The Voyage program
provides a community a replica of the National Mall exhibition for
permanent installation, and a diverse array of programs and educational
materials that address learning opportunities across the community. The
exhibition itself is a blend of sculpture and science education. There
are therefore a great number of likely stakeholders within a community.
Given the capabilities and intent of the Voyage program, and
the wide array of appropriate sites for installation, possible
community stakeholders include: a school district; museum; science
center; university; community college; county office of parks and
recreation; national and state park agencies; county office of urban
planning; community-based organizations interested in sculptural
elements within the community; non-profits, businesses, and civic
organizations interested in science, math, and technology education;
the office of the mayor; the city council; and the school board.
There may also be multiple stakeholders within
an organization. For example:
Stakeholders within a University or College
|Typically a single individual in a
community is the first to learn about the Voyage program. It
might be a professor in a university astronomy department, a teacher, a
university dean, a school district curriculum supervisor, a museum
director, or an employee of a community’s parks and recreation office.
Regardless of that first individual contact, the person may or not be a
good champion for the program. But given the wide range of
stakeholders, and the $250,000 cost, the program needs a champion in
the community for it to succeed. This is the person that can take on
the responsibility of building community-wide awareness across
potential stakeholder organizations, and can coordinate an approach to
planning and fund-raising for the program.
| To build sustainable interest
across the community, each stakeholder organization needs to understand
how the Voyage program can serve their strategic needs. A
formal statement of Voyage’s ability to meet the needs of
individual organizations, and to meet the needs of the broader
community, is called a case statement—it makes the
case for why the program should be funded, and is what can be presented
to potential funders. The champion in the community needs to help
organizations see the benefits of Voyage, and help these
organizations frame a case statement. Building a core team of
representatives from the key organizations is a good starting point. It
should also be expected that each organization will define unique ways
in which Voyage addresses their needs. For example:
|The Case for Siting Voyage on a University
or College Campus
Case for Siting Voyage Near a Museum or Science Center
| The Voyage program staff
at the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)
is available to assist in any way we can, which includes providing
program information, and participating in teleconferences, video
conferences, and brainstorming sessions. We can also present at, and
participate in, meetings on-site on a travel reimbursement basis.
Finally, we can conduct a program for the public and families, a
professional development workshop for educators, or programs for
students, to provide a window on the power of Voyage
programming, and help rally support community-wide. Descriptions of
programs are available on request.
The cost of the exhibition and initial
programming is $250,000. We believe we have done everything possible to
minimize the cost:
- We value-engineered the National Mall
exhibition for efficiency of fabrication, and decided on anodized
aluminum rather than stainless steel for the 13 Units. The Anodized
aluminum is as durable as stainless, and far cheaper in terms of
procurement and machining. This alone cut the fabrication cost to us in
Remember that this is a permanent outdoor
exhibition that must be made of durable and vandal resistant materials,
yet provide the sculptural aesthetic worthy of the National Mall. These
materials are reflected in the anodized aluminum Units with extensive
machining requirements, full color high-resolution porcelain enamel
storyboards, and the 3-D worlds in large crystal block with a tempered
glass plate fused to the front. The cost reflects a commitment to
detail, aesthetics, and durability.
- We are making the exhibition available on a
full cost recovery basis, which means there is no net to the National
Center for Earth and Space Science Education.
The Voyage program requires an
extensive staff, including: a program director; a marketing and sales
agent; a program coordinator to work with the communities on
customization and siting; a program coordinator to work with the
fabrication houses; and researchers, educators, designers, and IT
specialists to provide: ongoing development and delivery of the
educational materials, web site, and Teachable Moments in the News;
delivery of professional development for educators in the community,
and community programming for the public; and support for both content
and pedagogy questions from the community’s educators.
We must recover salary, benefits, and
facilities & administration overhead for the staff, together with
costs for non-salary consumables and any required travel. This full
cost recovery makes up the balance of the exhibition total cost.
Our vision is building and supporting a network of
100 Voyage Communities worldwide over the next five years. To
this end, we have made Voyage available at as minimal a cost
In terms of contract deliverables, 1/2 of total
cost is required up front to underwrite time for staff to begin working
with the community, and to initiate fabrication; 1/4 is due mid-way
through fabrication; and 1/4 is due on final inspection.
Voyage will likely require a
significant fund-raising effort in the community. It starts with
community-wide awareness of a science education program designed to
impact the entire community, and in a sustainable way. If
this leads to a strong desire to become a Voyage Community,
then the next step is to turn to those local area professionals that
have experience in raising funds.
Organizations like universities, museums, science
centers, school districts, and other non-profits have 'development
offices' whose job it is to raise funds for programs of interest to the
organization. The development officers:
- know the local and regional businesses,
corporations, foundations, and individuals that have an interest in
contributing funds for educational programs.
- likely know of state and federal grant
- know how to search existing databases of
potential donor and funders.
- know how to pitch the program to potential
If Voyage is a community-wide effort,
then there may be ways for fundraising to be shared, with different
organizations provided specific fund-raising targets.
There are also a number of other funding
opportunities that could be explored:
- There may be urban renewal or park and urban
planning projects that are either ongoing or about to begin. Given the
magnitude of cost for such programs, Voyage might be rolled into the
budget as a beautification or sculptural element.
- The city council might add a Voyage
line item to the budget as part of budget planning for the next fiscal
- The school board might be able to allocate
some funds in support of district-wide participation in programming.
- A presentation to the Chamber of Commerce or a
Business Roundtable is a good way to get word out to the local business
community, and assess funding interest.
- A social event for fund-raising might be held.
The NCESSE Center Director could be available to participate, to do a Voyage
presentation to VIPs, and to conduct a corresponding program for the
public. Put us to work.