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Winifred Kehl

Winifred Kehl is a science communicator and museum exhibit designer in Seattle, WA. She is particularly interested in public engagement with science, accessibility and inclusion, and creative educational projects. You can find her online at www.winifredkehl.com.

Mini Maker Faire: Seattle

Last weekend, the third Seattle Mini Maker Faire took over the EMP museum in Seattle Center and filled it inside and out with neat things. Billed as a place where "people show what they are making, and share what they are learning," the all-ages faire featured some fantastic projects. A few of my favorites:

Teaching with Comics: Resources for Teachers

Over the past few weeks I’ve been exploring teaching with comics—for reading, history and social studies, art, and science. Now for a roundup of resources to help you bring comics to the classroom!

Teaching STEM with Comics

STEM-themed comics, which would seem to be a natural pairing, are a bit trickier to find than comics for reading or humanities. Many graphic novels make good discussion material for a history class (for example) without necessarily being about history. STEM is a little different—the range of specialized knowledge that falls under the umbrella of "STEM" usually demands that comics are tailored to a particular subject, audience, and/or curriculum. But there are quite a few STEM-related comics since—if you know where to look.

Teaching Art with Comics

Comics are a great gateway to art and drawing. Comics range in style from stick figures to realism, but they all tell a story to the reader. Hopefully you're convinced that you (and your students) don't have to be "good" or "talented" at drawing to draw comics. Drawing is a skill that can be improved with practice -- no inherent "drawing talent" required -- and drawing comics can be a great incentive to practice.

Teaching Humanities with Comics

Perhaps the most obvious use of comics in the classroom is to help students learn to read – and enjoy reading. Comics with popular characters – including superheroes like Spiderman and cartoon characters like the Powerpuff Girls – can entice reluctant or struggling readers and help them develop intrinsic motivation to persevere with reading. But comics can do so much more for reading and writing.

Teaching with Comics

Have you ever used a comic strip in class? Have you ever turned to a comic for your own education? (If you’ve ever read the flight safety pamphlet on a plane, the answer to that question is “yes.”) Despite their historical reputation as “low brow” non-literature (they were even blamed for juvenile delinquency back in the ‘50s) comics have proven useful for everything from motivating kids to read to instructional manuals for the military.

Cyber Peer-led Team Learning

In "peer-led team learning," groups of undergraduate college students works together in small groups (six to eight students) to solve problems with the help of a "peer leader" -- an undergraduate competent in the course content as well as group facilitation. This group work compliments traditional class lectures, but does not replace it. Research from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) explored a model of online peer-led team learning ("PLTL") using connectivity tools (such as Adobe Connect) to engage students during synchronous online sessions.