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Superhero Training Network

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Since we're going to talk science and math here, let's start with an equation: (Bill Nye the Science Guy + Batman) x 3 = The Scientific League of Superheroes. 

We introduced you to the trio of University of South Florida graduate students who don superhero costumes to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts in local elementary schools two years ago. 

Now they're back for a sequel - and this time they're looking for some help from their fans.

But before we get to that, let's recap the origins - both the real-life and the comic book ones.

Superhero Training Network

Sam DuPont and Audrey Buttice were once mild-mannered USF Ph.D. students. As part of a National Science Foundation-funded fellowship program, they’d visit elementary schools around the Tampa area and do science demonstrations. But they thought that they could reach more students by videotaping their work—they just needed a hook. DuPont says they found their answer while waiting in line at Disney World.

"At first we’re like, ‘Pirates!’ and we’re like, ‘Nah, that’s not good.’ Then we’re like, ‘Clowns!’ and we’re like, ‘Ah, that’s a little too juvenile,’ and then we were like, ‘Ah, I got it, superheroes!’ and from there, that’s history!”

So, along with classmate Robert Bair, they came up with new alter egos and a back story--a lab accident that transformed them from normal scientists to super-powered members of The Scientific League of Superheroes.