What is the Intent to Present (ITP)?

The ITP is your chance to pitch an idea for an event/activity at the 2020 Maine Science Festival. Programming areas include workshops, forums, hands-on activities, Teen Tech Night, and the Friday Field Trip Day – hands-on activities and forums/workshops. If you have a programming idea that doesn’t fit into one of those areas, please send an email to participate@mainesciencefestival.org.


Can Anyone Submit an ITP?

We are looking ideas from past, present, and new presenters who would like to offer programming at the 2020 Maine Science Festival. Presenters should be able to participate and have expertise or knowledge to be part of the event. For example, if you are proposing a workshop about the science of ice cream, you need to be able to explain exactly what that is – or have a scientist as part of your workshop team who can explain it. Proposals that are accepted as programming for the MSF will have support in arranging additional participants, moderators, etc. as needed.


When are proposals due?

We’ll be taking submissions until November 7, 2019.


Why is the MSF asking for presenters?

We’ve had five festivals and we are only scratching the surface of the science, engineering, technology, and innovation that is happening all over Maine. Now it’s time to make sure we don’t miss out: with this Intent to Present, we are asking our past presenters and others help us showcase the remarkable science happening in Maine.


What exactly are the types of events you’re looking for?

Glad you asked! A forum is “a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged” and MSF forums are based around audience interaction with experts. Our forums generally include a panel of experts on a topic who will give an introduction to their work, followed by Q&A with the audience and other panelists. The science should be presented in a way that anyone who has taken high school science can understand it. Talks/Presentations are essentially the same as forums, but presented by one person who then engages in moderated Q&A with the audience.

A hands-on activity is an activity where festival goers walk up to you and dive into the science you’re presenting. The set up is similar to a vendor space at a conference, and you can expect to interact with festival goers of all ages. There are opportunities to be part of either the Friday Field Trip Day (7th and 8th grade students only) or Exploration Station (all ages).

Workshops are a set period of time where you present a topic and work through it (for example, nature illustration, minecraft workshop, cheese making). The festival goer often (but not always) ends the workshop with something they can take home. The audience is determined by you as is the difficulty of the science and/or the workshop approach.

Friday Field Trip Day workshops or interactive presentations are an in-depth look at science at an particular area, for example: computer coding; an exploration of different science careers (“A Day in the Life…”) with Q&A; an exploration of fitness and nutrition with examples. Sessions should be 40 minutes, and be targeted explicitly to 7th and 8th grade students.

Tech Night is focused on exploring cutting-edge software and web-based tools. Workshops, hands-on activities and forums are available, with the audience being middle-school aged kids.


Are there any changes from past years?

We’ve learned that forums, presentations, and workshops that are longer than one hour (60 minutes) are less than ideal. As a result, unless the pitch is incredibly compelling, we are unlikely to pick a forum, presentation, or workshop that runs longer than one hour.


How do you choose which submitted programming is chosen?

Our programming team will go through the proposals, and the 2020 MSF program will be set up based on their recommendations. The programming team will make their judgments based on a number of different factors, including: type of science/math, type of event, audience, innovative approaches happening in Maine, revealing hidden secrets, diversity of programming from past years (we require different activities and events every year), balance of programming for all ages and events, and logistically what we can make work.


Any other information we need to know?

Since we don’t charge for any event/activity at the Maine Science Festival (except the headliner) we are unable to provide any honorarium for speakers or presenters. We can cover travel costs (within reason) if needed. And, all Sunday events (other than the Headliner) take place in downtown Bangor.


Still have questions?

Send an email to participate@mainesciencefestival.org.