For this episode of It’s Time for Science, we went to the world-renowned San Diego Comic Convention! We looked high and low for folks to talk with about the importance of science education and graphic novels, and it turns out it was super easy to find people on the same page!
Tom speaks first with Tracy Edmunds, a teacher, educational consultant, curriculum developer, editor, and writer with over 14 years of experience as an elementary teacher, in addition to authoring 25 resource books for educators. They talk about what makes Ms. Edmunds excited about using comics with kids and how she creates meaning through the interpretation of comic visuals. They also discuss the research associated with using science comics and provide suggestions for teachers wanting to incorporate them into the classroom.
Ms. Edmunds maintains a list of science comics, as well as a number of other lists of comics and graphic novel recommendations.
Next, Tom talks with Corinna Bechko, a Hugo- and Eisner-nominated New York Times best-selling author who works as a fossil preparator.
They discuss Ms. Bechko’s creative work, why kids love dinosaurs, green dinosaur bones, how to spark wonder about the world, and the coolest bones she’s had the opportunity to work with.
Brandon M. Easton
Then it’s time to talk with Brandon M. Easton, a professional writer, screenwriter, and educator who is a NASA solar-system ambassador and was a New York City public school teacher for 6 years.
Tom talks with Mr. Easton about the importance of understanding basic elements of science, the perspective offered by studying space science, resources offered by NASA, getting families involved, and getting kids engaged and excited about science using pop culture.
Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo
Finally, Tom talks with Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo. Ms. Taylor is the award-winning New York Times–bestselling author of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy and the Strange the Dreamer duology, among other books. Mr. Di Bartolo is a mixed-media illustrator, painter, visual storyteller, and writer. They are the creative team behind the new book Billie Blaster and the Robot Army from Outer Space, an out-of-this-world new middle-grade graphic novel about a genius scientist and her evil nemesis.
Tom talks with them about the importance of good science teachers, how history and science inform their creative process, and getting kids excited about reading. Ms. Taylor and Mr. Di Bartolo assure us they have never accidentally started an intergalactic war (at least according to their official author bios)!
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