The George Lucas Educational Foundation's Edutopia Names Marshall Barnes Featured Member of the Week, the online, education promotion community of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, has named research and development engineer Marshall Barnes, the Edutopia Featured Member of the Week.
Marshall Barnes with Edutopia Member of The Week email (copyright 2012)
Marshall Barnes with Edutopia Member of The Week email (copyright 2012)
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June 15, 2012 - PRLog -- The George Lucas Educational Foundation's online community, known as, has named Marshall Barnes, R&D Eng, as its Featured Member of the Week. Edutopia is dedicated to transforming the learning process by helping educators implement the strategies that are empowering students to think critically, access and analyze information, creatively problem solve, work collaboratively, and communicate with clarity and impact. In naming him member of the week, Edutopia's Editorial Consultant, Alan K. Lipton, said "We appreciate your recent participation in our discussions and wanted to introduce you to a wider selection of the community."

Marshall Barnes joined in 2010 as part of his national outreach to promote STEM and STEAM agendas, and new and innovative teaching techniques and experiences. He is the creator and founder of the SuperScience for High School Physics program, which presents students with multi-media and interactive lectures focused on the cutting edge of real world advanced concept science and technology. He was the 2010 Top STEM professional for National Lab Day and has been the only person whose name has appeared in the Buzz section of, for over a year, indicating the growing interest in his work among science education professionals. He has also been a promotions partner with the USA Science and Engineering Festival which featured a photo of children peering through his invention, the Visual Density Reduction Window(TM), as the largest image on the promotion cards it used this year. The device makes things appear transparent to invisible. As the creator of the Oppenheimer Strain project , which tests students to see if they can detect mistakes in theories by the likes of Kip Thorne, Michio Kaku, J.R. Gott and Stephen Hawking, he most recently proved that children as young as nine could see a fundamental error in the Hawking's presentation of a wormhole time machine configuration, during his Discovery Channel mini series, Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking

Marshall sees both, a sense of irony and nostalgia, with his selection as Edutopia Featured Member of the Week. This is because he was both an avid Star Wars fan in the '80s, and learned special effect production techniques, that he revolutionized for video, by studying George Lucas documentaries on the capabilities of his Industrial Light and Magic film studio. The innovations included Marshall's design for the creation of a Paul Rousseau built, physical special effect sword that lit-up like a light saber, which was more effective and far less expensive than the rotoscoping approach used by Industrial Light and Magic (which also resulted in a famous goof in the Darth Vader/Obi Wan Kenobi light saber duel in the original version of Star Wars). His best though, was his use of X,Y,Z axis digital effects generators to manipulate models to make them appear to fly, and to create laser bolts using colored lines from the line key on the keyboards of Chyrons, that would streak across the screen from all angles. This was accomplished with a complex arrangement of keying, invisible wipes and digital placement over live action footage - all that Marshall calculated in his head. These innovations slashed production costs and were all accomplished without the expense and use of computer animation, which in that day was $2,000 to $3,000 per finished second.

"Part of my extremely eclectic background is in video special effects", Marshall said, "and I became so good that I was called the George Lucas of my town. This of course is all happening around 1980 to 1986. So, I am rather amused, as well as obviously honored, that an organization created from George Lucas' success as a filmmaker, has selected me the member of the week, because my skills in video and creative thinking came in large part from my studying Industrial Light and Magic from 1980 to 1983. And it was that experience, along with my background as one of the original Arts Impact students in the country, that has led me to see the potentials in innovative learning techniques and programs, which the George Lucas Educational Foundation is all about".

Along with plans for the next school year, which include a national tour of a multi-media event for all high school physics students in each city (public, private and parochial), Marshall, who is also a physics conceptual theorist, is working on three books. The first is his work concerning his 4th dimensional hypothesis for space and time, which reinforces and expands upon Einstein's theories, the second is based on his lecture, Spacewarps and Time Tunneling: Everything You Need To Know About Spacetime That Stephen Hawking Doesn't, and the last is Freeways To Space, concerning his research in electromagnetic field propulsion. He has just been offered a distribution deal for the TV version of that book.
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Tags:Edutopia, Marshall Barnes, Stephen Hawking, National Lab Day, George Lucas Foundation
Industry:Science, Books
Location:Yellow Springs - Ohio - United States
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