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$535 pledged of $7,500 goal
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By Jim McClain
$535 pledged of $7,500 goal
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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!

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Get a .pdf of the entire 32-page first issue of Solution Squad!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You'll be able to download an exclusive desktop wallpaper of the Solution Squad, only available to Kickstarter backers, by Rose McClain. You'll also be thanked on the inside back cover of the comic.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You'll get the desktop wallpaper, and a copy of the first issue of the comic book, signed by both creators.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll receive the desktop wallpaper, a signed comic book, plus the signed Solution Squad team poster by artist Rose McClain.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You'll get the desktop wallpaper, the signed comic book, plus the signed Solution Squad team poster, by artist Rose McClain, as well as a print of Abscissa and Ordinate drawn by Jason Howard, artist of Super Dinosaur, colored by Rose McClain.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    At this level, you get the exclusive wallpaper, a signed comic book, plus the signed Solution Squad team poster, by artist Rose McClain, the Jason Howard print of Abscissa and Ordinate, and a print of Absolutia, drawn by Invincible artist Ryan Ottley and colored by Solution Squad artist Rose McClain.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    At this level, you will receive the exclusive desktop wallpaper, a signed comic book, all three prints listed in the previous rewards, and a free packet of instructional materials and games featuring Solution Squad characters on a customized USB drive with the Solution Squad logo on it. This 20+ page packet includes reproducible math games, review sheets, and instructional materials suited for kids in grades 6-8. It also includes five polyhedral dice for use with the games. These games are kid-tested and approved! If you send us the name of your child, we'll even customize a game with their name on it! You will also get an original 11" x 17" sketch of the Solution Squad character of your choice by Rose McClain.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    At this level, you'll get all of the previous rewards, plus artist Rose McClain will do an 11" x 17" sketch of the Solution Squad character of your choice.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the previous rewards, and YOU get to be a villain in issue #2!

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Funding period

- (45 days)