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Getting Ready

You have now decided what your project will be. 

Has your school leadership team given you some feedback? 

What will you actually do in your project? 

What do you need to know before you can start planning? 

Do you have partners? Do you need to speak to your partners? 

Will you need to brainstorm, sort and decide on ideas that will make your project successful?


The project goals are like a simple list of what your project will achieve. Take some time to talk about the goals of your project.

These goals can be very helpful when planning. Keep going back to your goals when planning and make sure your plan can achieve them. Your project could have between one and eight goals. 

The goals need to be the things that can be achieved within the time and resources available.

These questions might help to formulate the project's goals.

Only use the most important ideas to make the list of goals:

  • How will the project help the coastal environment?
  • How will the project help the local community?
  • Will the project help other people outside your community?
  • How will the project help your partner?
  • How might the project help the school?
  • How might the project help students? 
  • Will the project help the local economy?

If you wish you can write a list of objectives. The objectives are what your project will do to achieve the goals. 


Write a short summary about the project and what you hope to achieve. The summary does not need to be more than half a page. Make sure that the summary describes how the goals will be achieved. Only include the main ideas.


Do you have one or more partners that are involved in the project?

Has your project group had a discussion with your partners?

When will you have a discussion with your partners?

Does your project group still want to find a partner?

Are you going to do your project without a partner? 

If your project is being done with a partner, you will need to meet with them before planning can start. Provide your partner with a list of your questions before you meet. Also have prepared all the information that you have produced so far.

These are some of the questions you may need to discuss with your partner. You may have many more questions. Make sure that notes are made during the meeting.

What does the partner want to achieve from the project? 

What does the partner want to contribute to the project? What expertise will they contribute? Will they contribute equipment and materials?

What will the students contribute to the project?

How will the partner and students communicate?

Is time an important issue for the students or the partner?

Does the partner or school have restrictions about what can be done? 

Background knowledge

What you will need to know will depend on the project you are doing. 

Work out some research tasks:

  • to gather the necessary information;
  • to identify new skills required to complete the project.

Often the partner can provide a lot of the background knowledge. You may also be able to find other experts to talk to the class. 

Some of these research themes might be of help:

  • What is the problem that needs fixing? How did the problem start? Who is involved in fixing the problem? •    How are people involved in causing the problem? 
  • How is the project being done by other groups?
  • What skills are needed to do the project?
  • How will the project help solve environmental, community or other problems? 
  • How can experts help with the project?
  • What does the project group need to know to remain safe?

Audience (target group)

Will your project be working with the local community, a group outside the local community or even a school that is overseas?

Do some research so you understand your audience. Marketing people call an audience the target group. 

These are some things that are helpful to know about your audience:

  • How can the audience be described?
  • What are the four or five most important things in the lives of your audience? 
  • What are some other things that are also important for your audience?
  • What are the preferred media for your audience? 
  • How can the project be matched to the interests of your audience?

Do you need some creative ideas?

Some projects will by now be locked down and you will know what you will be doing. Don't be surprised if you are not ready to start your planning. Many projects will still need lots of new creative ideas. 

If you are brainstorming ideas while you are planning, the planning is very hard to finish as you are constantly going in new directions. If you need creative ideas now is the time to do it. 

  1. Brainstorm ideas about how the project can be done. No idea is a bad idea. 
  1.  Start sorting ideas. 
    a.  Which ideas are the best matches to achieve the goals? 
    b.  Which ideas can be done in the timeframe? 
    c.  Which ideas can be done by students and the equipment and money is probably available? 
    d.  How much can students do in the time?
  2. Decide which ideas the students will use for the project.
  3. Avoid any further brainstorms that will change the project. 

Are you ready?

You must make sure that you have communicated with all the key people that can have an affect on your project. These are just some examples:

  • Have you investigated how the school's policies will affect what you want to do?
  • If you are working on land, do you have permission?
  • Have your partners agreed to work with you?
  • Is the school leadership group fully aware of your project? 
  • If other people are affected by your project, have you communicated with them?

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