Squidtoons: Understanding Science in a New Way


By Chandni Patel | UTS  Staff Writer | SQ Online (2014-15)

Squidtoons_cover_pic

To many kids and teens, science is about facts and concepts that are seemingly impossible to understand. At the same time, it is extraordinary in that science allows us to fight diseases, send probes to distant galaxies, and more.

Tsz Fung Kwan, a first-year graduate student studying marine biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, acknowledges both the beauty and frustration that comes with learning science. To mitigate the process of learning science for children, Kwan has created a website that depicts the marine sciences in a way that is easily understandable. Kwan is the director of Squidtoons, a website that shares marine science fun facts using cartoons and animation.

One surprising fact that Squidtoons shares with its readers is that the vomit of sperm whales is of comparable value to gold. In fact, a couple of pounds of this valuable vomit can be worth $100,000! Why? The perfume industry

quidtoons illustrates the importance of whale vomit to readers.

Squidtoons illustrates the importance of whale vomit to readers.

utilizes compounds in ambergris (the scientific term for whale vomit) to produce the expensive perfumes that people all around the world are so fond of using.

A comic enthusiast, Kwan was dedicated in reading the Garfield segments in newspapers when he grew up in Hong Kong. He enjoyed the comics so much that he adopted the name “Garfield” when he arrived in the United States. Kwan’s passion for marine science cultivated during his time as an undergraduate at UCSD. As the founder of Squidtoons, Kwan combines his loves for marine science and illustration that together serve to educate the next generation.

 

 


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About

Hi! I’m Chandni, one of this year’s UTS staff writers. I’m a Biochemistry major with a Health Care – Social Issues minor studying to go on to graduate school and conduct research in the biomedical sciences. Since I hope to continue researching in the future, I joined SQ to further expand my knowledge of the biological research that is being done all over the world. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, finding hipsterish restaurants and cafes in SD, and playing with kittens.