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How to Write a Science Fair Project Proposal


Science fair projects often challenge participants to think creatively or scientifically about some everyday problem. In preparing for a science fair project, you will compose a proposal to help define your project and limit its scope. A science fair project proposal identifies the problem the project will address, the process you will follow and the solution you hope to reach.

Compose an introduction explaining the purpose and focus of your proposal. Discuss the nature of the project or experiment, as well as what you hope to prove by completing it. For example, indicate that you are analyzing and comparing the energy consumption of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) versus incandescent bulbs in an effort to prove the benefit of CFLs over incandescent bulbs.

Articulate the problem on which your project will focus. Address the need for your project in your life or in the lives of others and explain why the problem is or will be important. For example, assert that our growing consumption of energy could lead to an energy crisis and that our overuse of incandescent bulbs contributes to this growing rate of consumption.

Outline the objectives of your project, identifying the features of your solution and how and why they are significant. For example, indicate that a solution to the problem (using more CFLs) would simultaneously cut down on incandescent usage while maintaining the same quality of artificial light production.

Propose the solution you hope to identify or discover through your project. For example, write that by monitoring energy consumption in your home for one month while using incandescent bulbs and then comparing the consumption rate to a month in which you use compact fluorescent rates, you hope to prove the energy efficiency of CFLs.

Explain the method you will use for your project. For example, do a watt usage comparison on one monthly bill with a second bill, or employ a watt meter to directly measure your energy usage.

List all the resources necessary to complete your project. Include resources used for the actual experiment, as well as resources used in the presentation of your results. For example, your experiment might require a dozen CFLs and a watt meter, while your presentation might require cardboard, graphs of energy consumption and other explanatory components.

Detail your schedule for the project and the presentation. Indicate your deadline and the project presentation date. Write that your analysis will be based on one month of energy consumption with incandescent bulbs and one month with CFLs, making the total experimentation stage two months.

Conclude your proposal with a general overview of your project idea, including a brief statement about the schedule, resources and method, as well as longer summaries of the problem, objectives and solution. End your conclusion with a statement reflecting on the significance of this project, either for you or a larger community.

References
  • Technical Communication: A Reader Centered Approach (Seventh Edition); Paul V. Anderson; 2010
About the Author

Samuel Hamilton has been writing since 2002. His work has appeared in “The Penn,” “The Antithesis,” “New Growth Arts Review" and “Deek” magazine. Hamilton holds a Master of Arts in English education from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Arts in composition from the University of Florida.

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