Justin Yarrow - CodeMakers NPO - SuperScientists Project
Ask a learner to name a sports or media star and they can talk at length. Ask them to name a marine scientist or environmental champion and most will not have an answer. Science is often taught without the human element that kids can connect with, they don’t know that science is alive and that they can contribute to it, they don’t know that scientists are real people that have had similar experiences as them. To engage more kids in science and how science can change the society we need to speak their language and give them scientists they can relate to. As many trailblazers have said, “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”
SuperScientists is a project that is changing the way that young people see scientists and science. We are profiling living scientists, and scientific champions, drawing them as superheroes and showing off the true superpowers that scientists have to understand the challenges we are confronted with and effect change. Using the superhero drawings in trading cards, posters, and rich web-based media, we tap into the imagery of Black Panther, Wonder Woman and other characters that kids know and put scientists into the hands of young people. See our work at www.superscientists.org and on social media @SciSuperheroes
We are launching our first marine scientist with Dr Sohana Singh, (picture) from the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban and have another three marine scientists in production. Profiling 50% female scientists, and mirroring the demographics of the country, SuperScientists will inspire young people to see marine science as something that they can be a part of, give kids role models to emulate and, over the long term, diversify who studies marine science and becomes scientific leaders.