1. Description of Our Community
Ruifang district is a municipal district of Taiwan’s New Taipei City, located east of New Taipei City, and was formerly known for mining. It stopped mining in recent years and developed a tourism industry centered on mining culture. It is generally believed that Ruifang district was initially called “Ganzilai.” During the late Qing Dynasty, when gold was discovered in the Jingguashi and Juifen mountain area, gold miners arrived endlessly. At the mountain bottom there was a business store named “Ruifang,” ran by Chen Teng and Lai Shih. The merchandise provided in the shop included anything from north to south, and it became a supply and rest station for going into the mountain area and returning to Kavalan (Now Yilan). Since there were many travelers, they all coincidentally or verbally agree and say “going to Ruifang” or “coming from Ruifang” as they travelled together, which has then evolved to its current name. During Taiwan’s Japanese colonial period, it was called Ruifang street in Chilung county of the Taipei prefecture, and was changed to Ruifang Township in Taipei County after the Nationalist Party retreated to Taiwan. In 2010, the upgrade of the five administrative divisions changed the name to Ruifang district of New Taipei City.
2. Summary of Our Project
Ni Jiang-Huai (1894-1943), the top graduate of Ruifang Public School, drew the first watercolor painting of Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period and became Taiwan’s first western artist; however, he chose to give up furthering his studies and turn to actively operating a mining career in Ruifang, funded Taiwan’s art movement and established art education institutes; supported his peers and assisted pupils. He was an important promoter, collector, and sponsor during Taiwan’s early art era.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1) Inconvenient transportation Ruifang is located in a remote area with rugged terrain in the mountains. For example, the old houses of the Yen family is located at the mountain entrance of Sijiaoting Dapu Road and it is filled with mud and unsteady road and requires sturdy means of transportation to get to.
(2) Lack of interview experience This interview account for an important part of our research. During our interview process, we met many important figures and local elders, but we found we were not able to bring up the most important issues at the time. We were anxious, mind tangled and stuttering, we were not able to be as fluent as the teachers.
(3) Terrible weather One of Ruifang’s characteristic, of course, is its humidity and rain. Especially during recent winter, cold systems collide head on to Taiwan, and the worst hit area is always Ruifang in the Northeast. It is always inconvenient in the case of transportation.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
We have found our passion to this land and culture. Also we learned how to be a tour guide and have a better guiding skill. It is absolutely a wonderful chance to experience and to be more close to your community.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
Participating in this year’s competition is closely related to the Grade 1-9 curriculum. The essence of the Grade 1-9 education is centered on “life” and respecting the individual development of each student and nurturing students’ ability to adapt to modern life. Through research of the topic of “The Dim Light of the Mining Town – Ni Jiang-Huai,” we have researched deeply into local characteristics and cultural history of “Taiwan’s art history,” and carried out students’ care for the people, things and articles of their home.