Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Utilizing Manga to Spark Curiosity in STEM

Manga has grown in recognition lately amongst younger adults. The Japanese comics and graphic novels dominated final yr’s Circana BookScan graphic novels gross sales charts.

The IEEE Girls in Engineering group determined to make use of manga’s recognition with younger folks as a strategy to encourage ladies to think about a profession in STEM fields.

WIE held its first competitors final yr to seek out the best-written manga that centered round a personality WIE created: Riko-chan, a preuniversity pupil who makes use of STEM instruments to unravel on a regular basis issues. The competitors, which was supported by the IEEE Japan Council and the IEEE New Initiatives Committee, was open to all IEEE members and pupil members. They may submit a number of unique tales individually, in groups, or on behalf of a preuniversity pupil.

Out of 43 submissions from around the globe, six winners have been chosen.

The successful manga tales can be found to learn on-line.

Explaining how blockchain and aerodynamics work

One of many winners was IEEE Member Carolyn Sher-DeCusatis, who teaches software program engineering at Western Governors College, in Salt Lake Metropolis. Her areas of curiosity embody physics, semiconductors, and laptop programming. WIE has revealed her two successful comics on its web site.

Sher-DeCusatis says she entered the competition as a result of she enjoys encouraging kids—particularly ladies and younger ladies—to pursue a STEM profession and to point out them how nice the sector is.

She has a number of expertise writing fiction as a result of it’s her pastime. That is the primary time her work has been revealed.

“Once I noticed [IEEE WIE] was on the lookout for tales a few younger girl who was fixing issues with engineering, I assumed that it was proper up my alley and that it could be enjoyable,” she says.

Hoping to attach with younger readers by means of a Pokémon-inspired card recreation, Sher-DeCusatis’s first comedian,Riko-chan: Cybersecurity Engineer, facilities round two of the title character’s classmates who’re involved whether or not a uncommon buying and selling card used of their favourite recreation is genuine.

Riko-chan makes use of blockchain expertise to assist confirm the cardboard’s authenticity. Folks use blockchains to maintain information of transactions and exchanges of knowledge with out counting on a government. The system is designed to make use of cryptography to guard info from being altered or stolen.

The thought for Sher-DeCusatis’s second comedian, she says, got here from a private expertise she had whereas volunteering for IEEE.

“By means of the group, I’ve helped [preuniversity] lecturers conduct hands-on actions in native faculties,” she says. “One of many school rooms I went to didn’t have supplies to show college students about STEM topics, so the instructor taught a lesson on aerodynamics utilizing paper airplanes.”

On the finish of the lesson, college students needed to construct a paper aircraft and throw it at a goal. The expertise impressed Riko-chan: Aeronautical Engineer.

Whereas strolling by means of a forest, a paper aircraft abruptly lands in entrance of Riko-chan, practically hitting her. Her pal, who additionally was within the forest, had constructed the aircraft and defined to Riko-chan that she hadn’t supposed to hit her; the aircraft was imagined to land farther away. Riko-chan makes use of her data of aerodynamics to point out her pal how you can enhance the aircraft’s design.

Sher-DeCusatis says she hopes readers can determine with Riko-chan.

“I feel having numerous illustration in media, like books, comics, and graphic novels, will assist carry extra youngsters into STEM,” she says. “Fiction reaches our hearts, and when younger folks learn tales about somebody who appears like them, they’ll say: ‘That might be me.’

“It’s actually vital to excite college students from quite a lot of backgrounds about engineering,” she provides, “as a result of it’s very important to the way forward for STEM to have a number of completely different voices contributing.

“A lot of our world relies on expertise, so we have to have a number of voices to form its future.

“I additionally assume it’s enjoyable and thrilling,” she provides. “That’s why I’m nonetheless doing it in spite of everything these years.”

Confronting local weather change and cybersecurity threats

The opposite 4 successful comics cowl synthetic intelligence, local weather change, and cybersecurity.

Riko-chan and the Excellent Circuit, written by IEEE Member Lais Lara Baptista, follows the character as she and a pal attempt to restore the previous lights in her grandmother’s home. The 2 ask an internet AI circuit-design program for instructions on how you can restore the lights’ outdated circuitry.

“I see Riko-chan as a robust motivator,” says Baptista, a full-stack developer primarily based in Brazil. “I hope my comedian conjures up ladies to see themselves as problem-solvers, able to mastering the world of STEM.”

Highschool pupil Julia Griffin wished her comedian to encourage kids to guard the setting. Her mom, IEEE Member Denise Griffin, submitted her story, Movement Detected, on her behalf. Within the story, Riko-chan and a pal are capable of escape being hit by a automotive whereas crossing a busy street. They discover that the pedestrian crossing signal was obstructed by a department from a 100-year-old tree. To enhance the street’s security measures with out damaging the tree, the ladies set up a movement detector that units off a flashing mild to inform drivers when persons are crossing the road.

“A love for the world round us can inspire younger minds to pursue STEM and resolve a number of the world’s largest challenges: environmental points,” Griffin says.

Maira Ratnarajah, writer of Lifetime of Our Stunning Earth, harassed STEM’s position in confronting the local weather disaster in her comedian. Ratnarajah is a highschool pupil in the UK. IEEE Member Package August submitted the story on her behalf.

In Ratnarajah’s comedian, Riko-chan sees a toxic cloud within the sky and works to scale back the carbon footprint people depart on Earth.

“STEM expertise and data may help engineers design renewable power methods and examine how local weather change impacts our ecosystems,” Ratnarajah says. “Manga, just like the one I wrote, can inspire ladies to pursue STEM to develop inexperienced applied sciences.”

The ultimate manga entry, Riko-chan: The Science Solver, was written by Devidas Kulkarni, an IEEE graduate pupil member. It focuses on the significance of cybersecurity. In it, Riko-chan’s pal Reizei discovers that his cellphone has been hacked. Riko-chan is ready to observe down who did it.

Submissions for this yr’s manga story competitors at the moment are being accepted. Take a look at the guidelines and deadlines.

In case your group want to help the competitors, contact the WIE workers.



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