University of the Arts London

Christopher A. Preece - Chemical Literacy Through Comic Books: A Pilot Study

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posted on 2020-06-29, 15:53 authored by Christopher A. Preece

Many students find chemistry hard to learn and even harder to learn from reading their textbook. Can the popular comic book medium be used to better support students learning chemistry? Science comic books are comic books designed to visually engage readers using sequential art to navigate a narrative that delivers science content. I investigate the effects of a science comic on Appalachian high school students by comparing how they perform before and after reading one of four instruments: a comic book, infographic, illustrated narrative text, and illustrated text. Using these four instruments will allow me to decide whether narrative or art is more impactful on chemistry learning. It is expected that students who read the comic book will have higher gains in chemistry content knowledge, followed by the infographic, illustrated narrative text, and illustrated text in decreasing order of gains. Additionally, these gains will be larger for students who are medium to low achievers and be helpful in changing student attitudes toward chemistry. Given the expected findings, science comic books will be an effective tool for differentiation.


James Brown Grant from Appalachian Center at UK.



I am Christopher A. Preece, a Ph.D. candidate in STEM education at the University of Kentucky and a high school chemistry teacher at Berea Community High School, researching the impact of learning chemistry through comic books. I have an M.A. in teaching and a B.S. in chemistry from Morehead State University. Creating science comics has become a passion to engage my students and help them learn. Also, I am the author of CheMystery (2017), and Fire – Salt – Slime!, which was successfully funded through Kickstarter and will be self-published in April 2020.