1. Description of Our Community
Taiwan is an island in the Pacific Ocean. It has diverse nature environment including mountains, forests, rivers, wetland and the ocean, creating various wildlife habitats and abundant species. However, due to geographical limitation, most of the populations are located in the flat costal plain, which has resulted in destruction of wildlife habitats, causing ecological imbalance and extinction of species. The issue is to finding the balance between human and the environment. The Society of Wilderness (SOW) hopes to achieve habitat protection through three main strategies: Habitat Projects, Environmental Education, and Addressing Environmental Issues. Habitat Projects include Wugu Wetland in Northern Taiwan and Yilan Shuang-lian-pi Wetland in Northeast Taiwan. The number of species has been increasing under SOW’s habitat management.
In terms of environmental education, SOW organizes various seminars and ecological tours across Taiwan, bringing more people into the nature with the lead of volunteers and guides. For example, the Taipei branch organized ecological guide at the Fuyang Eco Park. This led us to discover the rich ecosystem hidden in the city which used to be a military ammunition depot.
In addition, in response to environmental issues, SOW is also actively involved with many initiatives. Other than promoting education to more people, it also supervises the government’s policies. For example, SOW initiated petition with over ten thousand signatures to prevent the development of photoelectric in Taitung Zhiben Wetlands. SOW also hosted many beach cleaning activities in major cities such as Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan, raising the public awareness of “plastic free ocean”. The common purpose of these activities is to transform public opinions into actions to strengthen ecological friendly values and achieve environmental sustainability.
2. Summary of Our Project
The Society of Wilderness (SOW) was established in 1995 and committed to promote conservation and preservation of nature environment and convey correct knowledge through environmental education and public participation. SOW hopes to achieve its goal of habitat conservation and species preservation by raising people’s awareness that may lead to changes in human behaviors toward the environment. Although human beings have enjoyed more convenient life and higher living standard with technological advancement and industrialization, they are gradually alienated from nature and have over-exploited the nature, causing extinction of other species.
Through this project, we want to re-discover the inseparable connection between humans and nature and reach out to those who have been disregarding environmental issues and raise their awareness of environmental protection. We sincerely hope that one day we can hold hands together and embrace the nature, working together to rebuild ecological environment around us.
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
Although it is important to schedule and plan in advance, the reality is that things often don’t go as planned, just like the saying “It is the unforeseen that always happens”. A good example is the weather condition. As the project required us to schedule outdoor on-site visits and activities, sudden change in weather such as thunder storm often forced us to postpone our schedule or come up with different strategy, making it difficult for us to arrange our schedule.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Since joining the Society of Wilderness, we had participated many interest and meaningful activities. We learned about SOW’s value and mission, as well as the importance of environmental groups and ecosystems through ecological tour guided by volunteers. We also went to Wugu Wetland to observe swallows. From mountains to the ocean, we had contributed our effort to protect the environment. It is very helpful to the environment regardless of the time spent. We would write down our feedback every time we had completed an activity. We would reflect on what we did a good job on and what we must improve next time. We also promoted SOW in school through classroom seminars. We want to let everyone know the importance of conservation and preservation of the environment, and start to go green together to make the world better. We hope that in the near future, everyone in the world can work with us to protect tis beautiful planet.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
For this research project, we learned how to research and promote a large-scale non-profit organization. The first step was to collect large amount of data. Then we organized and kept the most relevant and useful data, and we also made plans for interviews and in-class promotions. We tried to apply the knowledge and skills we had learned from school, and we made effort to record everything in text. Beside our wilderness discovery, we also sharpened our language skills including listening, speaking, reading and writing. In the field of social studies, we followed SOW volunteers’ footprints and learned to “just do it”! In every activity, we could see how we combined each other’s contribution to achieve greater synergy.