Annex A - Group Research Proposal


Names: Wayne Low Ka Shin   Ryan Hong Tze Kai   Ezekiel Ng
Class: S2-01

Group Reference: A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H   

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

[    ] Test a hypothesis: Hypothesis-driven research

[    ] Measure a value: Experimental research (I)

[    ] Measure a function or relationship: Experimental research (II)

[    ] Construct a model: Theoretical sciences and applied mathematics

[    ] Observational and exploratory research

[ X ] Improve a product or process: Industrial and applied research

2.    Write a research proposal of your interested topic in the following format:

Title: The development of an automatic urban farm in a box

A.    Problem being addressed

With the growing population the world as a whole is facing and nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing countries. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries. (world hunger 2002). Hence we need more food to feed all the mouths. will be in 5 to 10 years, and it's only a matter of time before we run out of space to grow food. Our capacity to hold people in this same planet we share might be close to infinite, but space for agricultural means is not. (Jane, B. 2014) Urban farming is a way to relieve some of the food shortages on an international scale.

B.    Goals

To give urban farming a place in houses and places which do not meet the needed conditions to grow crops a chance grow grow their own supply of food through urban farming in a box. Thus making life easier of people and others who are starving in the world where climate in their homeland is not suitable for plantation. Hence materials used will be affordable and easy to make.

Specify Requirements

In particular, our team wanted to

1)   Control the amount of water used to water the plant without giving too much or little

2)   Control the amount of light in the box ensuring the plant growing efficiently

3)   Maximise the amount of crops being able to be planted in a design

Alternative Solutions

Design 1new doc_1.jpg

Design 2:

Pls 2.png

Best solution and reason
Design 2:
Pls 2.png


The plastic side of the box allows us to see whether the plant is fully grown which is better than

opening the closed side to just check. Not only are the materials used to build the box cheap, it

is also durable and is the most efficient out the 2 designs. Although both designs had similar

goals, the second one is better planned and constructed well.

C.    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.)

Equipment list:

1-   Velcro (x4)

2-   Plastic corrugated boards (x10)

3-   LED Light bulb/LED String of light (x1)

4-   Fertiliser (x3kg)

5-   Basil Seeds (x6 seed packets)

7-   Disposable Gloves (1 box)

8-   Bag of Soil (x3kg)

9-   Plastic tubing (x3m)

10- Some tanks or containers able to hold water

11- Electrical Timer (x1)

12- Duct Tape (x1 roll)

13- Automatic Watering System (x1)

Measuring For The Box

Top : 60cm x 40cm (1)

Bottom : 60cm x 40cm (2)

Sides : 40cm x 40cm (2) + 40cm x 60cm (1) + 40cm x 60cm (1)* Hollow with 5 cm diameter of plastic


Detail all procedures and experimental design to be used for data collection

1. Make a box out of the cardboards we bought with one side in the center cut out and stick the plastic veil at the top part of the side.

2. Stick velcro to the other sides of the board and the plastic veil. make sure it is secure and barely any air comes in or out.

3. Cut the plastic tubing into proportionate size that will fit the container

4. Drill / Poke holes into the tube so that water can flow through it to the crops.

5. Put and tape the tank that is suppose to hold the water to the side of the board firmly to prevent it from dropping

6. Connect the tube with the tank and place the tube on a stable tray covered with soil

5. Test if the water spreads wide across the soil to reach the planted crops, if not repeat steps 2-4 again with a new tube and better drilling.

6. Fix the lights at the top ‘ceiling’ of the box and secure the wires beside it for safety reasons

7. Plug the timer and the cable into a plug

8. Test if the timer works, check if it is on when it is suppose to be

9. Plant the seeds and space them out evenly to prevent overcrowding and competition of nutrients and water

10. Observe the plants over a period of 30 days

11. Use results from 30 days of formulation and make a graph to record growth


Automatic Plant Watering System

What We Applied

Since our project do not consist of so many plants,

our team only used two sections of the

Automatic plant watering system for the plant.

Our team also used the automatic timer and a

few pipes which connected to the system to 

give our plant endless supply of water.

Risk and Safety:

Identify any potential risks and safety precautions to be taken.

1- Possible electrocution risk from plugging in LED into the electrical socket.

Precaution: Proceed with caution and dry hands before handling the socket. Make sure that plant-watering system is handled with caution as you make get a electric shock.

2- Possibility of glass breaking.

Precaution: Handle with care, If glass breaks sweep up glass shards and clear the general area of it. To prevent the team from getting cut by broken glass, we should gloves when handling the mess.

Data Analysis:

Describe the procedures you will use to analyze the data/results that answer research questions or hypotheses

Basil Seeds : Basil germinates in 5-10 days, depending on temperature, so you should see sprouts soon. If you still have cold nights, it will take longer, germination will be spotty, and seedlings less healthy: basil needs daytime temperatures in the 70's, and nighttime temperatures in the 60's-70's, to thrive.

1. There will be 6 cabbage seeds altogether and labelled Plant A, B, C, D, E, F.

2. After the experiment is set up, we will start recording the observation over a period of  4-6 weeks.

3. After the end of each day, we will refill the water tank and measure height of each cabbage
and formulate the results into a graph

4. So, there will be 30 graphs at the end of each day that will represent growth and shows that the experiment is sustainable for growing basil seeds.

D. Bibliography:

List at least five (5) major references (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.

1. Breece, G. (2014, 02 05). Revolutionizing the urban farm. Retrieved from

2. Bold, C. (2014, 02 5). Backyard farmers: 25 websites you should be reading. Retrieved from

3. Erin, R. (2014, 01 29). Urban farming skills to grow in mps with aquaponics grant. Retrieved from

4. Gallagher , J. (2014, 02 5). Taja sevelle's urban farming began in detroit; now has 20-country network of 61,000 community gardens. Retrieved from

5. Jane, B. (2014, January 22). Growing communities: Integrating the social and economic benefits of urban agriculture in cape town. Retrieved from

6. Jarrett, L. C. (2014, 01 31). Hbcus lead new innovation in urban agriculture. Retrieved from

7. Katherine, K. (2009, May 1). Watch for these obstacles in starting an urban farm. Retrieved from

8. Kristin, M. (2013, November 14). Urban agriculture: fad or necessity?. Retrieved from

9. Laskow, S. (2012, June 6). How to start an urban farm in a post-industrial city. Retrieved from

10. Leon, N. (2014, January 19). If urban farming took off, what would boston look like?. Retrieved from

11. Luke , I. (12, 10 6). Urban farm or fancier phone? how you can start a productive homestead for less than the cost of an iphone 5. Retrieved from

12. Mariette, L. R., & Claire, S. (2014, 02 04). Belgian architect vincent callebaut has green visions of urban farming. Retrieved from

13. Natalie, W. (2014, 02 03). mps embraces urban farming. Retrieved from

14. RUAF. (2014, January 22). Why is urban agriculture important?. Retrieved from

15. Sam, W. (2013, September 17). Urban agriculture: The potential and challenges of producing food in cities. Retrieved from

16. Science, D. (2013, September 17). Urban agriculture: The potential and challenges of producing food in cities. Retrieved from

17. Sidewalk , S. (2014, January 22). Benefits of urban farming. Retrieved from

18. Watson , M. (2014, 02 5). What is an urban farm?. Retrieved from

19. Zac, C. (2014, 01 22). Detroit’s “urban farming” scheme: A cover for a corporate land grab. Retrieved from

20. Zsuzsi, F., & Shelby , T. (2012). Vancouver urban farming society. Retrieved from

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