Phase 3: Interpreting Information
On this page, I will be discussing the things that I have learned about my topic both before and after the trip. I will also be building upon the things that I have done in Phases 0, 1 and 2 (click here, here or here to see them respectively). The things that I have done in Phases 0, 1, and 2 were choosing my project topic, creating real/big questions, and finding helpful resources to expand my knowledge on the topic.
I have done some background research on how businesses work, and how plants work. I learned that businesses should sell something unique in order to attract the attention of customers, and with that, make a reasonable profit. But I did not focus my Inquiry Project on businesses only, I also looked at plants which I could sell. However, I did not look at plants in general, I researched a little bit about cacti. Although I do not know what types of cacti are growing on the foothill west of the village, I have found some benefits that a specific genus of the Cactaceae group provides for people: Opuntia, or the more common term, "Prickly Pear". This genus of cacti has juices have a huge nutritional value that benefits people. Firstly, some evidence shows that Opuntia can reduce blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes, and can also reduce the effects of a hangover [1,2].
For the plant life portion of my project, I was unable to find any information from former Microcampus students that discussed the cacti living near the village. According to the trip instructor, the cacti near the village are plants that no one has studied yet, and that is why I chose to study them. However, I did find information about certain cactus species on other sites. For example, I did some research on a type of plant named Prickly Pear, which is a member of the genus Opuntia. This cactus supposedly has juices inside that can provide nourishment for humans. The food is used to help treat diseases such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and much more , as I have stated above. I have also done a little bit of research on a cactus named Aloe Vera, from the genus Aloe. This plant harvested for medicinal uses. However, there are some cacti out there that could be potentially harmful. For example, there is a succulent in the genus Euphorbias that is particularly dangerous to humans. When in contact, the white sap in their leaves can cause irritation to skin, and usually be the primary source for a rash.
Tips to Look Out for in General
After reading a bit of what a previous Microcampus student Gayatri B. wrote, I learned that I should try to learn a bit more Chinese in order to build a closer relationship with the people there and that sometimes, it is difficult for businesses to open up to you . Another thing was from alumni James L. and that was to be sure to take photos when working . This is because if you do not have the photos, you might have to spend time later in the project to do it. Now I know a few things that I should be mindful of in order to have a successful Inquiry Project.
Information From 3-to-5's:
Information from Local Contacts:
Answers to Previous Questions: