University of São Paulo: Comic project brings the world of science to children’s daily lives

Why does rain fall from the sky? Why does the sun go away at the end of the day? These questions are common during childhood, a period in which the world around us still hides many mysterious phenomena.

It was based on these everyday phenomena that Flávia Vischi Winck, a professor at the Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (Cena) at the Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq), and a cartoonist from Pernambuco, Bennê Oliveira, created the comic book Saberando . The comic portrays the daily lives of their friends Tata and Lucas, who, through reflections amid the games and explanations given by the adults they live with, learn about the Solar System, preservation of nature and the importance of hygiene.

“ Sarando came to my mind many years ago, still without a defined format, idealized between a children’s book and a comic book. It came from my dream of bringing to all children the enchantment I feel for science”, explains teacher Flávia Winck.

Through an accessible language, Saberando shows how science is able to bring new perspectives to children’s daily lives. The project also seeks to give prominence to the black and brown characters, allowing more Brazilian children to identify with the work. The first issue of the comics has two stories: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star , about the Sun and the stars; and The Invisible World , on microorganisms and hygiene.

“ Sarando was designed for the children of the Brazilian population, which in general has more browns and blacks in its composition. There is nothing more natural than representing these brown and black children in this comic book”, says Flávia. The cartoonist and editor of the project, Bennê, also emphasizes the importance of this representation: “With the production of this material, a light, simple, didactic and fun material that brings these children as protagonists, we are giving these children the opportunity not only to see in that environment, but also to bring up these questions that concern their daily lives”.

The project was built with the support of the Dean of Culture and Extension at USP and the Santander Universities Public Notice. Initially, the authors of the work intend to make a first print run of physical copies that will be distributed free of charge in one of the public schools in Piracicaba.

Flávia wants to be able to continue expanding the project: “I hope that other people are interested in the material and the characters. So that we can get more support to make other distributions and editions of Saberando , taking other scientific concepts to children”.

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