How an FLL team was inspired to create an informative comic as part of their NATURE’S FURY Project – from an unlikely source
Sometimes humor really is the best approach to a challenging topic- as this Girl Scout FLL team from Indiana discovered. The team created an informative graphic novel as part of their NATURE’S FURY Project, featuring their robot mascot ‘Clutch’. Their inspiration? Another well known mascot robot – Flip – the FLL Robot – who is featured in the comics found on the FLL community blog!
The team’s coach, Rachel Wheeler, told me that the team didn’t just stop with one version of their comic, but instead decided to create multiple versions in different languages. She explained that “Our town of Bloomington is home of Indiana University. We have a large international population who are unfamiliar with tornadoes. The team learned the top five non-English languages in their schools are: Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and Indonesian. They created a graphic novel on tornado preparation and safety. They have also translated it into the five different languages. They are hopeful that the new students will be able to use these documents during Safe Schools Week with their ENL(English) teachers and learn how to stay safe from tornadoes and share their information with their family and friends… our local school corporation will be incorporating these graphic novels into the English as a New Language (ENL) curriculum!”
Team member Natalie wrote that “The Flip comic inspired us to make our project (a tornado safety guide) because the guides we found were not interesting for kids our age. We think our project will help our community because in our community, there is a diverse population, and some people don’t speak enough English to understand what to do during a tornado and other people don’t know what a tornado is.”
“I think we liked Flip (and the idea of using a comic) because it was a fun way to teach children!” – Taylor…..” and it is from the perspective of a robot… and appealing to kids!” – Grace
The team’s coach couldn’t be prouder of the girl’s accomplishments. “I have known most of these girls for six years and I am in awe of everything they have accomplished this year. When I read their robot manual … I was floored at their thoroughness and comprehension.” The team won the Championship Award at their Qualifying Tournament in Columbus, and received 1st Place Innovative Solution for their project at the Indiana State Championship.
Another team member – Gretchen- summed up the team’s love of FLL and project inspiration best by writing “I like programming and building with LEGO elements, and I thought FLL would be fun and educational – and it is! I like working with my best friends to solve problems, and they think of things I’ve never thought of! If our project is read by kids (many kids in our school have a copy and more will be handed out), families will be safe in tornadoes.”
I think I can safely speak for Flip in saying “You go Girlz!”
To download a copy of the team’s comics at http://www.fllhoosiergirlz.com (under the NATURE’S FURY Project-Comic Books tab).