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    ‘Nova’ launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund a special

    “Hunting the Elements” host David Pogue will host that special’s planned follow-up, “Beyond the Elements.”
    Cara Feinberg/WGBH
    “Hunting the Elements” host David Pogue will host that special’s planned follow-up, “Beyond the Elements.”

    “Nova,” PBS’s science series produced by WGBH, has launched its first crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a sequel to its popular 2012 special “Hunting the Elements.”

    The “Nova” Kickstarter campaign, announced Tuesday, has a base goal of $1 million, which would support the production of “Beyond the Elements,” a follow-up to “Hunting the Elements,” which explored the periodic table and molecules. If the campaign raises $250,000 more, “Nova” will provide free educational support materials for teachers to use in classrooms, including ideas about activities and experiments. If $1.5 million is raised, “Nova” will create its first virtual reality experience to allow viewers to “go inside of the world of molecules.” Additional donations beyond $1.5 million will help “Nova” send DVDs of “Hunting the Elements” and “Beyond the Elements” to public high schools across the United States.

    If the Kickstarter campaign comes up short, “Beyond the Elements” will still be produced, but “Nova” will have to look for different sources of funding, and its release might be delayed.


    John Bredar, vice president of national programming for WGBH, said “Hunting the Elements” had “a ripple effect” among viewers and teachers, and the response to the show “revealed this deep vein of nerdism in this country.”

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    Hosted by David Pogue, a tech writer and science presenter, the first special took an entertaining approach to understanding the periodic table and how those elements are intertwined with everyday life. Pogue will also host the follow-up.

    “[The periodic table is] elemental — pardon the pun — in your understanding of how things work because it’s a perfect building-block science story,” Bredar said. “Beyond the Elements” will be another “great way to get people excited about science.”

    In the past, “Nova” has used traditional forms of fund-raising to pay for programs, but a Kickstarter campaign will give donors a chance to feel more connected to “Beyond the Elements,” said Paula Apsell, the senior executive producer for “Nova.”

    “Beyond the Elements,” if completely funded by the Kickstarter campaign, will air in late 2018 or early 2019, according to Apsell.


    The campaign will run from through March 3 at

    Lexi Peery can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LexiFP.