1. Description of Our Community
Our school, Wulin Elementary School is located in Shulin, Taipei, Taiwan. Shulin was part of Yingge Township. In 1946 it became a separate administrative region., Due to the local population reaching 15 million people, it upgraded to Shulin City In 1999.
Our school was the branch school of Shulin Elementary School at the beginning. In some years, the students attendance grew rapidly. Therefore it became Wulin Elementary School in 1959 officially. The parents are mostly blue-collar level. Even in the insufficient financial situation the teachers work with the parents to educate the kids and successfully help the school to grow. In 1983 we won the first prize in the national handball competition and participate in the international competitions in Denmark on behalf of Taiwan. In the competition we not only showed our brilliant skills but also our good manners and won friendship internationally.
As time goes, Wulin Elementary School develops in many ways marvelously. We are proud of our clubs such as Wulin Basketball Team, Cotton Candy Theater and Wulin Puppet Theater Club. Among them, Wulin Puppet Theater Club not only preserves the art heritage of traditional culture, but also integrates with the current curriculum and develops a unique performing style. In addition to the annual school performances, we participate in events around the communities and temples in Taipei area. Our goal is to preserve and promote the traditional cultural heritage in our community.
2. Summary of Our Project
It happened 10 years ago. Pursuing the sweet childhood memory three teachers joined a puppet theater workshop. After the workshop, they decided to found a puppet theater club to teach students the nearly forgotten traditional art. It is Wulin Puppet Theater Club.
With passion, the three teachers took part in lots of puppet theater workshops to get more puppet theater information and they watched many performances by different puppet performing groups to learn different performing style. They indulged themselves fully in playing and teaching puppet theater.
With the support of the PTA, they hired a professional teacher to school to instruct both the teachers and the students. Their skills turned to be better and better day after day. They were invited to perform in some temples and some community events as well.
At the annual school performances, Wulin Puppet Theater Club has successfully integrate education with art activities and has also done a great job in preserving and promoting the precious traditional fine art around our community.
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):
At school, we adopted a fiber optic backbone infrastructure to connect the school's computers, then we connected the Taiwan Academic Network by a T1 line. At home, we used ADSL broadband to surf in the internet, collect data and upload the research report.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Limited Time Our team mainly did the research during the 45 minutes nap- time at noon everyday. Time was limited. Moreover, lots of school activities and heavy homework made us quite busy. We had to make the best use of time to cop with textbooks and the research. At school we didn’t have enough time to discuss together. Fortunately we could discuss by msn and e-mails. We came to school on weekends and winter vacation in order to successfully complete this project.
Tacit Understanding Teamwork We came from different classes, and also cross-grade, therefore the tacit agreement among us was not good at the beginning. Since the sixth-graders had participated in the event last year, they were more comfortable to get into the state than the others. With the sixth graders‘ experience- transferring and the teacher’s constant reminding and guidance we could gradually met with the teacher’s expectation.
Interview and Communication Skills Interviews were a very important part in our research. They were exciting and full of challenging. Some interviewees were very thoughtful to prepare a note for our questions. However, most of the time we had to take notes while we were interviewing. Fortunately, we took films during the interview. Therefore we could surf in the film and complete every interview records.
Information Integrating and Presenting In our research process, besides the information from books and web sites we got a large amount of first –hand interview data. Integrating such information was challenging. The teacher taught us how to apply triangulation method to compare various types of information. We also use diagram and the 5W approaches. With all the effective ways the discussion process could go smoothly, focus on the point and find the connections between the issues.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
According to the statistics of our study, Wulin Puppet Theater Club performs more times at the communities than in school. Performing traditional hand puppet theater in the community Wulin Puppet Theater Club has successfully preserved the traditional art in our community. We also found that if we didn’t have such a club, 6 percent of community residents and 16 percent of students would not have the chance to contact with the puppet theater. They would miss the chance to emerge in the culture.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
During the research process, we adopted knowledge and skills of different fields which we had learned at school before. The former experiences helped us successfully complete this research project and learn new knowledge and skills at the same time. In the data collection and analysis of Taiwanese puppet theater, for geographical concepts and the early history of Taiwan, we combined with social studies and local field. When we analyzed and discussed the content of Taiwanese puppet theater and the performing arts, we got a better understanding of traditional puppet theater performance on the arts and humanities. When we interviewed with people and organized data, we use the skills of language field, speaking, communicating and writing. For analyzing the questionnaire, we use percentage and statistics calculation which we learned from mathematics. For group discussions, we applied some discussing skills and the concepts of teamwork from integrate field. The skills which we learned from information class helped us a lot for the film processing and they also gave us great assistance when we dealt with images and photos.