Using Comics to Teach Complex Theory

landherrFinding innovative ways to teach engineering students, particularly those who are more visual learners, led Lucas Landherr ’05 to propose using science comics as an educational tool.

Landherr, assistant teaching professor of chemical engineering at Northeastern, won the Provost Advancing Teaching and Learning Grant to try out his proposal. He was inspired by his own experience writing comics for the last seven years and by the difficulty in teaching course content that has no physical basis.

He will be working with professional artists from around the country. The plan is to use the science comics in several engineering courses next year.

A chemical engineering honors graduate, Landherr’s thesis was on drag-reducing polymers. When he earned his doctorate at Cornell, he focused on developing and characterizing thin polymer films and brushes as nanoscale lubricants. While at Cornell, he received a GK-12 NSF Fellowship, with which he designed curriculum and physics experiments for high-school classrooms.

Landherr is interested in the development of research-inspired STEM experiments for K through 12 classrooms and the integration of inquiry-based learning in grade levels from K through high school and college.

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