Animate to demonstrate

– Stop-Motion animation can enthuse learners across the school

Last term saw the successful cooperation between the Animation and Science departments in exploring ways that understanding could be demonstrated in a lively and entertaining way.

Nicola Watson says: “It was when we were first using the web cam system to introduce animation to year 7 and 8 that we realised how powerful a tool this could be across the disciplines.

Quite abstract concepts can be shown in animation. It has been used for years to show things that are difficult to convey in the usual way. We have enough webcams to allow whole classes to participate (in pairs) and we are able to assist staff in finding an appropriate room to work in. We do ask departments for some remuneration to cover our outlay on equipment but this can be negotiated. The Science Department paid us in plastercine (but we’d prefer money)!”

Nicola (I/C Animation) ran a half hour work shop which trained the science staff to produce their own animations. Much fun was had with plastercine and by the end everyone could see that animation could easily fit into the demonstrate part of the lesson. This was followed up by three members of the science staff using the techniques they’d learned with classes across the department.

Some stop-motion movies from animation and science can be seen on Cramtube along with some of the department’s work. If you are interested, see Nicola to arrange a training session for your department.

Rob Scott

Quotes from teachers who used animation in their lessons:

“All of the kids enjoyed the task and learned without realising it – the process they went through to create the product was where the learning happened! They were proud to share their product at the end and this motivated them to remain on task and work to the best of their ability throughout the session.” – Lisa Keenlyside

“The students still talk about it 6 months later! The students brought the solar system ton Cramlington, and it has never seemed so alive. The learning was really deep and they were buzzing about the task!” – Stuart Kemp

“ Stop-motion animation has proved to be a great tool in visualising abstract and hidden processes, and connecting and sequencing events. It has created enthusiasm and intrigue for teaching year 10 gene therapy, in year 12 it brought entropy alive; and it helped year 11 analyse joint movement fluidity.

Animation also allowed the Survival Rival club to appeal to a wider audience and not just the G & T kids – it helped gel the group together as it allowed skill sets of all the pupils to contribute. They are hoping their animation will bag the pupils a holiday to the Galapagos Islands!! ” – Ulupi Barnett


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