Project Narrative

Project Description

Climate change caused by human activities has resulted in devastating impacts to the world we live in. Our project focuses on exploring the major reasons behind climate change, its impact on coral reefs in multiple lens, past measures and laws passed to protect the environment, and finally, the plans our team designed to support the long term goal of being more environmentally friendly. Our project aims not only to raise awareness but to make sure audiences understand the issue in detail and further motivate each and every member of the society to take actions immediately to save our environment—a task that seemed like the impossible.

Description of Our Community

With a rise of environmental consciousness and as a country that holds a significant percentage of the total coral reefs species in the world, our community have been more and more concerned about the devastating impacts of global warming, specifically on coral bleaching and marine biodiversity. Not only are individuals, like us, advocating for the preservation of coral reefs, organizations such as Greenpeace and Taiwanese Coral Reefs Society are also initiating projects and appealing to local governments to save our endangered beauty — coral reefs.

Summary of Our Project

The increasing urgency of climate change is the call for our team to work on this website that focuses on every aspect of the major crisis humankind face. Our objective is simple, and that is to save the world from the lethal rise in temperature before it is too late. With that in mind, we started working on the necessary researches and interviews to make our content knowledgeable and helpful for all kinds of audiences, urging them to begin the journey to solving climate change and saving the earth.

Problems We Had To Overcome

At the beginning, our team decided our project topic to be climate change and rising sea levels. After coming up with a project outline and finishing 90 percent of the research, interviews, and activities, we realized that we did not have a clear focus. The topic of climate change and rising sea levels is so broad that we were only able to present our project on a surface level instead of digging deep into one specific issue. After discussing with our fellow teammates and teachers, we decided to scope into the topic of coral reefs, which is also connected to climate change. Due to the project migration, we did some new research on the impacts of climate change on coral reefs, specifically focusing on Taiwan’s coral reefs. We also attended a lecture hosted by Taiwanese Coral Reef Society and Taiwan Underwater Photography Association to learn about the endangered coral reefs in Taiwan, and can, hopefully, contribute to the conservation of it.

Our Project Sound Bite

Our project discusses the causes, effects, and solutions of climate change as well as how it specifically impacts the wellbeing of coral reefs in Taiwan. In our project, we also include survey analysis, interviews with an eco-friendly store, beach cleaning activities, and seminar participation. Our website provides detailed descriptions of how climate change, a prominent global crisis, can endanger people of Taiwan and impact our marine biodiversity, damaging our coral reefs ecosystems. Then we describe corresponding methods we can use to mitigate the environmental damages of climate change, such as using laws to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of environmentally friendly materials. To provide an example, we interviewed a store that sells environmentally products, Nature Miffy, which promotes the use of raw materials instead of manufactured and highly disposable plastic goods. Along with much research and surveys, our website not only increases the awareness of people toward the climate change crisis, we explore the importance and dangers of damaged coral reefs ecosystems in Taiwan.

How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our activities and research for coral reefs support current educational standards whether it’s the Taiwanese National School curriculum for high schools or the Sustainable Development Goals founded by the United Nations. Our team dived deep into the field of global warming, specifically, the pollution and destruction of coral reefs. We researched the causes and effects of coral reef bleaching and discovered that our daily convenience of using plastic straws is the biggest accomplice to these devastating results. We further interviewed Nature Miffy, a workshop located in Taipei that is dedicated to producing renewable tableware and other interesting daily devices. The founders of Nature Miffy claimed that if plastic tablewares aren’t so cheap nowadays, humans wouldn’t have only used it once. These ideas parallel what our school is also proposing, SDG 14, we expect everyone to protect lives underwater and guarantee a safe environment for all those who use the sea.

What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Even after the pandemic, working from home became the norm and is much preferred by our teammates. As a result, we used Google Meet for the majority of our communication, and LINE for communicating with text. We used Google Forms to conduct a survey about the public’s understanding of coral conservation. With the interviewee’s consent, we used the camera on our phones to record our findings and publish videos on our website. We used LINE to schedule interview times with experts and coordinate our work with one another. The video editing app DaVinci Resolve was also used to make our entertaining and informative videos. To code for the website, we used Visual Studio Code as the text editor and used frameworks such as Astro to simplify our workflow.

In what ways did you act as “ambassadors” and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

The risks posed by climate change and global warming has been affecting organisms and the Earth itself, such as the coral reefs underwater. Therefore, the members of our team have always been following the topics surrounding this global conflict and wish to raise awareness through the Cyberfair project. Through our interview with the owners of Nature Miffy, we realized that saving nature isn’t as hard as we think. All it takes is for everyone to work together and use a more eco-friendly state of mind to face the world. We also attended a lecture hosted by Taiwanese Coral Reef Society and Taiwan Underwater Photography Association to get more insights of climate change and endangered coral reefs. Our website features our punctiliously designed questions as well as face-to-face interview footage, hoping to give our audience more knowledge about the issue everyone is involved in — climate change.

What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Our project calls on our audience’s conscience and forces them to think about all the natural animals and plants they destroy when they mindlessly throw a straw or a plastic bag on the street. Our project argues that even though the impact of those actions on the natural environment is indirect, there’s no doubt that these actions serve as the ultimate reason why the globe’s average temperature is growing exponentially and marine debris is rampant right now. The coral reef and the bleaching problem in Taiwan are just one of the severe consequences of our improper behaviors.

Our community, Taipei City, which has more than 2.5 million people living within, is the most densely populated place in Taiwan and one where people have the most convenience in obtaining plastic and other potential marine pollutants. Honestly, we can’t sway the government or companies and call for the forbiddance of plastic increment or banishment of certain plastics. However, it’s our stage to use our project and convince the people around us (i.e. people in our community) to stop using an excess amount of plastic. Just like the owner of Nature Miffy had told us, albeit plastics are convenient and cheap, it’s not the best tool for the sake of our health and the health of nature.

How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Throughout this project, we interviewed the owners of Nature Miffy to discuss about the issue of climate change right now. Since they promote plastic-free products to help save the Earth, the owners told us straightforward concepts related to climate change that most modern people often forget. For example, by “cherishing” the objects around us prevent humans to use disposable utensils on a daily basis.

During our interview, each member of our team also handmade a bamboo basket that could be used to hold small objects. In the mean time of making the basket, we understood the joy of making handicrafts and why Nature Miffy insists on using natural raw materials for products. Even though bamboos can be easily broken alone, the woven basket could last for a long period of time. When we took home our bamboo baskets, many of our family and friends praised its usefulness and appearance. Therefore, we used this chance to introduce the shop “Nature Miffy” to them and create a positive loop to help save our world.

Other than making handicrafts and hosting interviews in Nature Miffy, our team also participated in beach cleaning activities. When our team picked up trash along the coast, many other people who were originally relaxing on the beach also helped. They gave us their garbage and those around them, which made our job much easier and more efficient. Because of this, we learned that teamwork is needed to solve the problem of climate change. As long as everyone is willing to become more eco-friendly, the Earth can be protected as well as the coral reefs.

Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises

Climate change has been a major problem to the modern time. All over the world people are trying to spread awareness to try cushion the impact of non-environmental friendly materials, but ironically, the more frequent people talk about the topic, the more they get immune to it. As us teenagers, this news has been taught and explained to us since we were little kids but nevertheless, we couldn’t really relate to it since there was no direct impact on us. Now through this project, we learned about the environmental changes in our country and the pollution on the beautiful nature at the coastal sides of Taiwan, the Formosa. Our team explored the physical changes in the coral reefs and realized the real damage of how our daily uses destroy lives. Those results of the coral bleaching and all kinds of pollution are caused by us, and us human alone. The direct connection between the environmental impacts tie strongly to everyone, and we wish to spread the word to inspire everyone to alter our selection of materials and plastic usage to make the world a better place for us and future residents.