The VSTE Board of Directors and Conference Committee are excited to have you join us at the 32nd Annual Technology in Education Conference. #VSTE17 promises to be the best ever.

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Tuesday, December 5 • 11:15am - 12:15pm
Anim8Nature: Animation to Explore Art and Science

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Animation is a magnet for kids, especially when they learn how to be animators. iPads are amazing kid-friendly and completely portable production studios that students can use to learn to animate. They become content creators not just content consumers. iPads and selected apps help students develop creativity and critical thinking skills and learn new tools for communication.

A growing number of educators, artists and scientists are investigating science with art. STEAM provides exciting avenues for pursuing innovation and exploring the process shared by artists and scientists. This seems most urgent now because children today are spending 50% less time outdoors than they were 20 years ago. There is substantial evidence that time in nature and unstructured play are essential for healthy children and a healthy environment. Creating animations on iPads, resources on-line and getting outside can all play a role in sparking curiosity and getting kids engaged in new ways with the natural world.

I am an artist, media producer and an educator. For the past 4 years I have worked with students and teachers with iPads in schools, museums and art spaces. The workshops have been as short as one hour or as long as 3 hours a day for one week (iPad Camp). I have found a suite of apps that are easily accessible to the students (6 to 11) and exciting to use. I look forward to sharing with fellow educators what I have learned and how I am incorporating that information into Anim8Nature, an educational resource I am developing.

Anim8Nature is a web-based resource built around animated science shorts. Each animation is one minute long with no narration to be “read” as wordless stories. The subjects of the shorts are the life cycles of a variety of organisms. I want kids to ask questions and learn more about the patterns and relationships they see in life cycles and nature in general. My mission is to spark curiosity, provide prompts for exploring science with art and get kids outside inspired to be environmental stewards.

I am particularly interested in sharing my experience at the last iPad Camp (students 7 to 11 years old) in July, 2017 at the Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg. I have done a number of animation workshops with the focus on works of art for inspiration. This time my interest was getting kids to animate science. I showed the students shorts from Anim8Nature and they created their own animated life cycles and demonstrated how various animals move. The results were wonderful and the student response to their work was very gratifying. I look forward to sharing their work at the VSTE meeting in December.

Here are samples of the Anim8Nature life cycles

Blog posts about my iPad workshops

Tuesday December 5, 2017 11:15am - 12:15pm EST
Roanoke G