1. Description of Our Community
The history of Taiwan began in Tainan, a city that was once colonized by the Dutch, governed by Koxinga, reigned by the Qing Dynasty, and occupied by the Japanese. The influence of these different historical periods left this city with many famous historic sites. A visit to the city would take you back in time through Taiwan’s colorful past. The forefathers of the citizens on the island today were immigrants, who sought the blessings and guidance of Matsu, the Goddess of the Sea, as they made their way through the treacherous waters surrounding Taiwan. Tainan is the home to the Grand Matsu Temple, the first officialy Matsu Temple ever built on the island. As our exploration of the temple and Matsu commences, we are also taking a glimpse of a very important chapter in the history of Taiwan.
2. Summary of Our Project
By focusing our project on the Tainan Grand Matsu Temple, we hope to allow our students a better understanding of the culture and history of their surroundings. Students were first asked to do background research about the subject. They collected information from the books and from the Internet. These information were compiled and shared among themselves online. Field trips to the temple were conducted, allowing students to participate in interviews with the chairman of the executive committee of the temple, worshippers, shop owners, and other locals. Data, videos, and photographs were taken and organized by the students to develop a website for the project. As the final leg, students gave presentations in front of the school to share their findings and thoughts from their research experience.
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:2-3
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):
Each student member of our team had internet access at home, and so each was added to the 2011 Taiwan CyberFair Grand Matsu Temple Facebook group. Facebook served as a ready platform away from school for students to exchange information and share their thoughts
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
1. Lacking in experience This is the first time a team from our school participated in CyberFair. By following the guidelines of the fair and studying the project from the previous years, we were able to construct a framework for our project. The team members were also very willing to help each other and contributed greatly to dicussions. 2. Change in the number of participants We were greatly saddened to be forced to narrow down the number of participating students. After a long debate, we had no choice but to decide on the members through the fairest way passible: drawing the lot. 3. Transcribing the interviews Interviews were conducted with the chairman of the committee, the worshippers, the shopowners, and the people living in the vicinity. It was tedious work for students to transcribe the taped interviews into word files. 4. Authorization of the use of Grand Matsu Temple’s official website The chairman of the executive committee of the temple was quite generous in authorizing our use of the information from their official website. We are also greatly indebted toward his full support of our project. 5. Creating the website This is also the first time the students construct a website from scratch. There were many technical problems that they had to overcome. Thankfully, the students did not give up and helped each other solve the problems that they had encountered.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
• A team together can achieve what a person cannot do alone. • This project has allowed us to familiarize ourselves with our hometown and its friendly people. • The best reward of the project lies in the entire experience itself. • Do our best! It is persistence that counts!
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The basic framework of this project was designed in accordance with the Nine-Year Integrated Curriculum administered by the Ministry of Education. From the initial stage of choosing the theme to the final steps of creating a website, students were required to apply the skills they had learned in the seven domains of the Curriculum. ¦Social Studies Domain Local culture, traditional architecture, and religions were all part of the fifth and sixth grade curriculum. By studying the Grand Matsu Temple, students gained a deeper understanding of local culture and customs. ¦Language Domain Students often studied the biographies and anecdotes of many important historical figures in their languages textbooks. Through this project, students got to know yet another important figure in the daily lives of Taiwanese citizens and the various terms associated with the religion. ¦Arts and Humanities Domain Students had to utilize their artistic skills in editing the photos, creating the layout of the website, making posters for the presentations, and drawing pictures. ¦Mathematics Domain The questionnaires were distributed and analyzed. Statistics were compiled and calculated using Microsoft Excel to help quantify the effectiveness of this project. ¦Comprehensive Activities Domain In this project, students learned the value of collaboration and team work. They encouraged and helped each other to overcome various difficulties along the way.