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How to Write a Museum Exhibit Script

Step 1: Define Your Audience

Knowing who your audience is will guide the language and tone you'll use. For this example, let's define the audience as middle-school students with basic knowledge of photosynthesis.

Step 2: Establish The Exhibit Goal

The exhibit goal helps guide your script and maintain focus. Let's set our goal as:

To give visitors an in-depth understanding of the process of photosynthesis, and illustrate its significance to all life on Earth.

Step 3: Identify Key Concepts

The key concepts for our exhibit on photosynthesis are:

  1. Role of sunlight in photosynthesis
  2. The function of chlorophyll
  3. The chemical process of photosynthesis
  4. The importance of photosynthesis to the Earth's ecosystem

Step 4: Develop A Narrative Structure

Overall, our script should follow a logical narrative structure that smoothly transitions from one key concept to the next.

Exhibit Outline

I. Introduction to Exhibit

- The "green heart" of nature. Essential for life.

II. Section 1: Role of Sunlight in Photosynthesis

- Sun, ultimate source of energy. How do plants harness it?

III. Section 2: The Function of Chlorophyll

- Nature's solar panel. Turning sunlight into chemical energy. Green in more ways than one!

IV. Section 3: The Chemical Process of Photosynthesis

- How it generates food for plant (glucose) and oxygen byproduct. Show actual chemical process diagram.

V. Section 4: The Importance of Photosynthesis to Earth's Ecosystem

- Role in food chain. Importance of the byproduct--oxygen!

VI. Conclusion

- Appreciation, new meaning to phrase "soaking up the sun!"

Step 5: Craft Your Script

With all this in mind, we can now craft our script.

Simple Language

All exhibits should be written using simple language, and should not exceed an eighth-grade reading level. If the primary audience for your exhibit is younger, write for that age group.

Make it Personal

Use active voice and try to engage the reader with questions. Make connections relevant to the lives of your target audience.

It's not a book!

Note that the script shouldn't simply be paragraph after paragraph of text--that's how you write a book! Keep it short and sweet. Aim for engagement and entertainment.

Levels of Text: A Hierarchy

Create a hierarchy that allows all visitors to walk away from the exhibit with a meaningful experience. Not everyone wants to read every detail. Communicate the main ideas through larger headings, and provide more detailed body copy or labels for those that want to dig a little deeper.

Keep it Contained

Remember, not all exhibit text will be read in the same order by visitors. Each chunk of the script should be able understandable if read independently.

Notes to Designers

In the script, add notes about images you'd like to display. Highlight pull quotes that could be featured. Elements that would benefit from an illustration or diagram. Or, as in this example, add notes on cool potential interactive elements.

Add thoughts about any elements you think communicate the key themes clearly--the rest of the exhibit team will thank you for it!

Exhibit Script

Exhibit Title:

Nature's Solar Panels: The Science of Photosynthesis

Exhibit Goal:

To give visitors an in-depth understanding of the process of photosynthesis, and illustrate its significance to all life on Earth.

Key Themes:

  1. Role of sunlight in photosynthesis
  2. The function of chlorophyll
  3. The chemical process of photosynthesis
  4. The importance of photosynthesis to the Earth's ecosystem

Introduction to Exhibit:

Welcome to the 'Energy of Life' exhibit!

Here, we're going to delve into the green heart of nature, into a process that's essential for life on Earth as we know it.

Yes, we're talking about photosynthesis.

Section 1: Role of Sunlight in Photosynthesis


Our journey begins with the sun, the ultimate source of energy. But, have you ever wondered how plants harness sunlight and turn it into a form they can use?


Imagine the sun as a huge battery, sending out countless tiny energy particles called photons. Now picture these photons as miniature power-packets racing towards the Earth at the speed of light...

Interactive Element:

Press the button here to see an animation of photons traveling from the sun to a plant leaf.


As you've seen, sunlight provides the energy that kicks off the incredible process of photosynthesis. But there's more to this story, which brings us to the next crucial player: chlorophyll.

Section 2: The Function of Chlorophyll


As we move on, let's take a moment to appreciate the vibrant green hue of the plants around you. This color is thanks to a pigment called chlorophyll."


Chlorophyll, contained in the cells of leaves and stems, has a crucial role in photosynthesis. Think of it as a tiny solar panel. When the 'power-packets' or photons reach a plant's leaf, chlorophyll molecules absorb this energy..."


[Leaf Cross-Section: An illustration or microscope image of a leaf's cross-section, showing the different parts, including the chloroplasts where photosynthesis takes place.]

Interactive Element:

Use the microscope station here to look at a cross-section of a leaf. Can you see the chlorophyll-packed chloroplasts?"


So, it turns out that chlorophyll doesn't just give plants their green appearance. It's also an energy converter, turning sunlight into chemical energy. This brings us to the heart of our journey, the process of photosynthesis."

And so on, for each section.

Step 6: Review Your Script

After completing your draft, review it to make sure it's accurate, engaging, and understandable for your audience. This is also the time to check for grammar and spelling errors, and to ensure your script flows smoothly.

Step 7: Test and Revise

Finally, you'll want to test your script with a sample of your target audience, if possible. Get feedback and use it to refine your script. Remember, scriptwriting is an iterative process – revisions and tweaks are part of the game!

By following these steps, you'll be able to create a museum exhibit script that's engaging, informative, and suitable for your audience. Here's how the remaining script sections might look:

Section 3: The Chemical Process of Photosynthesis


Now that we've seen how plants capture sunlight's energy, let's delve into the amazing transformation that takes place inside the leaf.


Inside the leaf, in tiny compartments called chloroplasts, the captured sunlight energy triggers a chemical reaction. Water from the plant's roots and carbon dioxide from the air combine, transforming into glucose, a type of sugar, and oxygen...

Interactive Element:

Take a look at this interactive screen here. Try to balance the photosynthesis equation by dragging the correct number of water, carbon dioxide, glucose, and oxygen molecules.


So, through photosynthesis, plants not only create their food, but also produce oxygen, a byproduct vital to many living beings. Speaking of which, let's explore why photosynthesis is so essential to life on Earth.

Section 4: The Importance of Photosynthesis to Earth's Ecosystem


We've seen how vital photosynthesis is to plants, but did you know that this process is also crucial for life on Earth as a whole?


Photosynthesis has a far-reaching impact. It's responsible for the oxygen that we breathe, and it forms the foundation of food chains. Every time you enjoy a meal, remember that you are, in a way, the beneficiary of photosynthesis...

Interactive Element:

Check out this interactive food chain diagram. Can you identify how photosynthesis contributes at each level?


So, as we've seen, photosynthesis is the unsung hero of life on Earth. It's a silent, continual process that sustains life, echoing in every breath we take and every morsel we eat.

Exhibit Conclusion:

We hope this exhibit has given you a deeper appreciation for the incredible process of photosynthesis. The next time you see a plant soaking up the sun, you'll know the amazing things that are happening inside!

Step 8: Give Your Script to the Designers!

Once you've got a complete script (or about 80% of one) it's time to hand it over to the design team!

They'll work the text into their exhibit designs and let you know which areas need tightening up and which areas could use more detail. At that point it's often time to abandon the script and continue the work through the beautiful graphic layouts generated by the design team!