A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

Animating science!


Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV

This week the FDLT Y1 group at Park Campus worked with Sophie Burrows, from IntoFilm, to make short stop motion animations. In the module they have been developing their science subject knowledge so they each chose a science idea to represent in their animated films. Sophie introduced them to the ‘persistence of vision’ that underlies the process of stop motion animation and to the app iMotion, which we used with iPads.

Before beginning to film there was a huge amount of research, planning, designing and making. Students created paper and plasticine models and backgrounds and used resources from the University School Experience library in their IMG_0481preparation. We were in the Pytchley room so we had the additional benefit of being able to use the white board wall as part of the background – students were able to draw and write on it and use this within their film-making.

We were lucky that other tutors came along to help, as learning this process can be quite demanding so I was grateful that Wendy Yarnall and Abbie Deeming were around to help. Later in the session, as the animations were completed students exported them into an editing app called iMovie. Sophie was able to demonstrate how to add titles, sounds and music and repeat within the films before we added them to a YouTube channel.

You can see the animations that the students created here:

This was the first time that the students had used this process and even this quite rapid introduction has equipped them trying this with their pupils in school. IntoFilm support film making and Film Cubs in schools and they can be contacted here.

You can read research about using animation in learning and teacher here:

Fleer, M. and Hoban, G. (2012) Using ‘Slowmation’ for intentional teaching in early childhood centres: Possibilities and imaginings.
Australasian Journal of Early ChildhoodVol.37(3), p.61-70.

Hoban, G. and Neilsen, W. (2014) Creating a narrated stop-motion animation to explain science: The affordances of “Slowmation” for generating discussion. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol.42, p.68-79.

Pugh, S. (2013) Stop motion animation as an innovative approach to engagement and collaboration in the classroom. The Student Researcher. Vol 2. No 2. pp109-120.

Reid, D., Reid, E. and Ostashewski, N. (2013) Combining iPads and slowmation: Developing digital storytellers in an early learning environment. World Conference on Educational Media and Technology. pp. 1539–1543.

Author: Jean

Senior Lecturer, Education at the University of Northampton. Admissions Tutor for the Foundation Degree Learning and Teaching.

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