Comic Books Used to Entice Students to Study STEM Subjects

GE once used the medium of the comic book to bring young engineering talent into STEM subjects — is it time to do it again?

In an effort to attract more students into STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the government has launched the Educate to Innovate campaign.

Through the campaign, the Administration looks to host a series of events, announcements and other activities that build upon the President’s “call to action” to bring more students in the fields and address the key components of national priority.

“A national crisis has been identified in the area of global technological competitiveness,” concluded a recent study by Purdue University.

“Will our science and high technology sectors have the talented STEM graduates prepared to compete and be leaders in tomorrow’s world?”

The White House also launched the National STEM Video Game Challenge, where kids learn STEM skills by designing games.

“Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of discovery and innovation,” said President Obama.

“I applaud partners in the National STEM Video Game Challenge for lending their resources, expertise, and their enthusiasm to the task of strengthening America’s leadership in the 21st century by improving education in science, technology, engineering and math.”

GE have long been a proponent of experimenting with play and fun in an effort to attract young minds to science and engineering, as their foray into printing comics in the 1950s proved.

Intrigued by the possibilities of the medium that was, at the time, the equivalent in popularity to today’s video games, GE started printing comics “on mammoth presses on newsprint stock in quantities of 500,000 to 3,000,000.”

According to GE Review, the “drawings were shown to several vice presidents and managers” before publication.

“And the results of these previews were indeed stimulating because the eight members of management who saw the colorful boards had so much fun looking, reading, and commenting that they not only gave their final approval to the project, but also suggested many themes for future series.”

As comic book reading receives something of a revival in today’s society, it may be revisited as a promising vehicle for promoting vital subjects in our schools.

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