What’s in the Box
MaterialsAll the parts you need to build a working science experiment or engineering marvel.
Hands-On LearningEvery project inspires kids to explore their world by putting science, technology, engineering, arts, and math to work in cool, tangible ways they can see.
Comic Book“I’ll never use this in the real world!” complained every kid ever. We beg to differ. Follow our eclectic crew as they show how brains, curiosity, creativity, and willingness to find a solution lead to breakthrough answers to the head-scratchingest problems.
InstructionsEach included comic book sequentially guides thinkers through each phase of the project. In our world, creative problem solving is never an afterthought—it’s the star of the show.
What is STEAM?
STEAM is a group of topics defined as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Why are STEAM subjects important?
Every day, our world becomes more technologically advanced. Our children will inhabit a world that’s very different from the one we live in today. It’s our job to shape their growing minds to develop the vision to see the world as it could be, and give them the tools to create the tomorrow that they want to see.
How Will Howtoons help?
These educational disciplines combine to fill the toolbox of every problem solver. Howtoons projects are designed to touch each one, helping kids learn and build intuition about how the world works in a hands-on way. We wrap each lesson in stories and real-world creations to make the abstract concrete. Because the best way to understand a concept is to put it to work—or in this case, play.
Meet our team
Dr. Saul Griffith
An inventor trained as an engineer, Dr. Griffith received his Ph.D. at MIT and currently runs Otherlab, an independent research lab in San Francisco. Otherlab is working on renewable energy, robotics, and advanced manufacturing technologies. He has earned numerous awards for invention, including being named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007.
A comic book creator, and co-creator of the New York Times bestselling, Eisner-nominated comics series East of West. Nick’s career began at Marvel Comics, where he worked on titles as varied as X-Statix, X-Men First Class, Captain America: Forever Allies, Fantastic Four, FF, and Vengeance. He also works at Otherlab visualizing concepts.
The lead designer for Howtoons earned her BFA in Product Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and a DMBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts. Before Howtoons, Ingrid worked in the children’s apparel and toy industries at New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. and Hasbro, Inc.
Phil Hopkins is a mechanical engineer with a focus on design and manufacturing. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Phil began his career in structural analysis of aircraft interiors. He eventually left this job to work at Otherlab on the robotics team and later transitioned to Howtoons in order to follow his passion for education.
Jared Nixon is a serial entrepreneur who has worked in multiple industries. While working with a VC group looking for children’s IP, he discovered Howtoons and felt it was one of the best companies he had ever seen in the space. He has since come on board as the CEO to help build and expand the brand.
We believe that learning is a product of the hands, the mind, and the imagination. And that creativity is the beating heart of problem solving. We believe in a continuum of creativity from art to science that is bigger and richer than the sum of its parts. We empower children and their friends, parents, and mentors to make their own toys and invent their own fun. We seek to inspire the highest heights of imagination with fabulous adventures that give kids lifelong skills in science, crafts, creativity, using tools, and engineering. Because the world of the future is only as awesome as the one we wish to create.
Howtoons was first conceived by Saul Griffith and Joost Benson while at MIT. Inspired by beloved classics like Tin Tin, The Little Prince, and Calvin and Hobbes, they began to imagine how much better classic how-to books like The Boy Mechanic would be if they were more current, more visual, and more adventurous for a new generation of young experimenters. They realized how adding art and story could enhance the experience of learning and doing, and reached out to artists to help them bring their idea to life. As luck would have it, they found Nick Dragotta, a world-class comic book illustrator, and his wife Ingrid, a toy designer. They joined forces with Saul’s wife Arwen, a magazine publisher and veteran of Make magazine, and the Howtoons team was born.
Meet the characters behind all the comics
CelineShe has an analytical mind and thinks and plans before acting. She always sees the big picture, making her a natural team leader.
LoremShe always has her face in a book, so she can answer any question and inspire with any quote.
CorwinAn old soul, he's wise and pensive. He meditates and has mastered mindfulness. He seems to float around the room. He is an artist, a dancer, and a musician.
TuckerThe Tasmanian Devil. He's always in motion, running on instincts, trusting his gut. He's the mechanical one of the group.
KelvinHe's a botanist and an artist in the kitchen, and can often be found in the garden looking for ingredients. Strong in mind and body.
JoulesA surfer and a basketball player, she understands the physics of any playful activity. She’s a crack shot and the teams go-to person in the clutch.