Not only are comic-book characters a great tool for science education—so is the medium itself, as Colleen Kelley aims to show with Kids’ Chemical Solutions, a series of comic books she created to teach general chemistry concepts to kids ages 8–12.
“I think there’s a culture around chemistry that’s not all that positive, that actually begins in school,” Kelley tells Newscripts from the University of Arizona, where she manages the chemistry department’s instructional labs. She wants to get students interested early, before they have a chance to absorb the negative stereotypes that chemistry is a hard, not-fun subject.
To bring chemistry to a younger audience, she knew she wanted to use visual storytelling. “Stories are just a great way to segue into science and especially hard science,” she says. So she taught herself to write comic book scripts and recruited a former student to work on concept art.