Ten semifinalists were narrowed down to four and included the Buffalo Museum of Science’s proposal competing against a national garden festival, a literary center and a human services center providing food and restaurant service education. Members casted live votes based on the content of each group’s final presentation and the ability to meet the strict guidelines and criteria established by the Fund.
The Buffalo Museum of Science had a complicated case to describe and only five minutes to explain how the grant money would be used. Judging criteria was based on:
1) Is the project innovative?
2) Does the project have an ongoing impact on its target audience and area?
3) Will the project be amplified with a broad/varied base of additional support?
4) Will the project develop resources for the region?
5) Will the Fund’s support act as a catalyst for the completion or significant advancement of the project?
SKM Group proposed a 5:00 video presentation along with a one-page handout that directly and specifically answered the questions posed by the 21st Century Fund. SKM Group wanted to use the power of video to inform but also to entertain and delight. An important goal was to have the audience, like us, get behind the project.
SKM recommended the CEO/President interact with six children of varying ages. The children represented the future the future of learning, the future of the Museum, and the future of the community. The tone was lively, fun and fast moving. The children posed questions throughout the video, while the CEO/President provided the answers. While the children were the primary focus of the video, multigenerational and community benefits were also prominent and heavily emphasized throughout the script. During the course of the video, the camera moved around the Museum and showcased a variety of recent traveling exhibits including; Sesame Street and the Body World exhibit, both strong examples of future Museum plans to develop hands-on, interactive science learning.
View the TV Spot
The audience was fully engaged- laughing and wide-eyed throughout the 5:00 minute video. At the end they applauded and ultimately the Buffalo Museum of Science was awarded the $100,000 to finalize planning and secure the additional funds needed to help them move ahead with the transformation of the museum. The BMOS anticipates that all 10 Science Studios will be completed in five years, finalizing two studios per year.