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
The main topic of this research is buckwheat. We are studying about buckwheat with the following topics: (1) Researching: We made our research from books and the Internet for studying buckwheat. Then we systematically sorted it out and explained it. (2)Visiting: We visited buckwheat fields in Erlin several times, studied buckwheat directly, and took some pictures for our studies in our community. (3) Interviewing: We also interviewed Qiu Shiping, director of Erlin Farmers Association, Liu Zhixin, director of Taiwan Wine Cellar, and mother Xiuxia. Our students learned more about the process of growing buckwheat from the interviews. (4) Experiencing: We used buckwheat to make buckwheat noodles. We learned experience that making noodles is hard. (5) Promoting: We made up a team to actually go to different buckwheat fields to experience the visiting and interviewing parts of our studies. Finally, the team had a presentation about buckwheat in front of the whole school students as little instructors and promoted the studies during our school’s morning assembly.
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:1
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 buckwheat 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 buckwheat. The study group plans to interviews on Mondays. Since buckwheat flowers blooms in this season, it allows the study group to be able to finish their studies smoothly. Our school also holds field trips to several buckwheat fields. 3. There is 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. That is 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
Mohter Xiuxia is the first farmer who tried to grow buckwheat in Erlin Township. She found out that this land is suitable for growing buckwheat, so it grows well here in Erlin. In addition, customers changed their dietary habits nowadays. They tend to eat light food, so they buy mostly natural food. In the process of growing buckwheat, no fertilizer and chemicals are used to make buckwheat grow well. It becomes dinners’ favorite. Coupled with other advantageous factors, farmers started large-scale buckwheat cultivation. Moreover, with the help form Erlin Farmers Association and local buckwheat growers, buckwheat fields are now open to customers as tourist attractions, which becomes a lucrative business.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
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 comes from real life experience. Our school integrates extra subjects such as character education, life education and community care into our syllabus, so that our students also get more resources and assistance. The purpose of this Cyberfair project is to teach students their character. The main focus of our project is buckwheat. Through a series of interview, students not only have the chance to get to know buckwheat growers and retailers, but also understand the history of the entire buckwheat development in Erlin. We hope that the students will have the in-depth understanding of Erlin buckwheat culture. Moreover, we combine a Chinese course, comprehension course, information teaching course and art in the study. It is expected that this project can reach the core qualifications and targets in the nine-year regular curriculum. That is to say most of the teaching activities aim at cultivating students' character and integrating the concept of character education into the school-based curriculum.