Moursund, D.G. (2002). Obtaining resources for
technology in education: A how-to guide for writing
proposals, forming partnerships, and raising funds.
Copyright (c) David Moursund, 2002.
This appendix contains a sample of a low-budget proposal
developed by the Willamette Science and Technology Center
(WISTEC), a small, nonprofit science and technology museum.
The initial version of this proposal was submitted to a
private foundation but was not funded. A modified version
was subsequently funded by a corporation. This "repeated
submission to different companies and foundations " approach
is common. Moreover, the program described in this proposal
can be run over and over again, for different groups of
participants from different schools.
The proposal given here is somewhat modified from the
funded proposal. Meg Trendler, director of WISTEC, wrote the
original proposal and the modified version that was funded.
David Moursund served as a consultant to the writing of the
original proposals and produced the modified version of the
funded proposal given in this appendix. Trendler and
Moursund have granted permission for use of the proposal in
Like the proposals in the preceding appendices, this
proposal is not a perfect model. As you review it, identify
its strengths and weaknesses and consider how it might be
Since this proposal was written, WISTEC changed its name
to The Science
The first "section" of this proposal is a cover letter
that accompanied the proposal.
(WISTEC Letterhead Stationery)
Name of Corporate Foundation
Address of Corporate Foundation
Dear Program Officer:
Thank you for selecting the Willamette Science and
Technology Center (WISTEC) for further consideration for the
current funding cycle of (Name of Corporate Foundation).
WISTEC is a nonprofit, hands-on science center for
children and adults. WISTEC's goals include providing
services to the educational community through development
and implementation of programs and materials for teachers
Exploring Science Careers: Opening Young Minds to Science
seeks to improve the science and math achievement of girls.
This project is designed to create an awareness of career
role possibilities while reducing negative and intimidating
Research studies conclude that it is feasible to close
the science education gender gap between males and females
if girls are given the right opportunities. This project
will give "right opportunities" to 24 grade school and 3
high school girls. They will be involved in exploring
science in an informal, hands-on environment from January to
Through our carefully designed program, WISTEC will help
these girls to learn that math and science need not be
difficult or mysterious and limited to men, but indeed, can
be rewarding to learn and fun to do! And, with this new
knowledge, these young women can increase their academic and
Thank you again for the opportunity to make a difference
in the lives of 27 young women in the Eugene area. I look
forward to hearing from you.
Meg Trendler, WISTEC Director
The proposal is given below.
Exploring Science Careers:
Opening Young Minds to Science
Proposal submitted by: Willamette Science and Technology
2300 Leo Harris Parkway
Eugene, Oregon 97401
Contact Person: xxxxx
Phone (xxx) xxx-xxxx
This project addresses the problem that girls and young
women are systematically discouraged from seeking learning
opportunities and careers that involve the sciences. This
problem is particularly serious for girls and young women of
lower socioeconomic status.
This project will reach 24 girls in the fourth and fifth
grades. It will also reach three young women in the
Opportunity Center. It will involve all of them in learning
exciting ideas about science--in an environment where there
are no boys who hog the equipment and dominate the
The project is based on close cooperation among:
- The Eugene school having both the lowest
socioeconomic status and the greatest proportion of
- The Opportunity Center
- The Willamette Science and Technology Center
- The Lane Transit District
- The City of Eugene
- The University of Oregon
1. WISTEC: History and Social Change
The Willamette Science and Technology Center (WISTEC) is
a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1961. Its
goal is to promote a positive image of science, math, and
technology to young people and adults.
WISTEC is a hands-on museum that includes many classes
and projects for young people and their families. WISTEC
operates on an annual budget of approximately $150,000. The
city of Eugene provides the museum's building for one dollar
WISTEC has an internal policy of admitting (at no charge)
less privileged children to summer classes and other
activities. WISTEC has been very conscientious about trying
to serve the highly impacted and disadvantaged youth in our
community. Fund-raising focuses on providing scholarships to
individuals and to groups that cannot afford to
During the past three years, WISTEC has solicited about
$3,000 in scholarship funds from businesses and foundations
for groups and individuals. These scholarship funds and free
admissions have provided access to WISTEC's after-school
classes, exhibits, and summer programs for over 1,000
students. WISTEC believes early intervention will help these
underserved youths to recognize themselves as capable
students and to see the fields of science and technology as
accessible to them.
Exploring Science Careers seeks to enhance the science
motivation and interest of 24 fourth- and fifth-grade girls
from Whiteaker Community School and three girls from the
Opportunity Center (an alternative high school in
The Whiteaker Community School is located in the poorest
area of Eugene and has been identified as having the lowest
socioeconomic status in the entire state of Oregon. This
school's population is 32% minorities, predominantly
Hispanic. Their low-income situation does not afford them
the chance to take any extracurricular classes, let alone
make casual/family visits to a place like WISTEC. These
girls struggle against both economic and gender
The Opportunity Center draws its student population from
the entire Eugene area. The enrollment consists of at-risk
students, 80&endash;90% of whom are economically
disadvantaged. About 20% of the students in this school are
3. Target Population
Research suggests that the interest and confidence of
girls toward science begins to drop off by the end of the
third grade. This research suggests that an intervention
beginning in the fourth grade can be quite effective.
This current proposal is based on a "girls and science"
project that WISTEC conducted last year in a rural school.
At Cottage Grove's Harrison School, a relatively poor, rural
area, we found that the girls' chances for educational
experiences outside the classroom were very limited.
Part of this large project involved bringing 4th and 5th
grade girls from Cottage Grove's Harrison School to WISTEC
for hands-on science once a month. Separating the girls from
the boys allowed the girls to explore science and math in
ways that are not often available to them in the classroom.
Reading their comments from surveys given at the end of the
year showed just how important it was for these girls to
have this distinctive (unique) opportunity. Here are a few
comments from the girls: "Boys didn't get in the way if we
wanted to do something;" "Boys make it difficult to learn, I
really liked experimenting;" "Boys are loud and sometimes
pushy;" "Boys hog all the stuff." Putting science and math
directly into the hands of young girls who may eventually
become scientists is one way WISTEC works toward social
As part of the "Harrison School Project," WISTEC also
trained high school students for an after school Youth
Science Club. In addition to this project, WISTEC has
experience working with high school students, having been
selected as a site for the Youth Development Commissions'
summer employment program. WISTEC is a family-oriented
science center and beyond the engaging exhibits, offers
after school programs, Friday night and Saturday Science
classes, as well as summer concept camps for children 6 to
12 years old.
4. Gender Make-Up at WISTEC
Women have played important roles at WISTEC from the very
the beginning. Past directors have been women and currently
5 out of 8 staff members are women. WISTEC has actively
recruited women to become members of the board of directors;
presently 6 out of 14 are women (see attached). WISTEC also
seeks out women instructors for its classes. Our volunteers
since October '92 have been evenly split between men and
The Exploring Science Careers project will employ a
female project coordinator and one of the two instructors
will be a woman. This project will employ three teenage
girls from the Opportunity Center as classroom assistants
and guides for the younger girls. WISTEC will interview
interested girls at the Opportunity Center and choose the
three best applicants.
5. Project Timeline, Activities, and Evaluations
Timeline: January - May xxxx
Exploring Science Careers: Opening Young Minds to Science
will be conducted over a period of five months. The 24 grade
school students will be divided into two groups of 12
students each. Each group will participate in monthly
classes and will also have three field trips.
Most of the work required to get the project started has
already occurred. The staff has been selected. The Whiteaker
Community School and the Opportunity Center have agreed to
participate (see attached letters).
Two major steps remain to be taken. Early in January we
will begin the process of interviewing and hiring three high
school girls from the Opportunity Center. As temporary
employees, they will be responsible for the transporting the
Whiteaker School girls (via Lane Transit District bus) to
and from WISTEC. In addition, they will work as assistants
to instructors Peggy Hinsman and Mark Dow at WISTEC during
the hands-on science and math activities.
The staff at Whiteaker Community School will choose 24
girls who wish to participate in this science enrichment
program. WISTEC will get all the necessary permission forms
from their parents/guardians and send them the schedule of
class times, bus routes, laboratory field trips, and
invitations to the awards ceremony.
There will be three field trips to visit professional
women scientists in their laboratories or workshops. The
girls will experience for themselves biology, chemistry, and
volcanology laboratories where the scientists do their work
and research. Class topics have been chosen to coincide with
these field trips so the girls will have a prior
understanding of these professions. Field trip days will be
on no-school/early release days in the 4J school calendar:
January 28, February 4, and May 6. The Opportunity Center
girls will escort the younger girls to these labs twice,
once with each group of 12.
The classes will be led by Ms. Peggy Hinsman (B.S. in
aerospace & engineering, Penn State; graduate work in
engineering, Cornell University; secondary education
teaching credentials in physics and math, University of
Oregon) and Mr. Mark Dow (B.S in mechanical engineering,
graduate study in astrophysics, Cornell University;
Assistant Director, WISTEC). Each class will involve the
students with hands-on projects or experiments including
"make and take" activities that they can share with other
kids at school and with their families at home. Putting
something in their hands to share with others will increase
their self-esteem and give them a feeling of "ownership" in
the fields of math and science.
The State of Oregon Department of Education has created
new graduation requirements in the areas of math and
science. WISTEC is in tune with these changes. Exploring
Science Careers: Opening Young Minds to Science will help
meet the needs of the Opportunity Center High School and
Whiteaker Community School students participating in this
science enhancement project.
An awards ceremony at the end of the course will give the
girls a chance to showcase their achievements and to present
some of their experiments to their peers and parents. This
ceremony will give recognition to all participants for their
achievements during this project. T-shirts and award
certificates will be presented. The local media will also be
invited to attend and report on the project that led up to
The director of WISTEC, the project coordinator, and the
instructors will evaluate the success of this educational
program in several ways. The Opportunity Center girls will
fill out questionnaires frequently to determine their
understanding of the material to give the instructors
feedback. The Whiteaker girls as well as their teachers will
also fill out questionnaires to assess the value of the
program and to measure the enhancement of the participants.
Results of these evaluation activities will be included in
the final project report.
6. Budget and Future Plans
The enclosed budget outlines how the grant funds will be
dispersed for this project. The request for fees, classroom
materials, and staff time reflects what WISTEC normally
charges for educational programs. WISTEC has asked the local
public transportation company (Lane Transit District) to
consider funding the transportation costs of this project.
The Opportunity Center girls will be paid minimum wage for
six hours per month for classroom and transportation time.
Plus, they will accompany the younger girls on field trips
to the laboratories of professional women scientists. The
awards ceremony in late May will create an opportunity to
acknowledge the efforts made by the participants and to
recognize their achievements.
WISTEC will attempt to raise funds locally to support a
similar project, reaching out to different schools in the
community each year. As a pilot program for WISTEC, the
success of Exploring Science Careers will determine its
long-term life span.
Line 2: Two classes of 12 girls each are taught by
Line 7: The Project Coordinator devotes about nine hours
per month to the project.
Line 11: Three girls from the Opportunity Center are with
the class participants during all transportation and class
Line 15: City bus costs.
Line 20: City bus costs.
Line 25: For 24 student participants and staff.
7. WISTEC's Working Relationships
There are several working relationships we hope to create
and develop for this project. One is with the Whiteaker
Community School students, teachers, and administration. By
introducing science and math as fun, real, and useful
concepts and not just "boring subjects," WISTEC hopes to
improve the common negative attitudes of fourth- and
fifth-grade girls about science and math. WISTEC hopes that
seeing the achievements and enthusiasm of the girls will
encourage the teachers and administrators of the Whiteaker
Community School to facilitate field trips to WISTEC (using
our scholarship fund for tuition, if needed). We wish to
create and develop this same sort of relationship with the
older girls of the Opportunity Center as well, working into
possible intern-like relationship during the school year or
for summer employment.
Another relationship we hope to create is one with the
professional women scientists in the Eugene/Springfield
area, encouraging them to look to WISTEC as a place where
they can reach out to the community to promote their
interest/fields of science through field trips, class
presentations, workshops or in an advisory capacity.
WISTEC hopes to continue to build on its new partnership
with LTD (currently they are funding one field trip bus ride
to WISTEC per class for the fall exhibition). LTD has a
strong role in the future transportation plans that are
being made in the Eugene/Springfield area. Presenting bus
ridership as an economical, environmentally sound, and fun
method of transportation to young people is one of their