At Tangerine Middle, the teachers like to assign a lot of cross-curriculuar projects, which means that the project applies to multiple classes. For this project, the assignment counted towards both science and English. Students were going to research topics that had to do with their science curriculum, but write the actual written assignments in English class. The students were supposed to work in groups and choose any topic that had to do with any agricultural product that is native to where they live in Florida, which is a town called Tangerine. This means that they could choose to study any plant that grows in their area.
Paul Fisher convinces his friend Joey to join a group with Theresa, Tino, and Henry D. Theresa and Tino are brother and sister, and they tell the rest of the group that they want to do their project on a new type of Tangerine plant that their brother, Luis, invented, called the "Golden Dawn Tangerine". They split the work up between the group members - Theresa and Tino will focus on Luis's invention, Henry will research the history of citrus agriculture in the state, and Paul and Joey will research the science behind what a tangerine is and how it grows.