Solution Squad is a comic featuring a team of teenage heroes with powers based on math concepts. They both entertain and educate!
Solution Squad is a comic featuring a team of teenage heroes with powers based on math concepts. They both entertain and educate! Read more
About this project
Solution Squad is a group of teenage heroes whose powers and abilities are based on mathematical concepts. This multimedia project includes a series of comic books, the first issue of which I plan to publish and promote using Kickstarter funds, as well as a webcomic just underway at www.solutionsquad.net. We are also planning to publish dice games, lesson plans, and in-class activities using Solution Squad characters.
My name is Jim McClain, and I've been a math teacher for the past 25 years, and a comic book fan my whole life. I created the Solution Squad to help me make math fun for my middle school students. The artist on the series is my niece, Rose McClain, a 22-year old senior at Arizona State University, who will be graduating in May. Together, we are very excited about getting Solution Squad out to a wider audience!
Solution Squad characters contain visual and linguistic cues to help students understand and remember mathematical concepts. For example, Abscissa, whose real name is Xiao Sheng (the Chinese girl with an "x" insignia), can run horizontally at very high speeds. Her twin brother Ordinate, whose true name is Yao Feng (the Chinese boy with the "y"), can fly to great heights and dive to unimaginable depths, and is tough enough to withstand those altitudes and pressures, providing a vertical visual image. In their collected histories, it is revealed that she was born first and is much faster than he, so Xiao (x) always precedes Yiao (y). Together, they are known as the Ordered Pair. The formal terms for the x- and y-coordinates are not commonly taught today, but repeated use of the names of the Ordered Pair make it painless!
The team's adventures are shared by the reader. In the first Solution Squad adventure, to be published in print by August, 2012, the team is faced with breaking a prime number code that will free them from a seemingly inescapable deathtrap. The reader can participate with an included reproducible sheet that sets up the algorithm that will generate the key to the code, and the reader can solve it alongside the team, using the same strategy if they choose to!
If doing math doesn't sound like a fun way to read a comic book, don't worry. The adventures of the Solution Squad are engaging and appropriate for readers of all ages. You don't have to understand the math to enjoy the heroics of the team, and there are Easter eggs aplenty for older readers, as well. The characters' origins, which are included in the first issue in the styles of DC's "Who's Who" and the "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe," are riddled with references to writers, artists and comics that have inspired me for over 40 years.
Please consider contributing to this project. I have been working on it for five years and my dream would be to see Solution Squad eventually made into an animated series to make mathematics more accessible to young teenagers.
Making math accessible to kids is a growing problem. Be part of the solution!
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