1. Description of Our Community
Erlin Township is located in the southwestern part of Changhua County. The area is flat and most of the locals are farmers. Grapes, Chinese leeks, red Job’s tears, and buckwheat are some of the well-known agricultural products in this area. Wanhe Elementary School is located in Wanhe, a small village in Erlin. There are many traditional houses in our community. People lead a very simple lifestyle here. One problem we are facing is that the population here is decreasing dramatically. Young people tend to relocate for job opportunities. Most of our students live with their grandparents. Over the past few years, we have less than ten first graders entering our school every year. The number of our students has dropped to 46 this year.
2. Summary of Our Project
Snails are one of the most common animals in life, how can we eat them? This is the students' first question. What? We can still make lotion from snails, and put their mucus on our face? This is another surprising fact. Shiao Pin Snail was originally a simple farm of snails, but after 12 years of breeding snails, the farm becomes a special and the first tourist farm of snails. We are interviewing Mr. Zhan about the study with the following topics: (1) Researching: We made our research from books and the Internet for studying the habits or snails. (2) Visiting: We visited Shiao Pin Snail, studies directly from the snails, and took some pictures for our studies. (3) Interviewing: We also interviewed Mr. Zhan, his wife, Mr. Tsai, and the very hardworking grandmother Chen. Students learned more about the habits of snails and the concept of business from the interviews. (4) Experiencing: We used snail shells and some clay to make models of snails. We learned that making is hard from the experience. Then, we had a presentation about our studies it snails in front of the whole school students as little instructors. (5) Promoting: We made up a team to actually go to Shiao Pin Snail to experience the visiting and interviewing parts of our studies. Finally, the team had a presentation about snails in front of the whole school students as little instructors and promoted the studies.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%
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
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
1. Less experience and motive for students Erin Township is in rural area. The town people are more likely to go to urban areas for more job choices. Since the economics of the town is poor, schools in the town receive less outside influence, knowledge, and motive. By having the snail study, our students can go to the other towns and learn new knowledge. 2. Study group and the interviews The topic of the study is about Shiao Pin Snail. The study group plans to interviews on Mondays when the farm is closed from public. Since the snails are only active at night, the school holds field trips to the farm for the study group to be able to finish their studies. Afterwards, the school would send the students home safely. Snails are not active in cold weather, so the group has to finish the studies from summer to October. 3. Not enough resources of information for students at home Only two students in the school have computers and the Internet at home. There are also very limited resources for students in the rural town. Students have to work on the project at school during their own free time. 4. Not enough experience in interviewing The students of the study group do not have much experience in interviewing. They would not know how to say or what to ask during interviews. As a result, they researched a lot of information, and they practiced on the internet, on the phone, or by mails with each other in order to improve their interviewing skill.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
This project is a really good opportunity to educate rural area student because we didn't have chance for students to learn knowledge except text books. People in the community really interested to see thing from outside and school build a really good relationship with them because of the project.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
In Wan-He Elementary, we think character education is coming from real life experience. The purpose of this Cyberfair project is to teach students their character. The main focus of our project is Mr. Zhan, and we examine him from many different points of view like his wife, director Tsai, his mother and cooperative breeder. Through a serious of interview, we understand Mr. Zhan’s dream and his goal. We also have a deep understanding of his reason changing career from a computer engineer to a snail breeder.