crowdfunding

A Science Communication Consultation and Training Company Is On the Rise — and Needs Your Support

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Science Communication is something that is a hot topic these days.  The communication to the public about science is extremely important, because everyone is effected by science in their daily lives.  Proper science communication can change how the public looks at the world, how the world governments decide to act on certain issues, and can help in bettering the wellbeing of humans, animals, and plant life.

 

 

However, science communication is not the easiest thing in the world.  Not by a long shot.  There’s miscommunication, the boasting of bad studies, and some scientists don’t know how to go about science communication to the public at all.  While all scientists are definetely not required to communicate their science to the public, a lot of them want to learn.

 

 

That’s where SCIENCE ART FUSION comes in. 

 

 

Science Art Fusion is a ‘science communication consultation company that aims to bridge the gap between science and the creative and performing arts’, says Founder RK Pendergrass.

 

 

Earlier in March, she began a GoFundMe campaign hoping to raise money so that Pendergrass can create online courses “that goes into the nitty-gritty of narrative structure and what makes some stories so universally appealing, and helps science communicators figure out the best ways to apply these narrative skills to their outreach efforts”

 

 

Pendergrass herself is a professional performer and creative writer with over ten years of experience in these fields.  She says that she wanted to help share her knowledge with the science community “after seeing the importance of narrative being brought up time and again at science conferences and in discussions about science communication”.  

 

 

Pendergrass truly believes that there’s value in this knowledge for the science community, and believes that this type of art can be very helpful in getting this very important communication across.

 

 

In the two weeks that SCIENCE ART FUSION’S campaign has been online, Pendergrass has thus earned over $1,500 towards her 20K goal.  As she notes, starting a company is incredibly expensive.  Between the LLC cost, the cost of equipment, the cost of a website, and more.  Her hope is to raise $3,500 a month in order to support the website and herself up until August.    She wants to help hire and support other science communicators as well in the future to help continue to “bridge the gap” between the communications and their respective audiences.

 

 

Interested in helping out?  You can check out the GoFundMe here, or email RK Pendergrass at prelaunch@scienceartfuision.com for more information!

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of all things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.

 

Taylor Richardson Does it Again: $100,000 Raised For Girls to See A Wrinkle In Time

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This was edited on March 7th, 2017 at 9:07PM

 

In case you missed it, when Hidden Figures released in 2016, Taylor Richardson was the girl who raised over $20,000 so that 1000 girls could see the movie for free.  Her hope was to encourage girls to get into STEM by being able to watch the likes of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson on the big screen. 

 

 
 

    When A Wrinkle in Time was announced, a movie based on the hit middle-grade sci-fi from 1962, Taylor Richardson did the same thing.  Only this time, she raised $50,000 for girls to see the movie for free when it releases on March 9th, 2018.

 

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    Why was Taylor so enthused about girls seeing A Wrinkle in Time in theaters?  She explained on her GoFundMe page.

 

    “1. It shows young, black girls deserving a chance to be a part of the scifi cultural canon,”   She begins.  2. It has a female protagonist in a science fiction film. A brown girl front and center who looks like me in the role of Meg, a girl traveling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I’d never seen a girl of color in. 3. Most impressive and importantly, it’s a fantasy film that is not about some white boys fighting evil, but about a black girl overcoming it.”

 

 
 

    Since the start of her campaign on November 13th, for Taylor everything has been a crazy and memorable ride.  Disney caught sight of her, and as a result, Taylor was able to attend the premiere.  She was able to meet the director of the film,  Ava DuVernay, actress Oprah Winfrey, and actor Chris Pine, among others.

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    Notable people who donated to her campaign included JJ Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath.  “Thanks to the kindness of many of you and a very generous donation from JJ Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath,”  Taylor wrote in an update on her GoFundMe. “I have exceeded my goal to send a 1000 girls 2 see the upcoming movie A Wrinkle In Time!”

 

 

    On top of that, aforementioned actor Chris Pine, who stars in the film as Dr. Alex Murray (the main character’s — Meg Murray’s — father), matched Taylor’s raised $25,000 — bringing Taylor’s efforts to her massive $50,000 to send girls to watch the movie, as well as help them purchase and read the original novel.  

 

 
 
 
 

    We applaud Taylor for her constant efforts and constant successes in bringing more and more girls into the world of STEM through positive media.

 

EDIT:  In an incredible update -- Oprah Winfrey, who stars in the movie as Mrs. Which, matched the $50,000 Taylor Richardson made -- giving Taylor's GoFundMe a over $100,000!  As of 9:00pm on March 7th, the GoFundMe total is $100,639!

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of all things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.

 

Crowdfunding for Science? Yes, Please!

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Crowdfunding has proven to be an excellent way to get projects started and accomplished.  We need money to just about do everything in this world, and crowdfunding is a great way to get everyone involved in big projects that everyone can benefit from. In fact, according to a 2015 article in Forbes, studies have estimated that crowdfunding has raised over $34 billion (US) worldwide.

 

While crowdfunding is not a new concept, it wasn’t until the early 2000s where sites became available with the sole purpose of crowdfunding projects, consumer goods, charitable needs, and more.  Kiva, IndieGogo, and KickStarter are great ones you’ve probably heard of.

 

Most of these crowdfunding sites don’t have a particular, closed theme.  When you look at the selection of what you can support, they’re a bit all over the place.  Everything from music albums, to shoes, to public displays of artwork.  So, Eric Fisher had an idea.

 

 
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Eric Fisher founded Labfundr in 2017.  His idea?  To create a crowdfunding website to host research undertakings and science projects.

 

Visit the site here!

 

Now, this isn’t the only crowdfunding site of its kind. In fact, as Fisher points out in his press release, similar sites exist in the US and in the UK.  However, there was an English-speaking country that didn’t have this provision yet.

 

Labfundr is Canadian based, and in its short life they’ve already begun to crowd fund with their small team of members.  They hope to continue to grow, and continue to help fund more and more research projects.

 

The types of campaigns that can be created on Labfundr include: Research projects, campaigns to cover travel expenses to conferences or training courseseducational outreach events, equipment purchases, and themed initiatives.

 

It’s completely free to create and launch a campaign, and to keep them going, they do charge a 9% fee on contributions, plus any credit card fees.

 

If you want to check it out, and maybe start a research project of your own funded by Labfundr, you can find out more about them here!

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.

Code Angel: A New Kickstarter Campaign to Teach You and Your Children How to Code

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Since the original publishing of this article, CODE ANGEL was successfully funded, and can be found here

Learning to code has never been easier than with a Raspberry Pi computer.  These computers, the size of a credit card, are designed specifically to teach children how to code.  In this day and age this is, of course, something incredibly crucial to learn, considering how much we use computers every single day.

 

Schools in the UK have used Raspberry Pi in their classrooms, but there isn’t always enough time to actually teach coding properly.  However, with Code Angel, your child can learn to do this on her own, at home, on her own time using the Python programming language.

 

What is Code Angel?

 

 
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Currently, Code Angel is a Kickstarter project that launched today at 15:00 GMT, or 11am EST.  It was founded by Mark Cunningham, who had the idea to teach “the principles of computer programming through 12 amazing game projects”.  The game projects include (but are not limited to) an Alien Invasion Game, Tic Tac Toe, and Mini Golf.

 

 

When you purchase Code Angel (which will be about 25£ — about ~$32 — at the time of its release) it comes fully loaded with everything your child (or even yourself) will need to learn how to code these games.  The code of each game is explained by computer science teachers via video, teaching your child beforehand how to code the game so that they can learn as they go along.  And learning how to code games specifically should keep your child more engaged than a typical coding course.

 

What if you’ve made a mistake, and you can’t figure out what you’ve done wrong? Code Angel themselves will explain how to fix your bugs if you upload the code to their website.

 

Every graphic needed for the game, and every sound needed, are already availiable with Code Angel when your purchase it — all you have to do is implement the code.

 

There’s two different ways you can purchase Code Angel as well.  There’s Code Angel in a Box, which gives you your own personal Raspberry Pi computer and everything else you need to start right from the box.  There’s also Code Angel Digital, which is perfect if you already have a Raspberry Pi.  This form of the program allows you to download and stream the content from Code Angel’s website.

 

Mark Cunningham decided to do this project out of a place of passion.  “Code Angel is not gender specific,”  He told me.  “[But] as a Computing Science teacher and father to [two] girls I am passionate about getting girls into coding/computing”.

 

In his press release for the project, he goes on by saying: “Computer programming is a key 21st Century skill, but it should also be fun and give the learner a sense of achievement.  With over 20 years of  experience of teaching computer programming in schools, we know what motivates learners and we know what causes barriers to their learning. We also believe in developing computational thinking skills.”

 

You can visit their Kickstarter to support them here!  There are a lot of great perks if you decide to help fund the project.  You can also visit their Twitter account here to get more updates on the project as it moves forward, and also check out their website!

 

 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mariah Loeber is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of FemSTEM.com. She studies English and is a huge fan of things STEM.  Find her on Twitter.