Preliminary Research Plan
- What specific area(s) within the field will be investigated, researched and/or studied?
I will be studying nuclear energy and its possible expansion of use within Maryland. I will be studying the costs, in both time and money, of nuclear power plants, and their output of both energy and waste. I will also research possible technologies, such as on-site integral fast breeder reactors or waste-processing, that could be used in a reactor built in Maryland. Also, I will, through the use of a general survey, find what perceptions people in my community have about nuclear energy and determine the general attitude towards having a nuclear power plant built.
- How will knowledge or ability in the field be acquired, developed, and demonstrated through the year?
I will acquire knowledge of the costs and workings of nuclear power plants through secondary sources. I will also question professors in the field of nuclear engineering as to the recent advances in nuclear power generation and how they have made the use of nuclear fission as an energy source safer or more efficient. I will then take this information and synthesize it into a research paper describing my findings. I will then design and distribute a questionnaire to discover what the public knows about nuclear power. Finally, I will design and implement a public information program through a combination of speeches and pamphlets as well as compiling a petition to be sent to a member of either the state or national congress.
- What will be the product(s) and/or outcome(s) of the year of study?
The products from my research will be a speech, informational pamphlets, and a petition to a member of Congress in support of the use of nuclear power.
- What proven need will be addressed? What real problem will be solved? What question will be researched?
In much of the United States, there is a misperception of nuclear energy as far too dangerous for widespread use, which restricts the wider application of this powerful energy source. Through this project, I hope to educate the community of the benefits of nuclear energy and garter support for its wider use in our state.
- Who is the intended audience of the project? Who, other than the student, will learn or benefit as a result of the work? To whom will the outcomes be communicated? For whom is the product or result intended?
The intended audience of my project is members of the local community as well as representatives or senators in the state and national Congress. The pamphlets will be distributed to a wider audience statewide.
- Will the audience be local, state, or national?
The audience will be both local and statewide for my project.
- How will the product and outcomes be communicated to or performed for the selected audience? What will be the outlet vehicle?
I will deliver a speech to a local audience to inform them about the benefits of nuclear power and how they can be applied to Maryland. I will also put together a pamphlet to be distributed to both a local and a statewide audience, which will contain information on the benefits of nuclear energy and information as to how they can submit their name to be included in a petition for building a new nuclear power plant in Maryland.
- What resources will be required for the project (human, print, organizations, media)?
For my research, I will use a variety of sources, mostly online, to gather information. I will also consult (a) professor(s) of nuclear engineering for more information on nuclear power plants.
- What are the special considerations of the project? (cost, materials, equipment, transportation, special permission, printing/distribution)
To complete my project, I will require stationery, envelopes, and stamps to send my requests for information. I will also need a method of distributing both my questionnaires and my pamphlets, which will most likely involve postage expenses.
By the end of November I will have:
- Written a letter to accompany my questionnaire.
- Decided on a method to distribute my questionnaire.
- Written up said questionnaire.
By the end of December I will have:
- Distributed my questionnaire
- Completed my research on nuclear energy.
- Synthesized my research into a paper.
By the end of January I will have:
- Reviewed the responses to my questionnaire
- Decided on what information to include in the pamphlets.
- Started work on writing a speech
By the end of February I will have:
- Written a rough copy of my informational pamphlet
- Found a venue at which I can deliver my speech
- Started work on a petition proposal
By the end of March I will have:
- Prepared my speech
- Prepared and distributed my pamphlet
- Finished my petition proposal
By the end of April I will have:
- Created a display board for the G/T Fair
- Delivered my speech
By the end of May I will have:
- Compiled and delivered my petition