1. Description of Our Community
Chung Shan Elementary School is an establishment with 118 years of history behind it. Its north classroom building, having been in use for 76 years since its completion in 1938, is one wherein literally all students of Chung Shan have at some point had at least a class or two, and is for this reason a relic of a common past for all Chun Shan students and alumni alike. Among all of its features, the most renowned is its incorporation of a unique consecutive arch structure that can be seen in its hallways. The aesthetic elegance of this historically relevant building to this day continues to attract not only visitors, but also newlyweds looking for scenic locations for their wedding photography.
2. Summary of Our Project
The north classroom building, bearing a somewhat dated structure and having been impacted to a greater or lesser extent by the 921 Earthquake, was initially considered by school officials to be no longer safe to conduct classes in and, as such, slated to be demolished. However, owing to the fact that this building, renowned for its modernist designs and its arch hallways, is a hallmark of the architectural style of its time, and that it stands a as monument of the shared memories of so many students of Chung Shan, many expressed dissent against the decision to tear this building down. After holding numerous public hearings, and thanks to the implementation of laws related to the maintenance of historical buildings at the time by the Council for Cultural Affairs, the school was able to successfully apply for the registration of this building as an official historical building of Changwha, and to receive funding thereby for the maintenance of this building.
We wish to learn more about the north classroom building via research into its history and architectural features, as well as conduct a comparison of these features with those of other classroom buildings built at around the same time to see if we can find any special connections between these buildings.
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):
Chung Shan Elementary School uses a 100MB fiber-optic scholastic network, which allows us to utilize the internet to search for data as well as to share it among members. In addition to the computer lab, the school also supplies laptop computers which we can borrow and, coupled with the wireless network in school, use to update information over the internet.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1)Language barrier: Mr. Jen-tsun Chou mostly spoke in Taiwanese, and we had trouble understanding some of his responses.
(2)Insufficient gathering times: Each of the six of us had different club activities, and at first we could not find any time to gather. With our instructor’s help, we were able to find a few time slots to get together—Monday mornings, Wednesday afternoons, and weekends.
(3)Difficulties in obtaining photos and records: Most of the old pictures of our school were put together by Mr. Jia-yung Hsu, but for some dates were not specified, and we had to further consult the retired Director Chau, Mr. Hsin and Mr. Jen-tsun Chou to organized the photos in chronological order.
(4)Lack of interviewing techniques: During our first interview with Principal Huang of Sienci Elementary School we were too nervous to ask the questions we had prepared, and spent more time keeping our heads low and eyes focused on our notes instead. With more practice after that, we were able to improve.
(5)Difficulty in collecting data: Most of the data we were after is difficult to obtain; information on the north classroom buildings in Chishan Elementary School and Gushan Elementary School, particularly with regard to the architectural features these two buildings exhibited, for example, was severely lacking, and we had to consult our parents as we as instructors to piece together what pieces of relevant material we could find.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
This project allowed us to appreciate the historical significance of the north classroom building, as well as the influence that it is sure to have on the many future students who are to spend their time in its classrooms.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
We learned many new techniques during our research (1)Learning how to organize data and write reports: we had to organize the data collected, and to consult our instructor or the internet for disambiguation with some of the trickier terms. Reports had to be short, concise, and well-structured.
(2)Learning how to work as a team: Throughout the process of our research, we had to divide and distribute the tasks to be performed among all of us.
(3)Learning how to conduct interviews: We learned how important it is to be polite and to introduce ourselves as well as the purpose of our interview to our interviewees in advance, and how an e-mail sent to the interviewees in advance covering the major issues that will be brought up in the interview can help the interviewees formulate more thorough and complete responses.
(4)Learning about different architectural features: We compared the north classroom building to historic buildings found in Ching Shui Elementary School, Da Tung Elementary School, Chishan Elementary School, and our instructor further showed us how to organize our findings into charts so as to be more reader-friendly.