Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 6 years 9 months ago

In Phase 1, I developed questions that would fuel my project. Now, I will be looking for helpful recourses that will supply me with appropriate information that will support my project. 

When I was researching background information, keywords I used were mainly; bai minority, chinese, and architecture. I used these specific words, because they all link back to my Inquiry Project topic. When these words were picked out, it would usually give me information about bai or just chinese in general, architecture. Sometimes "bai minority architecture" was too specific. If that were the case, then I would use my other key word (chinese), and be able to find background information about chinese architecture in general. With the combination of my keywords, I was able to find a good amount of background information that contributed to my understanding of bai/chinese architecture. 

I can see that my sources of information are valid by looking at their cites. When I was on the websites I used to get background information, I looked at where they got their information. Seeing that they obtained various facts from many solid sources, tells me that the data I collected from them is reliable. Plus, I had multiple sources stating the same things. This also tells me that the information obtained was valid. As many cites point to the same facts, I know that these are all reliable. 

Next, I had to find an expert who would be able to help me go deeper into the topic of Chinese Architecture/Bai Minority Architecture. I selected Professor Shuishan Yu to be my expert, I found him by looking for Professors in the field of Chinese architecture. Below, in italics, is the email I sent him. 

Dear Professor Shuishan Yu,

Hello, my name is Kristen ___, and I am an 8th grade student at SAS (Shanghai American School). I am currently on a month long trip to Xizhou in China, called Microcampus. During this trip, all students are required to pick a topic and create a project on that topic known as an Inquiry Project. I have decided to do my Inquiry Project on Bai Minority architecture. I have done background research regarding this topic, and you can see all my work for this project online here: .

Part of this project requires each student to contact an expert in their topic’s field. I was searching for an expert, and I came across you while looking for my expert. You seem very knowledgeable about Chinese architecture and I was wondering if you could help educate me further. It would be much appreciated if you could send me an email with helpful information that will help me with my Inquiry Project. Below are some questions I had; they will help you get an idea of what I am focusing on more.

1.    How do the Bai people make their walls?
2.   How do the Bai people make their roofs?
3.   What materials do they use?
4.   Are they resorting to modern technology, or following the traditional ways?
5.    How does their religious beliefs affect the way a building is built?
6.   How does their religion affect their decorations?
7.   How does their architecture differ from other countries?
8.   How does the Bai Minority architecture differ from other Chinese races?
9.   Who designs the buildings?
10. Who builds their buildings?

            Yours Truly,

            Kristen ________


I have not heard back as of November 24, 2014.

I am now starting my 3-5's. This is when I have to interview 3-5 adults, for 3-5 minutes. I will be asking them if they know any local experts who can help me with my project.

The first person that I interviewed was Mr. Linden. I picked him because he has a lot of experience in the village. Mr. Linden has also made many connections with the locals over the years he has been in Xizhou. I feel that he has a good understanding of the people here, and that he would be an ideal person to do my 3-5 on. Below is a small list of possible local contacts Mr. Linden pointed me to. 

  •  Mr. Zhang - Head on the museum: He seems to be a source for the history side of architecture (according to Mr. Linden)
  •  Mr. Linden also said there are also many different people who could help me who are currently helping the Lindens restoring some buildings. I may be able to talk to them and have them answer some of my questions. 

I did my second 3-5 on Ye Ling. Ye Ling is from the Linden center, she has been assigned to assist group Jailbreak while they stay in Xizhou. I choose her because, like Mr. Linden, Ye Ling is also experienced. She knows the locals, and is capable of pointing me to helpful people who will be a big help in my project. Below is a small list of possible local contacts Ye Ling pointed me to. 

  • Mr. Zhao - He is one of the guards here in Yangzhouran: Before he was a guard, he was helping with construction. 
  • A-Biao - He did renovation in Yangzhouran and the Linden Centre. 
  • Mr. Yang - He is a guard at the Linden Centre: May know about the history and decorations.
  • Mr. He - A local who may have some helpful information for me. 
  • Elders in the village may know something about the history, and how they used to build their buildings. 

My third 3-5 was with Mr. T. I know he has had a lot of experience in this village. He has also made many connections to the locals, and I believe that he is able to point me to helpful people. Below is a list of helpful places that may be able to supply me with information for my project. 

  • A Bai Minority book from the Linden Centre
  • A Tower of Five Glories - A book in the Yangzhouran library: It has pictures of Xizhou from the 1940's
  • A-Biao - He did renovation in Yangzhouran and the Linden Centre. 

Ms. Mai was my fourth 3-5. She, like Mr. T, has a lot of experience in Xizhou. She has been coming on Microcampus for a long time. She has also made many connections to locals and will be able to supply me with possible contacts. Below is a list of possible sources that may be helpful to me. 

  • A-Biao - He did renovation in Yangzhouran and the Linden Centre.
  • Zhao lao shi - Tour guide of this Yan compound museum near sifangjie: He knows about Bai architecture.

There are a few books at the Linden Centre that seen to be helpful. Mr. T has recommended going to look at the Linden Centre library for Bai Minority books. I have also obtained a book about Dali architecture that may be helpful (from Linden Centre). 

The next Phase of my project will be Phase 3. You can continue to look through my project, and the next part will be dealing with information. 

My name is Kristen, and I am 13 years old. I am in 8th grade at SAS Pudong. Before moving to Shanghai last year, I had only ever lived in Glendale, California. Though I am a quarter Chinese, quarter Japanese, and half Korean, I sadly do not speak any language besides English. I have an older brother who also attends SAS, and is in 11th grade; we don't get along well. I also hate spiders and scary movies. Some of my hobbies include reading, drawing, and watching T.V. I am currently in Xizhou, and it already feels like a second home. I am very excited to experience more of Xizhou as the trip goes on.