No one created a radioactivity exhibition radioactivity that saw a young student bitten by an infected spider, more's the pity. But Ball State University, a public research university in Muncie, Indiana, USA has a program to promote science among minority students. Which has now won a national award for a video detailing how their scientific research was turned into a comic book (embedded below). Their Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program earned the Experts' Choice Award by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for its video submission in the STEM DIVE (Diversity and Inclusion Video Exhibition) Challenge.
The video shows chemistry and biology students in Ball State's LSAMP program partnering with students from the University's graphic arts management program to present research in a novel way. "Woven throughout the scientific research, a narrative unfolds for four superheroes who seek to rescue the LSAMP research from a villain," explained Patricia L Lang, professor of chemistry and IN (Indiana) LSAMP director. Both the video and the comic book, she said, showcased how Ball State excels at providing a framework for student creativity, cross-disciplinary experiences, intellectual growth, and professionalism.
Earlier this year, the project earned recognition from the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts (TAGA). Ball State graphics arts students who worked on the project were TAGA chapter members. For winning the NSF's Expert's Choice video award, the Ball State LSAMP program will receive $2,500. According to Dr. Lang, the NSF will also share the video at its headquarters and events, and it will be featured on its website and in printed publications.
Ball State collaborators on the video included members of University Marketing and Communications team, as well as LSAMP and TAGA students and faculty advisors.