NCKU "Wasteland Collaboration" USR team and University of Liverpool scholars collaborate in Zuozhen, achieving notable outcomes.

NCKU "Wasteland Collaboration" USR team and University of Liverpool scholars collaborate in Zuozhen, achieving notable outcomes.

SDG11

NCKU "Wasteland Collaboration" USR team and University of Liverpool scholars collaborate in Zuozhen, achieving notable outcomes.

Synergy Correlation

Many partners are collaborating in their respective fields to generate more possibilities for rural development. Based on curiosity about how NCKU practices the spirit of university social responsibility (USR), and in the face of development challenges in rural areas, a cooperation and co-creation model was constructed. On January 11, 2023, Professor Olivier Sykes, Head of the Department of Geography & Planning, and Professor Chia-Lin Chen, Director of the Planning Program, both from the University of Liverpool, along with the lead of NCKU's USR project coordinator, Professor Hsiu-Tzu Chang, initiated a series of visits and exchanges in the Zuozhen area.

The first stop was a visit to Zuozhen Guangrong Experimental Elementary School, closely intertwined with the origins of the Zuozhen Fossil Museum. The close connection between the two dates back to the 1970s when parents and principals of Guangrong Elementary School led students to collect fossils in the Cailiao River area and preserve them. Through the efforts of the school and local partners, the significance and value of "fossils" in Zuozhen were established. After the merger of Tainan County and City, the "Zuozhen Fossil Park" project became one of the "Five Cultural Parks" under Tainan's "New Top Ten Flagship Projects", integrating the original Cailiao Fossil Museum, Natural History Education Center, and Guangrong Elementary School. Principal Kun-Liang Tsai has been actively involved in the "school-museum integration" process, continuously participating in the planning of the park's hardware and software, incorporating the educational philosophy of Guangrong Elementary School.

In response to the severe decline in local population affecting school enrollment, Guangrong Elementary School transformed into an experimental school in 2020, renaming itself "Tainan City Guangrong Experimental Elementary School". In addition to maintaining connections with the fossil museum and training children to become little fossil guides, efforts have been made to connect with external resources such as Zuozhen Junior High School, Teach for Taiwan (TFT), and TSMC, to cultivate diverse elements such as music, English, reading, and technology, improving children's learning motivation and balancing the gap in urban and rural learning resources.

Next, they visited Zuozhen Junior High School, which has achieved remarkable results in recent years in technology curriculum and outdoor education. Students explore their interests through diverse learning and stand out in many technology competitions. Principal Ding-Yu Tseng also showcased the school's bicycle base, where students are taken on cycling trips to Erliao Guanriting and even around Taiwan to train their physical fitness, maintenance skills, and mental resilience.

The rich and diverse learning environment of Zuozhen Junior High School originated from former Principal Yi-Hsing Tsai's discovery that students' health awareness and learning motivation were not ideal. Beginning with the goal of improving these two aspects, outdoor and technology courses were gradually promoted. Subsequently, Principal Ding-Yu Tseng continued to promote teaching highlights based on this foundation, tailoring teaching to students' characteristics. As a result, outdoor education and technology courses gradually bore fruit, improving the impact of declining enrollment due to rural depopulation and establishing a good interactive connection between teachers, students, the local community, and the natural environment.

In addition to campus education, the Gongguan Community Development Association located in Zuozhen plays an important role in the cooperative learning circle of rural cooperation. The association obtained the reuse of idle space at Kanglin Elementary School as office space and provided multifunctional space for community activities, long-term care courses, mobile medical care, and the exhibition and sale of community agricultural products such as "arrow root". Through the Ministry of Labor's diversified employment empowerment plan, the association attracted several enthusiastic young talents to utilize their expertise, attempting new possibilities based on the existing industries, culture, and tourism development in the community. One highlight is the development of characteristic meals, using the history and culture of the Siraya people as the context for menu design, integrating the essence of both Eastern and Western cuisine, cleverly creating exquisite dishes with locally sourced ingredients.

At sunset, the visiting team enjoyed a sumptuous "French Siraya Dinner" at the Gongguan Community Development Association. The delicious meals were highly praised by the guests, and the process of creating community development flavored meals from scratch also demonstrated the resilient spirit of rural life. In the limited exchange itinerary, the visiting team saw that through collaborative creation and resource integration, endless possibilities could be sparked.

NCKU "Wasteland Collaboration" USR Team collaborates with scholars from the University of Liverpool, UK, visiting Zuozhen in Tainan.

In recent years, Zuozhen Junior High School has achieved remarkable results in its technology curriculum and outdoor education.

Students explore their interests through diversified learning and excel in numerous technology competitions, achieving outstanding results.

Gongguan Community Development Association shines in the development of specialty cuisine, presenting a rich 'French Siraya Dinner'.

Integrating Siraya heritage into cuisine, blending Eastern and Western culinary elements, crafting exquisite dishes from local ingredients.

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