Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 1 month 3 weeks ago
This page explains Phase 1 of the Inquiry Project. On this page, I will be discussing some questions that I have as well as erecting some background knowledge about what I did in Phase 0, which was choosing my project topic: Local Plant and Small Business Case Study. 
 
What do I already know?
 
Although I am not a biologist or businessman, I do have a basic grasp on how different plants function and survive. For example, I know that every single living organism whether carnivores or not require plants to survive. I understand that particular plants need specific environments to thrive, and because of that, have certain abilities that others do not. I also have a basic understanding of how businesses succeed and how others fail. For example, I know that when selling something to a client, the seller must be able to plant a seed in the brain. The producer must tap into their interests and use the advantages of their product to entice the buyers to buy their product. When combining the two topics together into one, Local Plant and Small Business, I can use the more beneficial traits of the plants to try and coax the buyers to buy my product.
 
Where have I learned this?
 
I have not properly sat and down and done research on this kind of topic yet. However, while browsing through videos of psychology and how the mind works, I have stumbled across areas where the video creator talks about grabbing attention and consciousness. I feel that this applies incredibly well with the business aspect of this project. In the video, he talks about the science of thinking and how the conscious and unconscious mind work. For example, the unconscious mind analyzes something before the person physically begins to read it. If seen before and does not seem to be of any use to the recipient, then the unconscious mind discards it causing the conscious mind to end up ignoring it. However, if the receiver sees something that is new, they become weary, and will not trust it at first, thus causing their conscious mind to scrutinize it carefully. In business, if the producer pries away from the norm and use not necessarily unprecedented ways, but use atypical means to express their products, the consumers will most likely become interested in what you are selling.
 
What do I want to know about this topic?
 
There is not much else that I want to learn about this subject. However, one main one thing is, I want to know what the plants in Xizhou are like, and I am not talking about any plant. I want to learn about the plants native to Xizhou, and how they function. I would like to understand how individual plants lived and if any are considered endangered. With this knowledge, I will be able to carry out my project with much greater ease than if I did not know. I would also like to know if there are any other things about business that I am not sure in general. I would also like to do a bit more research on how psychology comes into play with business, although that is mainly for my interests.
 
I have done some background research on how companies work, and how plants work. I did this research because firstly, businesses and plant life are not my strong suit and I would like to improve upon them. I never really understood how markets functioned, and I thought that choosing this topic would be an excellent way to find out how. I chose plant life for almost the same reason. Unlike businesses, I have some prior knowledge of how plants function. But I would like to learn more about specific types of plants and considering that there are cacti near our village, it would be the perfect opportunity. 
 
 
 
In the next section, I will be creating ten big questions that I have about my topic.
 
10 Big Questions that I have
 
Business Questions
1) How do plant companies begin?
Possible answers: Plant businesses probably start because they are appealing to folks who enjoy gardening or something along those lines.
 
2) How do the people who live in the village create a business?
Possible answer: They probably go through a similar process that every business in the world goes through
 
3) Are there any companies that already sell plants, and if so, what type of plants?
Possible answer: Yes, there are probably businesses that already sell plants, and they are probably selling plants that act as cosmetics.
 
4) If there are smaller businesses and large businesses, how do they manage to keep the attention of their buyers?
Possible answer: They must have in their possession either something exotic or something that provides a benefit to their consumers.
 
5) What inspired them to work in the business world?
Possible answer: There is a multitude of factors that could cause someone to want to work in the businesses world. One factor could be family heritage. As parents have children, those children are probably taught to continue the parent job which is in the business community. Another factor could be other people in the world who are role models to them. 
 
6) Would they want their children to live the parent's kind of lifestyle, and if so, why?
Possible answer: They would probably want their kids to continue living their lifestyle, and that is because many parents tend to force their children to do what the parent's think is right. There are many occasions when parents want their children to do this for their living when their child may want to do the complete opposite.
 
 
Plant Questions
7) How do botanists classify different genus of cacti?
Possible answer: Botanist probably classify different genus of cacti through how they look, their nutritional value, potential causes of danger, how endangered they are.
 
8)How do the cacti survive in such high altitudes?
Possible answer: Probably through evolution. As the cacti continue living, the next generations of cactus probably gained the ability to live in higher altitudes.
 
9) Do people in Yunnan harvest cacti, and if so, why?
Possible answer: Probably not, and that is because the cactus that does benefit people are the ones that are typically found in the United States (aka the Prickly Pear Cactus/Opuntia)
 
10) How can the cacti at Yunnan benefit people?
Possible answer: The wild cacti that live in Yunnan most likely will not provide any benefits for humans, and that is because there are more cacti out in the world that does not help humans directly than there are that do help people directly.
 
The way I grouped my questions was by topic. I put the business questions at the top and the plant items at the bottom. Not only did I group them by topic, but I put the questions that were directed to the locals together. There was no particular reason for why this happened, rather, I just wanted to have my questions in sections where the reader could know where they were.
 
If I can get these questions answered, then there is not much left that I need to know to ensure a productive time in Xizhou. One thing that I would want to know for sure is how I can find the people just right for this project. I know that sounds a little bit unrealistic, but if I can find out who that person is immediate, then I will be able to jump right in and work and get the most of my time without having to spend such a long time looking for that one person.
 
After creating these questions to help guide me through my Inquiry Project, it is time for me to search for the true answers to these questions in Phase 2.
 
 
New Questions: Make sure you see Phase 3 for details before you continue reading.
 
Business Questions
1) How do plant companies begin?
Possible answers: Plant businesses probably start because they are appealing to folks who enjoy gardening or something along those lines.
 
Most Common Answer: Companies usually begin because the locals do not understand how to do other topics, they enjoy the business that they chose, and or it is a family tradition.
 
 
 
2) How do the people who live in the village create a business?
Possible answer: They probably go through a similar process that every business in the world goes through
 
Most Common Answer: Again, the answer to this question is the same as the first: the locals either do not understand other topics, enjoy their own business topic, and or it is a family tradition.
 
 
 
3) Are there any companies that already sell plants, and if so, what type of plants?
Possible answer: Yes, there are probably businesses that already sell plants, and they are probably selling plants that act as cosmetics.
 
Most Common Answer: There are multiple companies that sell plants, and those plants are either small plants for decor, medicinal plants, or large plants for the smell.
 
 
 
4) If there are smaller businesses and large businesses, how do they manage to keep the attention of their buyers?
Possible answer: They must have in their possession either something exotic or something that provides a benefit to their consumers.
 
Most Common Answer: Many of the small business owners that I interviewed said that they did not have any strategies to attract the attention of their buyers. They said that they just sit there and wait for them, and if anyone needs to buy something that they have, the buyers will just come to them. 
 
 
 
5) What inspired them to work in the business world?
Possible answer: There is a multitude of factors that could cause someone to want to work in the businesses world. One factor could be family heritage. As parents have children, those children are probably taught to continue the parent job which is in the business community. Another factor could be other people in the world who are role models to them. 
 
Most Common Answer: The majority of the owners stated that they worked in the business world because they enjoyed selling their products, and because they needed some sort of way to provide for their families.
 
 
 
6) Would they want their children to live the parent's kind of lifestyle, and if so, why?
Possible answer: They would probably want their kids to continue living their lifestyle, and that is because many parents tend to force their children to do what the parent's think is right. There are many occasions when parents want their children to do this for their living when their child may want to do the complete opposite.
 
Most Common Answer: Most of the owners said that they did not want their children to continue their lifestyle. This is because most parents claim that their jobs are incredibly difficult and require only physical ability. One of the store owners that I interviewed, Ms. Zhao, said that she wanted her child to earn money using his brain and not his hands. However, there were some small business owners who said either they wanted their children to continue their job or wished their children would work with them. 
 
 
 
Plant Questions: For my plant questions, I decided to change them to other questions. This is mainly because I decided to change my topics from focusing only on cacti to plants in general. However, just because I did not ask these questions does not mean that I did not use them. These four plant questions were used to help me think of different questions to ask the locals. So even though I did not physically ask these questions nor get answers for them, I still used them to think up new questions about my topic.
 
 
7) What types of soil do you use to care for your plants?
Most Common Answer: The locals in Xizhou who owned plants said that they usually use red soil. Red soil is usually filled with iron, which they claim is supposed to help nourish their plants. However, there are some locals who use brown soil and black soil.
 
 
8) What types of plants are there that can benefit the health and wellbeing of humans?
Most Common Answer: The answer that showed up most often was tian ma (aka Gastrodia). This plant is supposed to help you deal with seizures, ease migraines/headaches, and lower blood pressure. 
 
 
9) Do you care for your own plants?
Most Common Answer: The answers that I got from the people I interviewed was about 50/50. Some people said that they grew it themselves, while others say that they hiked up onto a mountain to get them.
 
10) What is your most commonly sold plant/herb?
Most Common Answer: People typically come in for Gastrodia
My name is Jason M. and I am from Carmel, Indiana. I am currently attending SAS Pudong and I am almost at the end of eighth grade. The experience that I got from the journey to Xizohu was probably one of the best that I have had. I am really proud that I attended Microcampus, and that is because I learned a lot of not only myself but Xizhou as well. The trip to Xizhou yielded several different small experiences that added up to one huge journey. Hopefully, I can pay another visit to Xizhou sometime.