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‘Scienstars’ seeks funding

News doesn’t just happen between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Because of that, the reporters here at the Salisbury Post have an on-call and weekend rotation schedule so there’s always someone around to cover breaking news and events.
The first weekend in June happened to be my weekend, and one of my assignments was a story about “Scienstars” — a television show pilot being filmed in the basement of the old YMCA building on Fulton Street.
I’d never been on a movie set before, so I didn’t really know what to expect.
The actors were nice enough, and the set was simple — a green screen and a few props like a control panel. The crew members were bustling around, setting up cameras, editing videos and sound and adjusting lights.
This story doesn’t end with a pilot that was filmed in Salisbury, though.
Executive Producer Vincent Barnette self-funded the production of the pilot, but is looking for ways to fund post-production.
So, he started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the needed funds.
The project has nearly 40 backers, bringing in $2,588 so far — 12 percent of the $20,000 goal. The campaign began Aug. 1 and ends Sept. 2, leaving 12 days to fund the rest of the post-production expenses.
“Scienstars” tells the story of two teens who transport to outer space every afternoon on a quest to stop an evil alien from eliminating all intelligence from the galaxy.
As the actors, director and producer explained their vision, however, it became obvious that it wasn’t your average science fiction show.
Sure, it’s filled with special effects and set in outer space, but the show’s defining attribute is the educational twist.
Barnette, of Morrisville, has always been a science fiction fanatic and has wanted to produce a science fiction film, but when his son was born, he decided he wanted to produce something educational that would make a difference.
The “Scienstars” website says the hope is for the show to be a method to address the weakness of STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, education in America’s schools.
“Our view is simple,” the “Scienstars” website states. “Students who are excited about a subject will learn it, so get them excited first.”
The concepts taught in “Scienstars” are in line with the seventh-grade core science standards.
In the pilot episode, the characters are faced with situations where they must solve problems requiring an understanding of energy transfers, types of energy and energy conversion. Future episodes are slated to deal with physical, life and earth science, as well as engineering topics.

Jeanie Groh covers education for the Salisbury Post. Reach her at 704-797-4222 or jeanie.groh@salisburypost.com .

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