1. Description of Our Community
Luzhou: Lu represents the reeds, zhou represents the water dwelling. The name of Luzhou clearly describes the geographical features of Luzhou: a livable and cultivable sandbar covered with reeds in Tamsui River. Luzhou is an alluvial sandbar. Since its low geographical position caused constant floods, the residents struggled with the river to live in the habitat. Therefore, It used to be named “The continent in the river”. Due to the flooding, most residents were hardworking poor people who migrated from southern Taiwan; the population brought a different culture to northern Taiwan. The plentiful temples and constant temple festivals did not only unite the residents but also led to the development of various industries in Luzhou. The religious ceremonies in Luzhou always attracted and gathered numerous pilgrims and Shenjiang troupes. When people praised the abundant and vast festivals of the temples, we, the Luzhou residents, always felt proud of it. However, with the changes of time, modern society has gradually lost its touch of humanity, the tradition of the temple festivals are gradually fading away as well. Therefore, we hope to evoke the buried memories in the locals and make the culture of Luzhou known again by more people through the project, “The Rhythm of Dance Steps~The Hallmark of Blessings~The Shenjiang Culture of Luzhou.”
2. Summary of Our Project
The culture of “Shenjiang,” temple god statues, began a century ago. It is said that a merchant brought eight heads of Shenjiang for sale from Mainland China, Shancai, Longnu, Weituo, Jialan, and two pairs of the Seventh Lord and Eighth Lord. Since the major god of Yonglian Temple is Guanyin Buddha and Shancai, Longnu, Weituo and Jialan are gods who work for Guanyin, local musical clubs, Nanyixuan and Anlexuan, which led parades for Guanyin Buddha, purchased the statues. Since then, the merchant has disappeared. This is the legend of how these Shenjiang statues came to Luzhou. There are more than two hundred Shenjiang statues in Luzhou, both the quality and quantity are the highest among the country. The Shenjiang statues have become an important asset to Luzhou and give Luzhou the reputation of “Cave of Shenjiang” and “Homeland of Shenjiang.” The folk customs of the unique culture of “Shenjiang” deeply attract us. Therefore, through observations, interviews, information and documents analysis, we record the Luzhou “Shenjiang” culture, compile our process, and produce this website. We hope to convey the simple humanistic spirit of Luzhou to the world through the project.
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:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
Difficulty 1: Different time allocations and common times Most members needed to attend afterschool programs; even their weekends and holidays were occupied. Therefore, we could only meet daily during one-hour lunch breaks to work on the project. Our meetings included the following activities: learning about web page design, assigning work, collecting and sorting data, discussing activities, rehearsing for skits, filming, making posters. As for off-campus events, we had to ask to be excused from afterschool programs. Difficulty 2: Interviews and Research Capabilities It is our first year participating in the Cyberfair project. Due to insufficient experience, we searched for as much information as possible without knowing the efficient ways to begin. In this process, we continually got new ideas and worked on them immediately if we felt they were good ideas. Soon, we figured out there was too much research we could do for our theme, so learning to choose was our first step. After many discussions, we started to carefully, clearly set goals. Before the interview, the teachers collected information regarding interviewing skills. They taught the team appropriate interview conduct in questions, skills and manners, since most of us did not have interviewing experience. After rehearsing for more than two hours, we finally completed the questions for the interview. Certainly, some unpredictable things happened during the interview, yet we completed it. Difficulty 3: Attitude of the parents Due to insufficient time, we had to get absence permits from afterschool programs and sacrifice weekends and spare time to meet for the project. This caused some parents to question whether it would affect academic work. Therefore, the teachers had to convince parents of the positive and influential effects that would be associated with participating in the Cyberfair project; thus, changing the parents’ attitudes towards supporting the activity.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
It has been nearly four months since the Cyberfair project started and we have worked very hard up to the end. We are deeply touched with this sense of accomplishment! We never gave up, even though we sometimes were exhausted and wanted to escape. Now, looking at the growing, rich contents of the project, we are truly touched. We have learned very much during this time. Not only do we know more about our hometown and the community, but we also understand that “protecting our culture” is an important mission.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
In the process, the students learned about cooperation as well as the Luzhou Shenjiang culture. The teachers’ constant reviews for the project, their interaction among students and with students, have aroused various sparks. How great is the power in unity! The students have transformed from passive learners to voluntary knowledge builders. This, which textbooks do not provide, is the spirit of the Grade 1-9 Curriculum, “Portable Knowledge”. Through the Cyberfair project, we learned about the process of interviews in many steps: searching for data, studying data, discussing for interviews, writing questions, and the interview format. We also learned planning and promotional skills for exhibition, and site commentary skills. We learned to spot out dilemmas to find solutions through reviews as well. We recorded the contents of activities on our blog at all times. All of the above promoted our abilities in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and organization.
We worked together closely through the entire process. Everyone needed to be responsible for their assignments, exchange their views, and help each other to complete jobs in every stage. These trainings helped us understand the importance of unity. We adhered to the practice of science research when we faced problems during the process of activities. We learned to think from many perspectives and proposed effective resolutions to develop, for students, the abilities of concluding, organization, judgment, response, and creation. We used various information technologies to help with our interviews, taking photos, and taking videos; we also used various computer software to help us with photo editing (Photocap 5.1), website producing (Dreamweaver) and video production (Power Director 11). In this process, we learned how to use the newest technologies to produce our website, and enjoyed the process of the search and independent thinking.