L7B - Writing Research Proposals (Engineering)

Lesson 7B
Strategies employed

1.Connect (Hook and Hold) (5 mins)
+ Highlight the importance of a Research Proposal for the application of funds and the approval of the use of equipment for research.

2.Acquire and Make meaning (Receive Knowledge and skills, and understanding learning outcomes) (40 mins)

+ The GPP template contains the following main sections:
(a) Type of research
(b) Category of research
(c) Research Title
(d) Problem being addressed, Goals, Specify Requirements, 3 possible Solutions, Choice and rationale for choice
(e) Methods, including:
            (i) Equipment
            (ii) Diagrams
            (iii) Procedure for Construction
            (iv) Procedure for Testing
            (v) Risk Assessment and Management
            (vi) Analysis of data
(f)   Bibliography

+ Students are complete their GPP template downloaded from Google Classroom.

3.Transfer (Formative checks, reflections, etc.) (5 mins)
+ Remind them to print out their research proposals to the teacher by the end of lesson 10.


Group Project Proposal (Engineering)



Class: S2-0_______

Group Reference: A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H  / J /  K  / L /  M  

A.    Indicate the type of research that you are adopting:

 [  X  ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research
           e.g. Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households  

B.    Type & Category

Type of research: _______6________  (Write down one number from 1 to 6)

Category    _____________________ (Write down one number from 7 to 20)

Sub-category –  __________________ (Write down the sub-heading alphabet) 

Application of project relevant to SST Community, Society or the World:




C.    Write down your research title:

Development of a SMART and GREEN energy system for households

D.   (a) Problem being addressed

Non-renewable energy is creating more problems for mankind rather than solving it. For example, Nuclear energy and Fossil energy can produce potentially harmful consequences if they are not managed properly. One is a nuclear pollution, and the other is the green house effect that leads to global warming.

      (b) Goals

A student wanted to cut down on electricity bills using SMART and GREEN technology that is available in the market today.

(c) Specify Requirements

In particular, he wanted to 
(a)   Control the lights to the house using Light sensor system
(b)   Control the opening of doors using the rainwater sensor system
(c)   Control the air con / fan using the temperature sensor system
(d)   Collect energy by using solar energy and storing the energy in a rechargeable battery   

(d) 3 possible Solutions

<3 labelled diagrams with brief descriptions>

(e) Choice and rationale for choice

Suggested factors for consideration:
Critical Thinking question
Is the weight suitable?
Is the size suitable?
Cost to produce
Do you have the financial support to produce it?
Is the solution simple, clever, or ingenious?
Is the solution sturdy, resilient, and unlikely to fail?
Is the solution tasteful and pleasing to look at?
Do you have or can you get the materials you need?
Do have time to make the solution and debug it?
Skill Required
Do you have the skills to make the solution?
Is the solution safe to build, use, store, and dispose of?
Ease of use
Is the device easy to use?
Environmental Impact
Does the device in anyway, have a negative impact on the environment?
Table 4: List of factors for consideration in the design of the prototype

Ranking matrix

Cost to produce
Skill required
Ease of use
Environmental Impact
Row Total
Normalised value



Cost to produce






Skill Required


Ease of use

Environmental Impact


Table 1: The ranking matrix for factors affecting the choice

Decision making grid

Solution 1
Solution 2
Solution 3
Normalised value
Votes (0 to 5)
Normalised votes
Votes (0 to 5)
Normalised votes
Votes (0 to 5)
Normalised votes



Total points

Table 2: The decision making matrix for the 3 most important factors.

<state the choice with rationale using the decision making matrix>

E.    Method – Description in detail of method or procedures (The following are important and key items that should be included when formulating ANY AND ALL research plans.)

(a) Equipment list:
-       clean beaker (250 ml) x 10
-       copper sulphate in powder form
-       stirrer
-       Bunsen burner
-       Lighter
-       Weighing machine
-       Magnifying glass
-       Silica gel
-       refrigerator (-10 degree celcius to room temperature)
-       incubator oven ( room temperature to 50 degree celcius)
-       chopsticks x 100

(b) Diagrams

(c) Procedures for building: Detail all procedures for construction of prototype

1.    Set up the experiment as shown in the diagram above.
2.    Pour 50 grams of copper sulphate crystals into a beaker of 200 ml of distilled water and dissolve it using a stirrer.
3.    To ensure that the concentration of copper sulphate is saturated, heat the beaker using a Bunsen flame so that we can dissolve the maximum amount of copper sulphate.
4.    When we observe that the crystals cannot be dissolve any further due to heating and stirring, stop the heating process.
5.    Pour equal amounts of the copper sulphate solution into 6 different beakers of different amounts. (e.g. 25 ml each)
6.    Make sure that the seeding crystals used to make the big crystals are of the same shape by using a magnifying glass to inspect.
7.    Make sure that the seeding crystals used to make the big crystals are of the same mass by using a weighing machine.
8.    Place the seeding crystals into the 6 different beakers.
9.    Place the 6 different beakers into refrigerator and the incubator ovens set according to the temperatures specified.
10. To ensure that the humidity of the space above the beakers remains the same, place a packet of moisture absorber (silica gel) in each of the refrigerator and the oven so as to make sure that the humidity is low. This is to make sure that there is no condensation of water vapour in the refrigerator and oven into the beaker of copper sulphate.
11. Wait patiently for a period of 5 days without disturbing the 6 beakers of copper suphate solution.
12. After 5 days, remove the beakers from the refrigerators or ovens and remove the seeded crystal using a pair of chopsticks carefully.
13. Measure the final mass of the grown crystal using a weighing machine.
14. Repeat the experiment again using a similar setup and measure the average mass of the grown crystal again.

(d) Procedures for testing: Detail all procedures for testing of prototype

<describe in detail, how the prototype will be tested>

(e) Risk, Assessment and Management: Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

The chemicals used are poisonous. If accidentally consumed, will cause the student to faint or have stomach flu.
Low / Medium / High
Students must wear gloves when carrying out the experiment. Students must not eat or drink during the experiment. Students must wash their hands before and after experimentation.
As the experiments involve heating, there is a risk of fire if the flame accidentally touches any flammable material.
Low / Medium / High
Make sure that there are no flammable materials near the heating apparatus.
As the experiments involve heating, there is a risk of scalding the hand accidently.
Low / Medium / High
Use mittens or thongs when carrying out the experiment
As the experiment involves glassware, there is a risk of breakage and cutting of the hands.
Low / Medium / High
Wear gloves when carrying out the experiment. In case of breakage, the cut to the hands will be minimized.
Table 3: Risk Assessment and Management table

(f) Data Analysis: Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer engineering goals

1.    Tabulate the data and calculate the average mass of the grown crystal. 
2.    Plot a graph of the average mass of the crystal against the temperature in which it is grown.
3.    From the graph, we can find out what temperature is the best for making the biggest crystals. (The aim)

F. Bibliography: List at least five (5) major sources (e.g. science journal articles, books, internet sites) from your literature review. If you plan to use vertebrate animals, one of these references must be an animal care reference. Choose the APA format and use it consistently to reference the literature used in the research plan. List your entries in alphabetical order for each type of source.

(a) Books
Holden A. et al (2011). Crystals and Crystal Growing. Cambridge, MA, USA: The MIT Press.

(b) Journals
G, S., E, Y., H, K., T, N., S, M., & K, W. (1997). Effects of a magnetic field on the nucleation and growth of protein crystals. Journal of Crystal Growth, 173(1-2), 231–234. doi:10.1016/S0022-0248(96)00777-4

(c) Websites
About.com (2013, July 10). How to grow great crystals. Retrieved from

Scientific American (2013). Solubility Science: How to Grow the Best Crystals: A chemistry challenge from Science Buddies. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bring-science-home-crystals.

Wiki How (2013, July 01). How to Make Salt Crystals. Retrieved from

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