting the questionnaire survey. We could better understand people’s opinions and suggestions on the Mansion of Scholar. 6. Thank our beloved principle, who supported us and contacted local officials and powerful persons to our public hearing. 7. Thank Councilor Shi-we Cheng, Councilor Gui-lan Huang, Representative Li-ling Li, Representative Teng-fang Guo, Assistant Weng from Lujhou City Hall, Lujhou Elementary School Principle Ke, Shu-cheng Weng, Teacher Chu-cheng Huang, President Lian-fu Yang, Mr.Si-hsuan Hong the Chief Secretary, PTA President Long-fu Li...for attending our public hearing. We would also like to thank Teacher Mei-chung Wu, Teacher Shiou-yan Chang, and staffs of the General Affairs Section to prepare snacks and drinks for the public hearing, and decorating the facility. 8. Thank Lujhou City Hall Cabinet and Mayor for accepting our interview. 9. Thank Mr. Ke for providing us 35 sets of paper model for free. We were able to better understand the structure of the monument. 10. Thank the janitor of the school, Mr. Chao, for driving us to the Mansion of Scholar and the county hall. 11. Thank Da-ai TV Station for showing our childish words on TV, and presenting the beauty of the Mansion of Scholar to the audience.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The major discovery through this project is our own power. We originally thought that the Cyberfair project was merely collecting information, creating webpages, or the most, interviewing some people. We never expected that we participated in a historical action in preserving a monument under the guidance of our teachers. We organized various activities to present and teach others about the monument, and invited poetry and paintings from students, and even held a grand public hearing. Students of our school have begun to talk about the Mansion of Scholar, teachers have begun to teach students about the monument, the adults have made their promises to preserving the monument in the public hearing. We felt that our action has made a difference. We are grateful that we have this opportunity to be a part of this event, in which we are not only the audience but also the performers. We also felt that when we are doing something for a good cause, helps are all around. Many people volunteered to help other in all the activities, and some even came out of the expectation. For example, when we wanted to sketch the monument, and were troubled that no one could instruct us. During the interview with Mr. Lian-fu Yang, he referred a painter to us… Also, every time we went to the Mansion of Scholar, the rainy day turned sunny. Even the teachers felt amazed. There were many coincidences, and made us felt wonderful.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4657)

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