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article imageCreator of popular XKCD comics to work on high school textbook

By Megan Hamilton     Mar 26, 2016 in Science
Randall Munroe is the creator of the popular webcomic XKCD, and he recently published a book that got the attention of editors at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which also happens to be Munroe's publisher.
But these editors were in the publisher's textbook division, and when they saw proofs of Munroe's book Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, they hit on the idea that his work would be ideal for augmenting high school textbooks.
In Thing Explainer, Munroe used only the 1,000 most common words in the English language to explain how a wide variety of things work, all the way from locks to nuclear bombs, Ars Technica reports.
Munroe plans to integrate segments of his book, using his famed stick figures to liven up generally rather staid diagrams in high school biology, chemistry and physics textbooks beginning this summer, Engadget reports.
And there's more in the works as well. The publisher also plans to launch science programs for the 2017-2018 school year that will include new content as well as digitally animated versions of Thing Explainer pieces.
This means that more kids will get to learn about the Large Hadron Collider and gravitational waves, Science Alert notes.
The editors had an epiphany, noted Peggy Smith-Herbst, the senior vice president who oversees content development for science and mathematics told The New York Times, per Science Alert.
"It's a way of deepening the engagement level for students," she said.
For Munroe, it's a chance to share his love of science and the "delight of discovering how things work and why," he said, adding that he hopes this makes learning more fun for students.
"I'm excited to have a chance to pass that excitement on to others," he said.
By taking the complicated and making it simple, Munroe is definitely making homework less boring.
More about Randall Munroe, XKCD webcomic, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Thing Explainer Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, Locks
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