When educating children with special needs, especially students with intellectual disabilities, schools focus on functional aspects that are important in one’s daily life. Science education is not among the subjects they focus on. Imagine, providing these lessons to the special needs students through engaging toons!
That’s exactly what microbiologist and science educator Dr Rina Fu is working on with the help of animation studio Red Bird Creative. Named MicroToons, these cartoons will be animated by people with autism. The project was funded under the National Science Week grant by the Australian Government’s Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology.
Rina’s younger brother has non-verbal autism, and her family has supported several other families of students with intellectual disabilities through the non-profit Louis Organisation named after him. In her grant application, she had said, “People with autism can struggle to engage with science, technology, and art. But when they manage to, it can empower them.”