XKCD creator and former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe is bringing his comics and digital animations to the high school classroom.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), who published his previous book like Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words and What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions announced that their 2017 chemistry, biology, and physics textbooks will incorporate old and new diagrams, charts, and stick figures from Munroe. The content will be a part of HMH Science Dimensions™, a new program that will align with Next Generation Science Standards.
Munroe stated his hopes his illustrations and work will become valuable study material for high school students:
I love learning about the science that governs the universe around us and want to share the delight of discovering how things work and why. When I was a student, I often came across charts and diagrams that opened my eyes to whole new areas of the world, and I’m excited to have a chance to pass that excitement on to others.
Senior Vice President Peggy Smith-Herbst praised his work, saying “his sense of humor and ability to make science fun will encourage a love of scientific inquiry and creativity, both within and beyond the classroom, and we are proud to be bringing his engaging insight exclusively to our customers.” The New York Times shared some sections from Thing Explainer with titles like “Bags of Stuff Inside You” and “Lifting Room: Boxes that carry people up and down” that might appear in the upcoming textbooks.
It’s not the first time Monroe’s comics have found their way into teaching material, but it’s very cool that this is a collaboration. I wasn’t too keen on high school textbooks (sorry, not sorry Campbell Biology and AP reference books) and comics would have definitely helped.
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