Getting Frizzled

Hello! And welcome to Monsters and Molecules! Today’s post is a bit of a break from the regularly scheduled programming, but it is rather like a bridge between my old pursuits and my new. So, without further ado:

The Magic School Bus. We all know it (and if you do not, I recommend go educate yourself immediately). Perhaps you remember gazing at the detailed pages of one of the many books. Or that moment of giddy excitement when your teacher played an episode for the class. Maybe you were lucky enough to have ridden the Bus yourself via computer games.

I loved to pretend I was going on a fantastical field trip. It helped that my dad was a school bus driver, and that our village was small enough that the bus was parked at our house instead of a depot.

All I was missing was a lizard.

The Frizz is one of my greatest inspirations. She inspired curiosity and wonder in me as a child, to see the extraordinary hidden goings-on all around me. When I started teaching at Scout Island, I made my homage by putting on feather earrings during Bird day, or a bee necklace for Bug day. The further I travel into this new vocation, however, the more I reflect upon where I have come from and where I am going, I realize how much she has become a part of me. I would not say I strive to be her, but I do nurture that part of me that is like her.

As children we are open to her motto of “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!” As adolescence sets in, however, so does the fear of failure. That is one of my greatest goals as an educator: to remove the stigma against not getting something right the first time. Or even the first hundred thousand times.

Today’s post includes a labour of love. It is not truly a scientific illustration, but it did involve a fair amount of research. It took a year to complete as I sporadically worked on it around other events in my life. This collection includes only Ms. Frizzle’s standard dresses, with minor variations, from the original TV show. I tried to remain as true to the original patterns as possible, though some interpretation had to occur as I looked at this or that blob of colour on her sleeve.


I dream of making dresses similar to the Frizz’s, and have my own designs incorporating everything from circulatory systems to fungi sketched out in my notebooks. This project was a great step in preparing for putting those designs to cloth.

Thank you for bearing with me. At several points in this collection’s creation I questioned my sanity for it, and when it was finished I simply had to share it. Especially since I really needed a way to vent my excitement over Netflix’s impending reboot of the series, Magic School Bus 360.

I would also like to thank my multimedia editors over at Science Borealis, Liz Martin-Silverstone and Raymond Nakamura, who did a phenomenal showcase of my blog today. If you would like to read more about me, my work, and the overlapping boundaries between art and science, give it a read!



10 thoughts on “Getting Frizzled

  1. Oh this is brilliant. I wish I had seen this before I made my own Ms. Frizzle dress. I would also like to make a summer version. Thanks for all the work.

      1. I would love to have a poster. I made “Kicks Up A Storm” several years ago and a school bus coat for my Golden Retriever to go to Cosplay events.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s