1. Description of Our Team
Our members are from different schools. Pin-hao is studying in Dazhi High School, and the others are from Ming-Dao High School.
Pin-hao is 15 years old. He participated in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine Relief activity. It provided him with a chance to think deeply about the food crisis. He assigned work, inspected content, and managed the production's rate of progress.
Yen-hsi is 16 years old. She participated in volunteer service in northern Thailand in summer vacation. Yen-hsi is like a powerful database, so she compiled valuable information and pictures.
Chia-yu is 16 years old. She went to northern Thailand for volunteer service in summer vacation, too. Chia-yu organized and edited information, and proofread and polished drafts.
Jun-xiang is 16 years old. He usually participates in his community's activities to give relief to poor familie. Jun-xiang acted as a graphic designer in our team.
Mr. Jen Li-wei is one of our coaches. He not only taught us the computer skills, but also led us into various discussions on international matters, just to broaden our horizons and add to our knowledge.
Miss Chang Chia-wei is well-versed in writing and literature. She acted a good coach. We have been able to draw a lot from her extensive knowledge on this area. We wish to be more like her, in both writing skills and caring heart.
2. Summary of Our Project
Recently, the grain crisis has risen above petroleum and environmental issues in conversational popularity. Swelling prices of grain has caused people to hit the streets and protest. Every country in the world is doing all they can to ensure they possess adequate grain supplies. Grain has also become one of the chips in international negotiations. Grain shortages, along with stark petroleum price increases, were key themes during the 2008 G8 Summit.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), on October 10, 2009, released a report on the grain crisis. The report indicated that in addition to the struggles of the financial crisis, the number of hungry people in 2009 reached a new record of a billion people. This rise was initially seen during the 1970s, and starting in 1995, it began to perpetually increase. People from poor countries have been affected most.
On the same day the International Food Policy Research Institute released the Global Hunger Index. The index indicated that currently there are 29 countries in need of serious help, and that there are 13 countries whose situation has been deteriorating since the 1990s. Moreover, this still does not reflect the impact of the financial crisis. Our research project's web page will explore the food shortages in various global contexts as well as the cause of the food crisis and possible solutions.
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
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Our school connects to Taichung Zhongxin University Internet Center through a two-way 100Mbps optical fiber cable. From there we connect to Taiwan Academic Net (TAnet). A server is responsible for these networks. As for the Internet environment at the students' and teachers' homes, everyone uses 2M/256K Chunghwa telecom ADSL service.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
a) Time allocation - As we are from different schools, our team had to face the challenges posed by long-distance cooperation. Our tacit understanding of each other, that developed as we studied computer-based art together for more than two years, was important in overcoming this problem. With our relationships in place, we just needed to strategically collect and assess materials within our allocated time. Otherwise, we would not have been able to finish our work as a team.
b) Integration of our ideas - Within our team, there were times when we disagreed. To reach an agreement in such times, we found we just need to employ discussion and communication, and at times even voting. As everyone's specialty is different, we first worked on our own area of expertise, and then integrated each member's work into the project. With our advisor's help, this allowed us to fully utilize each of our talents. Through allocating work according to each individual's specialty, we were able to reach maximum efficiency.
c) Foreign language compensation - We gathered many reports and academic essays from different countries. As many of these were in their original language, we used translation software in order to quickly access the information. This tool was extremely useful and it allowed us to compensate for our inability to read the variety of languages we came across.
d) Drawing up interviews - In order to thoroughly understand the related government departments and research, we made steady efforts in inviting officials, academics and professionals to interviews. These experts were happy to share with us. The head of Taiwan's Agriculture and Food agency came to Taichung to speak with us. However, when we met with these professionals and officials, we were quite nervous. In order to make the most of these opportunities, and ease our nerves, we poured over each expert's history and related information. We then prepared the questions we wanted to ask in advance. We believe that it was necessary to prepare well, in advance of each interview, in order to express our appreciation towards each consultant. Drawing up interviews.
e) Advancement of technique - We found that the computer technology learned before was not enough to prepare us for real-world website construction. Through our teachers’unfaltering patience and guidance, we finally overcame the deficiencies.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Regardless of what form an international topic of debate takes on, as long as we whole-heartily engage in it, we can increase our perception and understanding of the world. This is a mission of love; it can take us to the next level. Pursing a better understanding of the world will help us establish a correct ethical value in associating with people and with the world around us. By allowing us to start caring about what is happening to mankind right now, we can begin to keep up with world pulsations and trends. Thus, through our report over the international food crisis, we will begin to develop an active compassionate heart that is focused towards helping people in need: we can begin to devote ourselves towards creating a more ideal and peaceful planet.
6. How did your activities and research for this Doors to Diplomacy Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
a) International view - In this age of a global village, to be concerned with international affairs has become a trend in every country in the world. The influence of the food crisis transcends national boundaries. Participating in this research project allows us to think in harmony with global affairs and to expand our field of view. Through such work we pursue a spirit of exploration that allows us to progress. We hope that our every advancement will become a movement to bring our school and community to the next level.
b) To help and love each other - In this age of self importance, we all pay attention to ourselves and ignore the people, materials and affairs around us, while technological advances, interpersonal relationships become less familiar. This has created an overly cold society. Therefore, opening one's eyes to the concerns of others will make up this regretful lack in our lives. It will give us more opportunities to meet people whose lives differ from our own. It will allow different kinds of economies to fill our lives. Through compassion we can love and help each other and embrace the world.
c) Life is priceless - Life has a different meaning and style to everyone. How do we turn our short life into a beautiful song? Consideration and action can make our life solid and follow a glorious path. Consideration is a priceless respect for life. We must start caring about the food crisis now.
d) Sharing as to offer a tribute - A person cannot decide the length of their life, but they can decide its depth and scope. We can turn all of our experiences, including this research project, into a life lesson. Through every one of these unique experiences, we can enrich our lives. This way, even if our life is filled with all kinds of regrets, it will still be complete, and the world will become perfect.
e) The application of the Internet - Our life is in a vast global village. The world outside of Taiwan is so extensive. We are appreciative of the development of computer technology and the application of the information sciences. These innovations provide an opportunity to understand people from different places, which will expand our vision and enrich our culture. Showing the food crisis and other peoples' hard work through the internet is a mission and responsibility within itself. This helps us establish a perception of value and obtain a moral consciousness that all world citizens should possess.