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From quantum to cosmos, evolution to economics, ENERGY is everywhere. 10 expert videos explain the science of this mysterious essence.
From quantum to cosmos, evolution to economics, ENERGY is everywhere. 10 expert videos explain the science of this mysterious essence.
94 backers pledged $13,262 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

WHAT IS ENERGY? "Radical Physics" Video Series project video thumbnail
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ENERGY may be the single most important idea in science. Energy's influence spans health, technology, economics, and art. People who grasp the concept of ENERGY can better understand their lives, avoid magical thinking, and feel at home in the universe.  They also have a head-start in understanding the rest of science's most fundamental subject: physics.

Wonderfest, the nonprofit San Francisco Bay Area Beacon of Science, is producing a 10-program series of popular YouTube videos to help EVERYONE understand energy—in physics, in life, in the cosmos, and in culture.

Expert contributions to this new Radical Physics video series will come from:

  • Jack Conte, music & videography (Independent)
  • Alex Filippenko, astronomy & cosmology (UC Berkeley)
  • Tucker Hiatt, physics (Wonderfest)
  • Sean Randolph, economics (Bay Area Council Economic Institute)
  • Ryan Rygg, physics (Lawrence Livermore National Lab)
  • Robert Siegel, biology (Stanford)
  • Richard Zare, chemistry (Stanford)

The ten "What Is Energy?" videos (each of about 10-min duration) will be produced at Wonderfest Studio in Corte Madera, California. They will form an important and lasting part of Wonderfest's Radical Physics online programming.

Radical Physics, in turn, is important for its ability to excite students about physics, the most fundamental of the sciences. (Physics forms the foundation of virtually all fields of engineering -- and, ideally, of every maturing individual's coherent world-view.)

The famous Khan Academy has opened our minds to the potential of online learning. Radical Physics (RP) offers several improvements over the Khan Academy approach to physics teaching: (1) RP’s principal instructor is an award-winning physics teacher with 35 years of classroom experience; (2) RP promotes use of the outstanding PhET online laboratory simulations; (3) RP has a look-you-in-the-eye “talking head” format that draws the viewer in—as television news has done so effectively for over fifty years; (4) RP on-screen demonstrations make use of exquisite equipment on loan from PASCO Scientific; (5) RP allows fun incorporation of compelling action scenes from popular movies; and (6) RP benefits from occasional interviews with Bay Area experts, including Wonderfest advisors from Stanford and UC Berkeley.

The utility of Radical Physics is easy to envision once its programs reach a broad student audience. Radical Physics episodes will supplement and clarify the classroom experiences of physics students in good school environments. They will fully enfranchise students who have inexperienced physics teachers. They will rescue students whose schools (or homes) offer no physics at all. Maybe best of all, Radical Physics will captivate many others who previously thought that they were “just not the physics type.”

Please support Radical Physics through this Kickstarter campaign AND by simply sharing knowledge of it with every science student and teacher you know.

Sincerely,

- Tucker Hiatt, Wonderfest Founder & Executive Director

Risks and challenges

Wonderfest has already produced twenty engaging Radical Physics videos (http://wonderfest.org/radicalphysics); we will encounter no particular "risk" in producing ten more. However, our continuing "challenge" is to inform more and more students (and teachers) of the value of Radical Physics. That, alone, is a big part of the reason for this Kickstarter campaign: to encourage Wonderfest supporters to share Radical Physics with everybody they know.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Good energy, warm feelings, & full tax-deductibility for a simple donation to video producer Wonderfest, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Please help to support science education and popularization through Wonderfest.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Wonderfest personalized ID bag-tag from Picturoo -- bearing your photo and the descriptor of your choice:
    1) Wondernaut
    2) Citizen of Earth
    3) Radical Physicist.
    It's the perfect nerd-geek holiday gift!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Wonderfest photo ID tag, as above, with a stylish lanyard -- for those occasions when your Nobel medallion and sash just won't do.

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    Pledge $17 or more About $17

    Formal THANKS in the credits following your favorite Radical Physics "What Is Energy?" video (plus full tax-deductibiltiy).

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    Pledge $19 or more About $19

    The "Layers of Scientific Understanding" poster designed by Jon Lomberg (of "Cosmos" fame) and vetted by a host of science luminaries. It fits all the big ideas of science on a pretty 54"x33" 2-D manifold: <http://wonderfest.org/layers-of-scientific-understanding-poster/>

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Black, heavy-weight, all-cotton, long-sleeve, t-shirt with Wonderfest logo across left breast and "Truth is a great flirt" across the back. You'll be both coming and going -- in style -- for science. Sizes S,M,L,XL

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Black all-cotton polo shirt with tiny (but potent!) Wonderfest logo across left breast. Sizes S,M,L,XL

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    All ten Radical Physics "What is Energy?" videos in physical DVD form (plus partial tax-decutibility).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Formal THANKS in the credits following EACH of the Radical Physics "What Is Energy?" videos (plus full tax-deductibility).

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Co-star in your favorite Radical Physics "What is Energy? video: appear on-screen asking the energy-related question of your choice (plus full tax-deductibility).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dinner for two in San Francisco's North Beach with the exquisite company of (at least) two "What Is Energy?" cast members (plus partial tax-deductibility).

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Musician and YouTube phenom Jack Conte performs "Wonder Song" (and three other acoustic tunes) LIVE for your event in the San Francisco Bay Area (plus partial tax-deductibility).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Dinner for two in San Francisco's North Beach with UC Berkeley astrophysicist Alex Filippenko and spouse. It will be an other-worldy table for four -- with cosmic implications AND partial tax-deductibility!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Tremendous good energy, warm feelings, & FULL tax-deductibility for a generous donation to video producer Wonderfest, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Please help to support science education and popularization through Wonderfest.

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Funding period

- (28 days)