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UA educator creates comic books to teach kids that chemistry is more than just math

By Steve Goldstein
Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 11:32am
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 11:42am

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colleen kelley
Olivia Mendoza/University of Arizona
Colleen Kelley

Science can be intimidating for any of us who haven't been trained in it. And for a lot of people, chemistry and physics classes were some of their most challenging in high school. But what if the approach to teaching those courses was different, and we started with students who were much younger?

Colleen Kelley, lecturer in chemistry at the University of Arizona, has come up with a new format to improve the situation: She's using comic books and trying to focus on children between the ages of 8 and 12.

The Show spoke with her and began the conversation by asking her why she doesn’t find chemistry intimidating.

Infographic
Colleen Kelley, Mackenzie Reagan
In “The Case of the Vanishing van Gogh,” protagonists Poppi and Ray discover that when a band member from The Heavy Metals plays a duet with a band member from The Polyatomics, certain colors re-appear in Vincent van Gogh’s famous “Starry Night” painting.

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