Join NOVA: Make "Beyond the Elements"
Help NOVA and David Pogue produce a new special, "Beyond the Elements," that will inspire audiences to fall in love with science.
For more than 40 years, NOVA has been on a singular mission: to bring science to life for everyone, by creating inspiring, entertaining and educational science specials and programming for television and the internet.
With the support and passion of “Viewers Like You,” we’ve aired more than 750 NOVA programs, inspiring a love for the wonder of science in curious minds of all ages - kids and adults. As a result, we’ve also become a trusted resource in classrooms across the world. Science teachers and parents love sharing NOVA with kids to make science real for them.
Over the years we’ve taken viewers to every corner of the planet (and universe!) We’ve been honored to receive numerous Emmy® Awards, Peabody Awards, and many other television and education awards for our work. But even more importantly, we hear from hundreds of scientists and teachers who tell us that NOVA is the reason they fell in love with science to begin with.
Now we’d like you to join us for our next big experiment: NOVA’s first-ever crowdfunding campaign!
Well, we're here for two reasons.
Sure, we're here because this special needs funding – at least $200,000 on Kickstarter will be enough to let us really get to work on Beyond the Elements - but, even more importantly, we're also here for the crowd. (That's you!)
CROWD. By going on this adventure together, we're excited to get to know all of you better, and to have you as part of the extended NOVA team. We want you to be part of the mission, and to join us in making the show that has inspired generations of kids to see the world in new ways, fall in love with science, and become actual scientists!
FUNDING. Working together, we're hoping to raise at least $200,000 on Kickstarter. With your support, we want to create an often-requested special that will work as a follow-up to one of our most-watched and most-beloved specials – Hunting the Elements – which took viewers around the globe to see the incredible properties of the elements in action.
Now, we want to take the next step -- and through Kickstarter, we can all work together to make it a reality!
Together, we want to pick up where Hunting the Elements left off: with the help of host David Pogue, our new special will take viewers Beyond the Elements to discover the invisible world of molecules. It’s the hidden science that makes up everything in the known universe!
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? There are only about 90 naturally occurring elements in the universe—but they can combine in over 100 million ways to make up everything we know—everything we’ve ever encountered, from the air we breathe to the ketchup we put on our burgers.
WHAT WILL IT COVER? We think there are some incredible stories that we can tell to bring that invisible world to life, and that's what Beyond the Elements will do. David Pogue will be our host on an adventure around the world, as we go on a quest to unlock the secrets of molecules, both human-made and natural – from poisons to peppers and everything in-between!
WHY IT MATTERS: Our goal is for Hunting the Elements and Beyond the Elements to be a perfect "pair" – and together, to provide an exciting, comprehensive introduction to chemistry that can catalyze a positive reaction in curious minds of all ages. (Sorry. Those are the only chemistry puns we'll make.)
MORE THAN JUST A SPECIAL: In addition to the broadcast special – which, like all NOVA programs, will be free to the public on PBS and the internet for a period of time, we're also aiming to do a lot more! We'll produce everything from free accompanying classroom materials to free, immersive VR content, that will let you go even deeper – jumping inside the microscopic world of molecules to see them for yourself!
The best part? We want you to be there with us every step of the way, so we've made plans to give you an unprecedented behind-the-scenes "pass" to find out everything that goes into making a NOVA special -- and since we're involving you before the special airs on television, we're excited to have your input, suggestions and feedback as part of the creative process!
Great question! Here are two answers.
You’ll be helping build a better future.
The future of our planet, and the human race depends on each generation finding that personal love for and appreciation of science. And now, more than ever, it’s important to reach as many people - and kids - as possible.
Why? Take a look at these statistics:
How can this be happening? Especially when we know that science helps us:
These are the things that motivate us every day to create the best science programming possible. Inspiring people - and the future of our country - to love science is essential to our survival.
But of course, there are rewards for helping us as well.
In order to ensure that as much of your money goes towards making Beyond the Elements as possible, we’re keeping our rewards simple. Backing can get you a few carefully selected goodies, including:
Everybody who backs will get periodic updates from NOVA. We’ll take you behind the scenes and let you in on our process as we make Beyond the Elements.
At $35 and above: If you’re helping make the special possible, it only makes sense to give you a digital download of Beyond the Elements.
At $50 and above: We’re printing up exclusive premium t-shirts just for this campaign. You’ll get to show off your love for science and NOVA to the world.
At $100 and above: Rachel Ignotofsky, the New York Times best-selling author and brilliant illustrator behind Women in Science, has made an 11x17” art print just for this campaign! Celebrate all the everyday tools that scientists use to make our world a better place! (Get more details about the art print in this backer update.)
And because teachers and students are important to us, we’ve set up a clever way that you can impact them very directly - by giving them NOVA!
In addition to grabbing great rewards for yourself, you can send copies of Hunting the Elements, Beyond the Elements, and other essential NOVA episodes to the teacher or school of your choice. If you don’t have a teacher or school in mind and still want to help, we’ll find one for you!
It’s a great way to support the campaign and show your appreciation to the hard-working teachers who directly inspire our kids every day in the classroom.
Paula S. Apsell is the Senior Executive Producer and Director of the WGBH Science Unit. She is a recipient of the Bradford Washburn Award, the Carl Sagan Award, the American Institute of Physics Andrew Gemant Award, and the Planetary Society’s Cosmos Award, among many others.
FAVORITE ELEMENT: Gold has two qualities that you might not think go together. It glitters and it’s got substance. In that way, it’s just like NOVA–both entertaining and educational—the gold standard of science programming!
David Pogue is a former New York Times tech columnist, the current tech critic at Yahoo Finance, and author of 104 tech books. He’s hosted more than a dozen programs for NOVA, including the Making Stuff Series, NOVA ScienceNOW, and Hunting the Elements.
FAVORITE ELEMENT: My favorite element is sodium, because its violent reactivity with water was my introduction (via mad scientist Theo Gray) to the insanely cool world of pure elements that most people will never see!
Chris Schmidt is NOVA’s Senior Producer and the Executive Producer for Beyond the Elements. He was Executive Producer, Writer, and Director on many other David Pogue films, including the Making Stuff series and Hunting the Elements.
FAVORITE ELEMENT: At the moment, silicon (Si) is my favorite element because I find it to be sadly tragic. It’s right below carbon on the periodic table, and it so wants to be able to do all the things carbon can do. But its bonds aren’t quite as strong or flexible and it can’t keep up with carbon’s social life, moving easily between the air, the water and the earth. Still, it’s got a great work ethic and it does its best. And even though we may never find alien life based on silicon, good old number 14 has given us plenty to be grateful for, like glass and computers! Thanks, silicon!
Pamela Rosenstein manages the development of multipart series and specials for NOVA and the WGBH Science Unit. She supervises the development pipeline of projects for foundation and government funding, overseeing concept development, fundraising strategies, proposal development, and stewardship of strategic partnerships.
FAVORITE ELEMENT: Helium, because I find it amazing that something produced naturally through radioactive decay can make you squeak. But don’t inhale too much; it is a finite resource, after all.
Tim De Chant is NOVA's senior digital editor and the founding editor of NOVA Next, NOVA's digital magazine. He is also in charge of NOVA's social media strategy.
FAVORITE ELEMENT: Carbon is my favorite element because it can tell us an incredible amount about the natural world. In tree rings, carbon isotope ratios can also tell us if the conditions in which the tree is growing have changed over its lifetime!
Ralph Bouquet is the Education and Outreach Manager at NOVA. Ralph helps make NOVA a valuable resource for educators through the production of digital resources like videos and web games, professional development opportunities, and collaboration with STEM education organizations.
FAVORITE ELEMENT: Calcium, because it helps me rationalize my love for cheese.
Allison Eck is NOVA’s primary social media editor—the voice of NOVA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She also writes for NOVA Next. She alternates between keeping her finger on the pulse of science news and interacting with our smart viewers and readers (i.e., YOU!).
FAVORITE ELEMENT: Bismuth, because its crystals grow in a staircase-shaped formation that reminds me of an M.C. Escher drawing.
- (24 days)