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STEM Sagas: Virtually Rerouted
December 6, 2021

Interactive Comic Book Teaches Computer Science and Collaboration Skills


Teachers have a new STEM resource to educate and excite students about computer science with an interactive comic book created by SAE International’s A World In Motion® (AWIM) and d’Vinci Interactive.

STEM Sagas: Virtually Rerouted is a 30-page digital comic book that pairs an adventurous storyline and compelling visuals with information about cybersecurity, computer programming and digital citizenship for 4th through 8th grade students of all learning styles. The first in a series of interactive comic books, the story can be viewed on a desktop or tablet with optional downloads and no software necessary.

Educators and students follow the main characters, Latoya, Enzo, and Emilia, who are immersed in a virtual reality simulation and must collaborate to escape. With highlighted vocabulary words, visual representations of core concepts, and thorough discussion questions, students finish the comic book with more than just knowledge of computer science. The work also stimulates conversations regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion via a facilitation guide for teachers and discussion leaders.

Students also have fun learning through an integrated game, Cyber ESC, toward the end of the story. In Cyber ESC, players navigate around a foreign terrain while collecting upgrades to eliminate computer viruses and secure firewalls. They help the characters make educated decisions to overcome a final “boss” virus and safely exit the VR world.

A Michigan middle school science teacher commented that, “this STEM comic book has hit the nail on the head, in terms of what interests students and helps them to be engaged” and that his students “did not want to leave for lunch when it was time because they were so enthralled.”

“As more STEM educators embrace expanded reading and literacy (STREAM), it’s crucial that SAE’s Pre-Professional Education STEM programs continually evolve to meet these needs. Comics like Virtually Rerouted—through both visual and narrative storytelling—can help students make more meaningful, engaging connections with the sciences,” said Allison Hostetler, SAE Pre-Professional Program Director.

Lori Gatmaitan, Executive Director SAE Foundation and Diversity Officer, pointed out that "research shows exposure to divergent perspectives can create positive learning outcomes including improved critical thinking and cognitive skills. Diverse representation in the development of this comic book encourages students to consider perspectives beyond their own, examine the world in fresh new ways, and to apply creativity in STEM."

SAE International and d’Vinci Interactive also partnered to create the award-winning online curriculum, Navigating the Digital Universe, which teaches elementary students the importance of digital citizenship.

 

About SAE Foundation
The SAE Foundation encourages and increases student achievement and participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to build an inclusive, STEM-fluent workforce. Funds raised by the SAE Foundation support SAE International’s award-winning A World In Motion® (AWIM) program, Collegiate Design SeriesTM (CDS), awards and scholarships. SAE’s STEM education programs enable students to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed in real-world work environments and connect classroom learning with real-life application. Overall, SAE’s STEM programs have reached more than six million students worldwide and engaged more than 30,000 STEM industry professionals as volunteers. SAE International is a global association engaging nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts, and volunteers to advance mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. www.saefoundation.org.

 

About d’Vinci Interactive:

d’Vinci Interactive revolutionizes learning experiences and educational websites to achieve extraordinary outcomes for K-12 and adult learners.  d'Vinci's clients include leading organizations such as PBS, Discover Education and National Geographic Education. d’Vinci expands its capabilities and capacity by partnering with its parent company JPL, a leading marketing and communications agency. www.dvinci.com.

 

Susan Cort

By Susan Cort, Director of Communications

About Us

d'Vinci Interactive is an award-winning comprehensive learning solutions provider for corporate, government, medical, non-profit, and K-12 target markets.

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