1. Description of Our Community
Right in the place where we live, Taiwan, there are many who have devoted themselves to the development of astronomy, such as professors in astronomical researches, suppliers of astronomical instruments, many others who have contributed to the popularization of astronomy, and teachers and students who promoted astronomy on campus. They are the subjects of this project. We call them “astronomy lovers” or “star fans.”
2. Summary of Our Project
Our team, Star Dreamers, researches the fan groups of astronomy in Taiwan. Under the research topic, “Lovers of Astronomy in Taiwan – The Fans of Astronomy”, we interviewed scholars, observers, and astronomy lovers, who enjoy sacrificing their sleep to observe the astronomical phenomena.
In order to report the astronomy lovers in Taiwan more precisely, our team traveled throughout Taiwan, from the northernmost Keelung to Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. We even reached in Yushan National Park in cold rain to visit the largest observatory in Taiwan, Lulin Observatory. In Lulin observatory, we interviewed the director of observatory, the expert in self-made telescopes, and finders of comets and SOHO comet. We aimed to answer the questions of: How did these star lovers begin to devote themselves to this field? What efforts have they made in the research and education of astronomy in Taiwan? What do they expect in the development of astronomy in Taiwan?
Our team have enthusiastically joined astronomy activities and read many astronomical books to enhance our knowledge of astronomy. In addition, we also designed animation and interactive game based on our knowledge in astronomy, in hope that more children in Taiwan can learn about astronomy, fall in love with it, and become astronomy lovers.
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:1
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
1. Time is pushing The time we have to do this Cyberfair project is rather tight. We have many astronomy fans in our interview list. Since time is not enough, we have to meet every Thursday at noon to discuss our progress, search for information and do some practice. We have to conduct interviews almost on every holiday. It hasn’t been easy before our interview tasks finally come to an end. However, the more difficult part – web page creation kicks off. With teachers’ advice, we finally complete the mission impossible and have the web page done within the time limit. 2. Interview When we just started to do the interview, we usually follow the draft that we’ve prepared beforehand and we dare not look straight into the eye of the interviewees. This is not only impolite, but also looks very awkward. The interviewees and teachers suggest us to ask questions more lively and naturally. After several times of practice, now we can handle better and conduct an interview by chatting. 3. Create games and web page In order to show a livelier web page, we apply “Authoring Producer” software to create astronomy games. We spent a lot of time making graphics, painting stars and designing actions only to find out that not every one of us has the same software. So we have to re-do the whole thing by Flash MX. Finally we have it done. Everyone was so excited to upload the completed works to the web and enjoyed praising own contribution. Many difficulties occurred during this creation process too. For example, the layout and font color couldn’t match; the size setting of the layout must be compatible to various types of browsers. Fortunately, after discussion and coordination and help from advising teachers, all problems were solved smoothly.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Because we watch stars, we are able to find those bright eyes in the dark sky; because we meet star loving people, we are able to unfold the broader vision in our mind.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Language Field: From reading relevant books and periodicals, surfing the internet to collect information, writing invitation for interview, drafting interview questions, recording progress report, arranging interview materials, to integrating the data according to different topics, the entire process enables us to learn about data analysis and summarization, and word processing. Our writing ability has also been enhanced by large amount of word processing requirement. Social Study Field: We are more familiar with Taiwan’s geography and local specialties taught in social study courses through on-the-spot interviews from north to south. Nature and Life Technology: Through conducting interviews, we’ve learned constellation identification and observation method, and optical principles which are connected with what we’ve learned from Nature Course. Teamwork: Through this Cyberfair project, we are more aware of the importance of working together. Since we have more chances to go out together during the interview process, we have more interaction with fellow students and teachers and we become more closely connected. Life attitude: From those astronomy fans whom we interviewed, we found that they possess certain qualities like being full of enthusiasm, sincere and hard working. They enjoy what they are doing and love to share with others. These are the attitudes we should learn in order to achieve anything.
Besides, we also apply what we’ve learned from Computer Course to word processing, and animation and web page creation.