While we are no longer developing Digital Mysteries and Thinking Kit, we are leaving our website up for those of you interested in the ideas behind the Apps.


China Population

china population app

Audience: KS4

Subject: Geography

Topic: Population, Effects, Fertility, Society, Sexism, Prejudice

Question: Why is Stan Lui still looking for a girlfriend?

Author: Paul Lawrence




This mystery surrounds Stan Lui, a 27 year old man and agricultural worker who lives with his elderly family in rural Hainan Island in China. Stan has worked on the farm since he was 13 and is an only child with responsibility for the farm and his family. The main aim of this mystery is to look at the effects of China's one-child policy which was introduced in 1979. It considers the positive and negative effects of the policy as well as Stan’s own situation to question why he is still looking for a girlfriend.


The mystery can be used to assess the success and sustainability of the policy as well as the future implications for China as a whole.

  • Be able to give reasons for the introduction of the policy
  • Identify the positive effects of the policy
  • Identify the negative effects of the policy
  • Evaluate the consequences of the policy