All teams in the final round of the 2020-2021 Maine Ideas Challenge are required to submit both a written proposal and a short application video by the final round deadline of Sunday, April 11, 2021 by 9pm EST. Please carefully read all of the information contained on this webpage. Any applications that do not adhere to the requirements outlined below for both the written proposal and application video will be deemed ineligible. All decisions made by the judges and contest administrators are considered final and not subject to appeal.
All finalist teams are required to submit a short application video between 60 and 90 seconds. The video format is simple: Teams speak directly to the camera, leaving out all production aspects (such as music, effects, images, slides, “post-production wizardry,” etc.) This is not a video making contest and no fancy editing is necessary (or desirable). We just want to hear directly from the student team members about their project in a very straightforward, clear and concise manner. The P.D. Merrill Makerspace will provide support and assistance in filming the video.
The video is an opportunity for teams to introduce themselves, explain what they are doing and why, and detail anything else they want judges to know about the team or the project. Videos should be uploaded to YouTube and the URL included in the application platform along with the written proposal (by Sunday, April 11 at 9pm EST)
Finalist teams will have the opportunity to develop and refine their Phase 1 idea into full proposals due on Sunday, April 11 at 9pm EST. In the full proposal, finalists will expand on the ideas presented in their Phase 1 submission, edit their proposals, and have the opportunity to refine their project ideas through collaboration with mentors and the P.D. Merrill makerspace team.
Finalists are instructed to submit full proposals no more than 8 pages in length, single-spaced. The Maine Ideas Challenge recommends the format below to ensure applicants include the required proposal elements, however, students are allowed to modify the order and presentation of the information as needed to tell their story. The basic required components are as follows:
1. Problem Statement
This section includes a clear description and background information on the identified problem. An effective problem statement is thoroughly researched, shows a deep understanding of the issue, and builds a strong case to support why the project is needed. This includes but is not limited to: research/statistics on the problem, and/or research/statistics about the target community or market.
2. Existing Solutions
This section is an overview of any existing services, programs, interventions, or products that have been designed or implemented to address this problem.
What are the limitations of the current approaches?
What gaps still exist?
What solutions have been tried in the past and where do those solutions fall short?
3. Proposed Innovation
This section includes a summary of the innovative project (e.g. program, service, good, etc.) how it works, and its intended impact. This is the “nuts and bolts” portion of the proposal and focuses on what the project will look like in its 1st year of implementation. It briefly explains any implementation challenges that may arise and how they will be addressed. It may note (but does not focus on) whether the project intends to scale up or expand in future years.
4. Measuring Success
Teams should include information about how they will monitor or measure the impact or success of their project throughout the 1st year of implementation (June 2021-June 2022). This does not need to be a formal monitoring and evaluation plan, but can take the form of metrics and methods to make sure they can track their progress.
5. Team Bios
A list of key project team members with brief biographies that explain the capability of the team to pursue their idea.