CyberFair Project ID: 4900

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Catching Breath Together ~ Making a Big Boat
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Binjiang Junior High School
    Taipei, TW, Taiwan

5 students, ages 13-14 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 26, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2006

Classes and Teachers: Chia-lan Cheng

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Orchid Island is located southeast to the coast of Taiwan and has a surface are of about 45 square kilometers. The island is a volcanic island with hilly terrain covered by tropical rain forest plantations. It is therefore not difficult to find many tropical animals and plants. Orchid is a small yet mysterious island full of the senses of ocean and the charm of the Tao culture. Aborigine Tao living on the island has a long tradition and inherits the spirits and attitude toward the nature from their ancestors. They live in a life style in which natural resources are cherished and preserved. The natural beauty of their homeland has thus been preserved as a result.

2. Summary of Our Project

Join-plate boats are a specialty of the Orchid Island’s Tao. However, as times go by in this technology-oriented age, they are becoming scarce. The scenario in which Taos gather around a newly-built big boat to celebrate is also becoming unfamiliar. Partly as a result of Uncle Jenshiang’s “building a dream” project, he proposed to sail a big join-plate boat from Orchid Island to Taiwan. We were deeply attracted and moved by this idea that we paid a visit to the island. This is why we become more familiar with this unique culture. Although one political part of Taiwan, the island has been constantly forgotten by the Taiwan mainlanders. We wish to introduce to everyone the fascinations of the island via the website we set up for this project.

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

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

A. Insufficient time: Due to the fact that serious discussions and preparation efforts were started late (December), time was the greatest concern. We worried that the content would be less than acceptable because team members had to attend various regular activities in school. Team members squeezed time out from regular daily activities to gather at selected member’s house. Issues were discussed and works assigned with specified deadline. A fine of 3 NT$ 100 (roughly US$ 3) will be collected if anyone failed the schedule. B. Lack of Experience: We were worried about our lack of experience in webpage production. Schoolmates with experience of webpage production had assisted with relevant and helpful information. With the helping hands from our teachers and parents, we eventually regained our confidence. C. Lack of Information: Sound and complete information are the key to the production of a good website. But public information on Orchid Island has been scarce. Detailed and complete information are difficult to find. Team members went to libraries to collect information from books and online database. We were convinced that a trip to the island was inevitable in view of such little public information.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We were gradually attracted by the beauty and uniqueness of the island as we initiated our project and started to collect information. The growing interests led us on to a journey to the island. Based on the new information we collected and discovered on the island, we learned the importance of teamwork. We learned skills of information gathering via personal interviews. We learned the skills to integrate elements of a job in a efficient manner. Rich harvest is what we describe the side benefits of participating and implementing the project.

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

A. Education on Knowing Our Homeland: Orchid Island is a part of Taiwan, but is mostly forgotten by the mainlanders. We wish to share our learning of the special culture of the island with everyone. In turn, we wish everyone can realize that we need to know more about our own homeland. B. Education on the Information Technology: Through the process of this project, we learned how to collect information via inquire into related data. Internet has evolved to a stage allowing very easy access to all kinds of information and data. We learned how to effectively retrieve information we need over the Internet. C. Education on Human Civilization: The process of project research had improved our knowledge to our homeland and the culture grown out of it. As the wheel of time grinds ahead, the big boats on the Orchid Island are also gradually fading away due to their reduced number in existence. Motorized boats have gradually found their way onto the island. The fruits of our research are in compliance with the trend of emphasis on the education for human civilization.

Project Elements

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

Team members have access to computers connected to the Internet either at school or home. Convenient and efficient hardware including digital camera and recorders were used for the gathering of information required for this project. Phones, email and online conference provided the convenience between the members. Above all, the various databases available via Internet constituted the vast library for the project.

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

After the conclusion of the production of the webpages, our school “Binjian Junior High” also provides a link in addition to the official website of the hosting committee. We also list email addresses of the members of this project for questions and discussions with anyone interested. We plan to set up personal and team blogs for the convenience of anyone interested in further developments. These should be sufficient to allow the follow ups of this project so that we become the ambassador of Orchid Island to the world.

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

As a result of the implementation of this project, we now understand the “Orchid” frequently ignored by the people on the main island of Taiwan. We wish to awake the public that the island is a beautiful island and its culture can be merged into the culture of Taiwan. The process of the project trained all team members useful skills including the collection and sorting of information as well as the procedural management to implement a task. We learned how to express an opinion and how others’ opinion should be treated with respect. We learned how to communicate among the entire team so that the project can be moved along and eventually fruits.

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

In addition to the team members hardly at work, enthusiastic school mates, teachers and parents had provided great help. Experiences and additional information provided and shared contributed to the final achievement of this project. Our special thanks go to friends on the island, and not to forget the pushing hand behind all this, Uncle Jenshiang.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

The visit to the Orchid Island throws us new knowledge and discoveries on an unfamiliar subject. The content of the culture of the aboriginal Tao more than astonished all of us. However, under the negligence of the mainlander on Taiwan, the Tao culture is now consumed layer by layer under the current of tourism. The issue of how such a special tribal culture can be preserved becomes one of the most important for all of us to consider. We hope that our webpages together with the contents can serve as a reminder to everyone concerned on how the Tao culture can be sustained eternally.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4900)

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