Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 3 years 8 months ago

In my previous Phase, Phase 1, I looked at my topic and generated some big questions that will fuel my research as I move forward. I researched my topic, which is the water purification, treatment, and usage in Xizhou. This research can be found in my Phase 3 work. Phase 2 is focused on finding helpful resources that I can use as a guide for my research in the village. I will be reaching out to one or two experts of my topic, whose research I have read. 

When I was researching my topic, I used keywords such as Lake Erhai, Xizou, Yunnan, and Dali. The words Lake Erhai and Xizhou were the first words that I searched. This is because Xizhou is where I will be going and Lake Erhai is near Xizhou. The answer that I got would be relate the most to Xizhou, making it more specific to my topic. I then used Yunnan and Dali. I used Yunnan because it is the province that Xizhou is in. I searched for Dali because it is a city that is nearby that uses Lake Erhai for water as well. The answers from these searches would not be as specific to Xizhou, but they would be very close and would contain reliable information about the water in Yunnan. 

When I was searching for articles that I could use in my research, I had to make sure that these sources were valid. I did this by first checking other articles on the website, whether they were related to my topic or not, then used these articles as a guide to see what sorts of things were posted on the site. Along with this, I looked at previous Microcampus projects that focused on similar topics to mine, to see if they had sources from the same, if not similar websites to the one that I was using. For almost all of the websites, I had to look deeper into the articles to see who wrote them. Many of them did not have an author, but the site's name and the date it was posted on. However, the articles that I found on, did have the author's name listed.

After I did some more research about the author of these articles, I found that his name is Chris Horton. He is the founder and editor of the gokunming website. However, I was not able to find his contact details (email), even after a thorough hour of digging.

I was able to contact the gokunming website itself. Below is the note that I sent to the website (in italics). In this note, I included a link to my inquiry project work, my ten questions with their possible questions, and I requested that they give me some feedback as well as provide me a couple of links that would really help my further research in the village. 

Dear Gokunming, 
I am an eighth grade student at the Shanghai American School's Puxi Campus. I will be going on the O Trip of Microcampus in March of 2016. I will be researching about the water usage, purification, and treatment in the village of Xizhou in the Yunnan province. Here is the link to the work I have done so far looking into this topic. It would help me out a lot if you could provide me with some feedback, as well some links that could possibly help me as I further research this topic. 
Below are my ten major questions that I am using as the fuel for my research as of now. Please not that the answers are below each question, and that the neither the questions nor the answers are finalized yet. 

1. What does the water that is being purified in Xizhou contain in terms of pollution? Does the water contain waste from locals, or is it perhaps from the large industries nearby.
2. How long does the entire process of gathering the water, purifying it, and releasing  it back into where it came from take (hours, days, etc)?
3. Where exactly is the water purified? Is it done locally in Xizhou, or is it done somewhere else?
4. I know that there is a lot of farming in Xizhou, however what is the water used for besides this?
5. How much of the water that is purified is actually used in Xizhou alone (percentage wise)?
6. Where does the water go after the locals in Xizhou use it for their purposes?
7. Besides the three aqueducts that send the water to the farther place in Yunnan, how else is the water distributed? 
8. How do the locals in Xizhou access the water? Is it delivered or do they have to get it themselves?
9. If the water that is purified cannot be consumed by the people in the Village, where do they get their drinking water from?
10. Do the locals in the village get any water from the nearby mountains, or does it only come from the purification plant?

Thank You Very Much,
Aniketh, Grade 8, Shanghai American School, Puxi Campus
Even after my arrival in Xizhou, I have yet to get a reply from the website.
Once I arrived in Xizhou, I started the part of Phase 2 called "3-5's". In this part of the Phase, we interview 3-5 people at the Linden Centre, one of which needs to be Mr. Tafel. The interviews should be between 3-5 minutes. The purpose of these interviews is to develope a list of local contacts and places to visit to continue my research in Phase 3. The people that I interviewed were Ms. Mai, Mr. Jake, and Mr. Tafel. I chose to interview Ms. Mai and Mr. Tafel because they both have plenty of experience in the village, given the fact that our group is the fifteenth one to go out to the village. I also chose to interview Mr. Jake because he is very fimiliar with the locals that I could talk to, as well the places that I could visit to help my research. 
Ms. Mai
  • The local water plant near the Linden Centre
  • Some of the local farmers
  • Many of the local business owners

Mr. Jake

  • The local water plant near the Linden Centre
  • Mr. Tou (Security Guard)
  • Ms. Ye (Gardner)

Mr. Tafel

  • Mr. Duan (Soldier)
  • Some of the elder people in the village
  • Many of the locals who have wells near their houses
  • Mr. Yang

When I completed my 3-5's, I was able to tell that I was "full" with information because I had enough people and places to go that will keep me very busy in the coming weeks of working on my Phase 3. I will be visiting Mr. Duan, the nearby water plant, many of the elder locals and business owners who use water to cook the food, Mr. Yang, and a view wells in the village. I will be able to get multiple stories and things that happened in their lives from the local contacts.

When I begin looking for books at the Linden Centre's library, I will be focusing on the water hitory is China, as well as the farming, because it requires water.

I will try to the best of my abilities to interview each of these contacts and the areas to visit (the water plant being the closest one to me) in Phase 3 of my Inquiry Project. 

Hi! I am Aniketh. I was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, but lived in Novi for a decade. I play ice hockey, as well Dj and produce electronic music. I moved to India when I was 10, and spent a year and a half there. I then moved to Shanghai last year, and will be leaving after ninth grade. I was in Xizhou in March of 2016, and it was an amazing experience! I got to learn so much not only about the village and its history, but about me and my habits. To any of the future groups, please make sure that you follow Mr. T's directions and you get your work done on time. Enjoy your trips!