Obtaining Resources Home Page

From the Publisher


Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Appendix D

Appendix E


Index (Search Engine)

Moursund's Websites

Appendix C:
Sample Proposal from a Non-profit Science and Technology Museum

For additional sample proposals and sources of grant opportunities see http://www.west.asu.edu/achristie/grants/.

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 this book.

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 improved.

Since this proposal was written, WISTEC changed its name to The Science Factory.


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 and students.

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 stereotypes.

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 June 1994.

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 career choices.

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.

Sincerely yours,

Meg Trendler, WISTEC Director


The proposal is given below.

Exploring Science Careers:

Opening Young Minds to Science


Proposal submitted by: Willamette Science and Technology Center

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 discussions.

The project is based on close cooperation among:

  • The Eugene school having both the lowest socioeconomic status and the greatest proportion of minorities
  • The Opportunity Center
  • The Willamette Science and Technology Center (WISTEC)
  • 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 a year.

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 participate.

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.

2. Demographics

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 Eugene).

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 barriers.

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 teen parents.

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 change.

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 women.

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 this ceremony.


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.


Budget Notes

Line 2: Two classes of 12 girls each are taught by separate instructors.

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 times.

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 goals.