Superheroes are joining the effort to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education among students of color.
Marvel comics announced the release in November of five special covers that focus on STEAM (the “A” represents the arts) subject matters.
“With our new STEAM Variants, we plan to continue to motivate our fans to explore their passions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math and present these disciplines through some of our favorite young heroes who are doing just that–following their dreams and preparing for the challenges that await them ahead,” Marvel SVP David Gabriel said in a statement.
The STEAM issues will include three characters of color: Riri Williams, a teenage engineering prodigy, who is the new Iron Man…
Moon Girl is a preteen super genius who wants to change the world…
And Miles Morales is a biracial Black and Hispanic teen who plays Spider-Man.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, students of color complete STEM degrees at a low rate, with African-Americans receiving just 7.6 percent of bachelor’s degrees in the sciences and math.
The department said improving STEM education, especially among underrepresented groups in the industry, is a priority for the Obama administration. The nation will need to add 1 million more STEM professionals to the workforce by 2022.