Fund This: Veritasium’s Derek Muller Turns To Kickstarter To Fund Better Molecular Models

By 11/11/2015
Fund This: Veritasium’s Derek Muller Turns To Kickstarter To Fund Better Molecular Models

Welcome to the Fund This column! Each week, we’ll look at a planned web series or other online video project currently in search of funding on crowdfunding sites. We’ll tell you what the series is all about and explain why it is worth your money. Do you have a project that’s currently being crowdfunded? Contact us to let us know and we may feature it in upcoming installments and check out previous installments right here.

Project Name: Snatoms

Asking For: $42,000 on Kickstarter


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Amount Raised Thus Far (At Time Of Post): $59,061, though stretch goals will soon seek higher targets.

Days Remaining In Campaign (At Time Of Post): 41

Description: Usually, our Fund This column profiles hopeful content creators looking to get a new series or short film off the ground. This time, though, we’re highlighting a science project. Derek Muller, the host of the Veritasium, is seeking funds for Snatoms, a brand of molecular modeling kits that he believes can replace the ball-and-stick models that have been used for 150 years.

Snatoms feature a simple, intuitive design. Balls of varying sizes–each one representing a different element–are filled with magnets and then cut to create multiple flat surfaces. By magnetically attaching, say, two hydrogen balls onto the surfaces of one oxygen ball, a Snatoms user can create a water molecule that comes together with a series of satisfying snaps.

Muller has been working on his Snatoms designs for several years, and with his Kickstarter campaign, he hopes to mass-produce them for use in classrooms and labs. For more details, check out his pitch video:

Creator Bio: On his YouTube channel, Muller entertains more than three million subscribers with education videos that usually trend toward scientific topics. Some of his best lessons, such as his real-time demonstration of the Coriolis effect, have made our headlines.

Best Perk: Backers who kick in at least $42 (Hitchhiker’s Guide reference?) receive a Snatoms kit. Each kit comes with 6 carbon atoms, 6 oxygen atoms, and 12 hydrogen atoms, which combine to form a glucose molecule.

Why You Should Fund It: Muller believes Snatoms surpass traditional molecular models because they are easier to assemble and take apart. Also, as he relates in his pitch video, his models more accurately convey the mechanics of molecular bonds. For that reason, Snatoms have the potential to be an indispensable classroom aid that can help out visual learners.

Snatoms has already achieved its initial target, but stretch goals will soon follow. “I look forward to hitting stretch targets with you and really changing the way we teach chemistry,” wrote Muller. “I really appreciate all of the suggestions too. I think you guys have really great ideas, so let me know what you want to see in this Kickstarter and I will do my best to make it happen.”

There’s only one problem with Snatoms: If they catch on, Muller will have to explain how the magnets within them function. As we all know, that would be an impossible task.

Got a crowdfunding campaign you’d like to see featured in Fund This? Be sure to contact us here.

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