Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection

Updated 1 year 2 months ago

I am about to embark on a 28 day journey out to Xizhou. While I am there I will choose a topic of high personal interest and do my research on this topic, this is called an inquiry project. I had a long list of topics that ranged from locals foods to small business case study. I have eventually narrowed down my choice to aspirations and dreams from kids of business owners. It is a great mix of involving business and a chance to connect with the younger side of the community in Xizhou. In Phase 1 I will be looking further into the dreams and aspirations of young children in Xizhou. 

When looking at possible topics for the inquiry project I had a few guidelines set out. I looked for topics that interested me such as Sports, Food and economy. I read each topic descriptor that was related to hobbies that I was interested in. Then finally when I narrowed it down to a couple of projects I chose the three that I thought were going to be the most interesting, if they have a meaning,  purpose and if  could immediately come up with certain ideas for that project 

I would like to speak to a few of the families in the Xizhou area and understand what kind of aspirations they have for their children. I would like to build a case study around the themes that develop.  Beyond doing well at school and making money, what are there own dreams? In general, do they dream big? or do they dream small?  I would also like to ask the children the same questions and compare it with what their parents want them to be.  I hope to survey enough families, possibly 10-15 to try to get a large enough sample size to be able to draw some conclusions on what the parents in Xizhou see as important in their children's live. This topic is important to me because dreams build up the foundation of your own imagination and since I was once a young child, I want to see what there dreams are. 
Before getting into my own topic I looked at other students who have done this project in the past. Many students who have done business case study in the past encourage talking to Mr. T, Ms. Mai or Ms. Zhang. By talking to them it will give me a sense of what kind of shops there are and where the shops are located. Also a thing many people have done in the past for Microcampus is to come up with ten big questions on what I want to learn on this trip. This can really guide me toward my goal. I need to know how to manage my time properly so that I can be the most productive. I need to know if my information is useful or relevant, that will be important. I look forward to reading up on other businesses and learning about them myself. 
You can currently only see one topic descriptor but there were many more. I wanted to possibly do local foods and cuisine but the reason I did not do that was because asking a family their recipe for an old dish is very sensitive and I did not want arouse any trouble. Another choice I wanted to do was local recreations and hobbies, I wanted to do this one however there were more interesting topics than this.
In Phase 0 I was able to find my topic and get a better understanding of what the inquiry project is. In Phase 1 I will be coming up with the plan and get a deeper understanding of what exactly I am doing.  
My name is Nolan Y. and I am an 8th grader at Shanghai American School. Going on Microcampus was a life changing experience. I was able to see rural China through the lenses of not a tourist but as a local. Microcampus had taught me so many things that I would never even imagine. I am glad I came on this 28 day trip to Xizhou to learn about parental expectations and have an experience I will hold dear to my heart for a long time.