Editor’s Note: To highlight the work of innovative K12 STEM education programs and educators around the country, we are starting a series of guest posts contributed by #STEMNOW leaders. This is the first in our series.
Lissa Moses Johnson is the Founder of Mosa Mack Animations. As a former science teacher and Siemens STEM Institute Fellow, she was disappointed with the lack of diversity in science resources and decided to change that. With her background in media production and content development, she created a web-series of short animated science mysteries to expose all students to the thrill of learning.
Mosa Mack Animations is on a mission to reach and engage with students and teachers through animated learning adventures. Mosa Mack exposes students to the thrill of learning while developing critical and scientific thinking skills. With a special focus on underrepresented populations in science, Mosa redefines what it means to be a scientist to inspire a new generation of students.
Mosa Mack: Science Detective is a series of short animated science mysteries. This summer, full of #STEMNOW spirit, the Mosa Mack team partnered with student and teacher communities. They are motivated to integrate the creative work of voiceover artists, illustrators, animation designers, and video editors into the delivery of STEM education.
In June, Katie Timlin, Director of Outreach, visited Barnard Elementary School in Washington DC and spoke to a classroom of third graders. The students were curious about what the acronym STEM meant so Katie spelled it out and had them repeat it back to her in unison. Their teacher piped in to say that later that day they would be quizzed on it. After showing the Mosa Mack animatic trailer, the students said they liked the tooth character and wanted to know all about how the animations were created. One of the student’s blurted out, “Hey miss Katie, I know what happens in that science mystery!” Katie responded, “Oh really! Did you solve it?” and the student replied, “Yeah, the witch sneezed.”
In August, Lissa Moses Johnson delivered a presentation at Siemens STEM Academy at Discovery Education and the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME). Teachers were excited to have an easy way to introduce inquiry into their classroom. One New York City teacher who showed the trailer to her students said that her students were nervous about solving the mystery but soon “embraced the challenge.”