1. Description of Our Community
Kaohsiung City, the second biggest city in Taiwan, is transforming from an industrial city to a fragrant waterfront city. To welcome the world games in 2009, Kaohsiung City government has lunched a series of construction projects, expecting to build an “ocean capital city.” 'Caogong Canal', located in Kaohsiung plain in southern Taiwan, is known internationally as one of the top four canals in Taiwan with high efficiency and scale in irrigation. KaoPing Stream is the main water resource for Caogong Canal. The irrigation scale of it ranges from Kaohsiung county to Kaohsiung city nowadays, north to Lotus Pond irrigation system. Caogong Canal plays an important role in connecting the big ponds between Kaohsiung city and county such as Lotus Pond, Chouchai Wetland, Chinshih (Golden Lion) lake, etc, which form a plentiful water web. Furthermore, it not only enriches the material and spiritual life of residents on the canal front, but also forms special features of cultural views in small villages. Recently, as the changes of society, the precious landscapes and resources of Caogong Canal are gradually declining with the decrease of agriculture. To continue the meanings and vitality of it, we have to take actions to restore the waterfront of Caogong Canal, and transform the traditional resource role of agricultural that Caogone Canal had played into an environmental one. To restore the water web of Caogong Canal, the construction of Wetland Ecological Corridor in Kaohsiung is a very important act that must be taken. The range of Wetland Ecological Corridor includes Neiweipei Wetland, Banhe Village Flood Detention Pond, Chouchai Wetland, Jhongdu (Central Urban) Love River Wetland, Yanshuei (Salty Water) Port Wetland, Banping Lake Wetland, and Yuanchung Port Wetland, etc. We estimate that the restoration will make the basin of Caogong Canal reveal a new look of fragrant waterfront, and provide residents with a whole new water-accessible area. In the mean while, they are also abundant in living, ecology, and vitality in Kaohsiung urban areas of southern Taiwan.
2. Summary of Our Project
'Caogong Canal' is a canal excavated by people 170 years ago. The county magistrate, Cao Jin, aroused people to excavate the canal in order to resolve the drought problem. After building, the water irrigated the whole Kaohsiung plain widely. The canal not only resolved the dry problem, but also made Fong Shan County become an important rice habitat in Kaohsiung at that time. Up to now, Caogong Canal not only keeps the irrigation function, but also makes Kaohsiung City, regarded as an agricultural society in earlier period of Taiwan, transform into the 'Ocean Capital City' with prosperous industries and business. However, due to the social changes, Caogong Canal is declining gradually during the urbanization process. In recent years, the Kaohsiung City government authorities realize the importance of the realignment of a river and start to utilize the Caogong Canal water system lively. They’ve been making efforts to integrate the resources of the paddling culture, ecosystem, sightseeing, recreation, and push the idea of the ecological corridors to create a brand-new appearance of fragrance waterfront. After all, what kind of problems does the Caogong Canal face now? Are there any possible solutions to these problems? What are the new construction projects launched by the Kaohsiung City government authorities for beautification and afforestation? As elementary school students, can we make some contribution for our society in protecting the wetly ecosystem environment? There are detailed introductions and explains in our topic.
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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
In school, we surf the Internet through fiber-optic system, and the speed of uploading and downloading is 100 MB. There are seven computers in our classroom. Each of them can access to the Internet through the specific line, and is able to get all kinds of Internet services through the server, that is, the connection works very well. Each one of us has an E-mail account, and it has become the most important way for us to communicate with other people when we are working on subject research. In addition, we fully use the Internet service in our computer classroom, and through the shared platform, our teacher can put together all the information we get swiftly. It is not only convenient, but helps us to save lots of time.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1)The pressure of the time limits: The time when we decided to signed up was two months later than other teams, we experienced extremely hard time during the progress of our research. Nevertheless, we supported each other and made good use of class time. We even spent the whole winter vacation to make the bulletin boards for the Wetlands Day and set up the web pages.
(2)To decide the topic of the website is not a simple thing to do: The Caogong Canal and the Wetland Ecological Corridor seem to be two independent subjects. After the discussion, we made a decision of taking the Caogong Canal as the main idea of our research. Fortunately, we connected each independent subject together when presenting the content of our website under professionals’ instruction..
(3) Traffic problems when we need to out for interviews: This time, we have four all-day-long field investigations to do, and the service in return at Chouchai Wetland on the World Wetlands Day. The expense on traffic would be very huge without help. Best of all, we have many enthusiastic parents to give us a ride. (4) The inefficiency of art designing ability: After about 2 years’ learning, we are more familiar with some web-page-designing software. To make up our inefficiency of art designing ability, we were hiring a profession again to teach us. After series of training program, we advanced both our esthetic sensibilities and designing ability. (5) Part of pictures were hard to get: Our teacher was trying to avoid the content of the rebirth of the Caogong Canal becoming too stiff to understand, so she flashed on a painting contest in order to push us brainstorm about the wonderful scene after the rebirth completed.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
After these months of hard-working, through field investigation, interviewing on the scene, data collection, and research on subjects, we actually learned abundant knowledge and experience. Most significantly, to show our appreciation to people who give us instruction and support, we served people as tour guides at Chouchai Wetland on the World Wetlands Day, and gave a presentation to the guests about how to protect wetlands. As elementary students, we are so glad that we could do service in return for our hometown. Hopefully people pay more attention on the present situation of the Caogong Canal and treasure the world of nature.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Through this project, we had experienced the cross-subject learning, school-based curriculum, and the everlasting ability. During the research process, we used the Internet, read a lot of related books for reference, and also we visited the Caogong Canal Basin, exploring more about the downstream and the Wetland Ecological Corridor. The skill of computer graphing helped us produce a interactive map, introducing the Wetland Ecological Corridor of Kaohsiung City thoroughly. The way we combined the technology, langusge, and local geography fitted in the concepts of curriculum integration and cross-subject learning. In addition, for the school-based curriculum, we chose the Caogong Canal which was the mother river of Kaohsiung and is close to all citizens in Kaohsiung. Through this research, we knew not only about the history of the Caogong Canal, but also its problems under the change of society. Compared to the newly built Banhe Village Flood Detention Pond, Golden Lion Lake, and Chouchai Wetland which are urban wetlands model, the ignorance of the headstream is unfair. Therefore, we are trying to show a series of the construction on the Wetland Ecological Corridor of Kaohsiung City, and hope the governments of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County cooperate with each other on the rebuilding of the Caogong Canal and the rebirth of the beauty. This research shows the passion we have toward the hometown. In this research, we have also learned how to collect information, read and edit, carry out field investigation, communicate with people, interview, write scripts, take digital photography, operate the computer, design web pages and bulletin boards, 6-paged pamphlet, and the skill of computer graphing. Besides, we can not only receive the knowledge but also come up with some feedback. Through the service in return, we developed our communication ability. What mentioned above are everlasting ability which we benefit a lot.