1. Description of Our Community
Our community, Changhua City, is located within Changhua County, which is the central part of Taiwan. The population of Changhua city is over 236,000. People are mostly involved with industry and commerce within an area of 65.69 square kilometers. Changhua City inherits great assets such as historic sites and abundant cultural resources from ancestors who started to pioneer the land in 1683. Owing to the recognition of the traditional convention, our community makes efforts to preserve natural and cultural resources pass them down to next generation. Among those precious cultural resources, Changhua Roundhouse was set up for repairing and dispatching locomotives in 1922, and it is the last remaining in-service roundhouse in Southeast Asia. Moreover, there are two national treasure steam locomotives, CK124 and CK101, lodged in the Roundhouse. Our school is 1.2 kilometer away from Changhua Station and our sports field is nearby the railway, so we can see many trains pass by every day, including CK124. Hence, our school is closely connected with railway culture. Changhua Roundhouse is the pride of Changhua and the highlight of Taiwan’s railway history. We hope to show the unique heritage through exploring its glorious history and grand monument.
2. Summary of Our Project
This project aims to introduce Changhua Roundhouse, which is located nearby Changhua Station, belonging to Changhua Rolling Stock Branch of Taiwan Railway Administration. Changhua Station is located in the middle of western Taiwan with having heavy passenger capacity and traffic flow. Changhua Roundhouse was set up for locomotive repair, dispatching, maintenance, and supplement when the coast railway line between Chunan and Changhua was completed in 1922. As the transportation hub, Changhua Roundhouse is now the ninety-year-old building. It was once faced with being dismantled, but fortunately some local leaders and Babuza Railway Culture and History Working office strived to keep this building. Moreover, it was kept as County designate in 2000, and it is actually the last remaining in-service roundhouse in Southeast Asia. Participating in this project, we visited Changhua Roundhouse, interviewed train engineer and some railway pros, took part in art competitions and activities held by Changhua County Cultural Affairs Bureau. We also attended narrator training camp and held activities such as challenge game and to present Roundhouse in our school.
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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our school has three well-equipped computer labs with one hundred and five computers in total. Plus, there is one computer in each classroom at least. The network in school is part of Taiwan Academic Network (TaNet), and internet access is available in each classroom. Besides, the wireless coverage is around seventy-five percent of the campus. While discussing the project at school, we can search information and print data online and we would also collect data and make process report through the access to broadband.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1) Our team consists of 8 members coming from different classes and joining various extra-curricular activities. It was really hard for us to proceed with group discussion, so we made good use of our break time, summer and winter vacations. In addition, we discussed online and made records of our process and reflections on our discussion board as well.
(2) When the research topic was decided, we did not have any idea of how to start, where to get useful information and how to contact the pros. But thanks to the internet and the help from some teachers and relatives, we finally contacted Chin-Chu Wong, the legislator, Wen-Rai Chen, employee of Changhua Rolling Stock Branch and Chung-Hong Ma, the President of Babuza Railway Culture and History Working office.
(3) For a better understanding of the history and development of Changhua Roundhouse, we planned to interview some professionals. However, we were all inexperienced in interviewing. To solve this problem, we had lots of interview drills to practice posing questions and try to work out any possible answers.
(4) We held many activities to present Changhua Roundhouse for students, teachers and our community at Changhua Roundhouse and at school. However, we were not familiar with the process, so we invited Mr. Ma as the instructor to help us. We also made signboards in advance, practiced our presentations and revised the scripts over and over again. In addition, our principal gave us lots of useful advice to make us well-prepared.
(5) We attempted to provide the information about Changhua Roundhouse on the website to make it well know to people. However, it is hard to present the monument and activities only by words. Therefore, we adopted lots of charts and pictures. For instance, we painted the route information and comic figures and then had them scanned and edited with software. Moreover, we used lots of photos to introduce our activities, trying to let readers know more about our project.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
By doing this project, we held the activities to present Changhua Roundhouse to our teachers, schoolmates, parents, and the community in our school. In order to attract more people to join us, we also held the games. Additionally, we also made good use of the website to introduce Changhua Roundhouse to all over the world.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The project targets the student-based Nine-year Integrated Curriculum, which emphasizes students' soft power such as designing, organizing and presenting projects. Plus, making use of information tools and technology, being willing to express themselves, sharing feelings and communicating with teammates are also essential to the process. This project allowed us to learn to be more open-minded and care more about our community.
(1) Language Arts
We made good use of language skills while doing this project. In order to enhance the reading and writing skills, we had to read and organize large amount of materials, and to integrate the charts and pictures in scripts before narrating in Changhua Roundhouse.
(2) Social Studies
Social Studies aim to discover the multi relationships among human and society, and culture and environment. Changhua Roundhouse, This project provided us the opportunities to arrange field visits to know the history and features of roundhouse, to interview some key persons who have worked a lot for the preservation of the monument, and to participate in some remarkable activities regarding the steam locomotives held by the community. This project actually has got us to know more and care more about our hometown.
(3) Arts and Humanities
For working on the project, we went to visit Changhua Roundhouse, the County-designated historical monument, to explore the beautiful place for locomotive maintenance. Moreover, we participated in the art competition regarding the subject of Changhua Roundhouse and won great rewards.
(4) Integrative Activities
The process of completing the project made us to learn how to cooperate with our teammates and accomplish all the tasks. Working on the project, we learned to be more responsible for ourselves and become much more self-confident while facing difficulties.