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STEM afterschool

Week 1 - Stop Motion Animation Videos
During our first session, students learned about the engineering design process and then got to work on creating stop motion animation videos. Students used Apple laptops, cameras, and a program called HUE to create their videos. They were given the theme of "winter changing to spring" and worked with a partner to create a video that somehow related to that. Ideas varied from showing animals coming out of hibernation, trees changing, snow and rain falling, and events they looked forward to in the spring, Students had a great time drawing their ideas and taking the photos to make their videos. They experimented with various frame rates for the videos to see how that affected how the movie looked. While HUE software and kits can be pretty pricey there are lots of options for making stop motion videos using phones and ipads with free apps. Check out this link for a review of various free programs that you could download and try at home. 

Pittsburg Stop Motion.mp4



Week 2 - Wiggle Bots
At our second session, students really let their creativity shine as they created Wiggle Bots. These were simple robots made with low-tech supplies. They were designed to move by wiggling on the table and when a marker was attached the robots drew various designs. Students had to brainstorm how to get their robots to wiggle with just basic materials, a small motor, and some gears. Once the bots were movin' and groovin' students tried many different changes to see how it affected their movement and the designs they created. Next week they will continue to explore robots and start using LEGO Mindstorms kits to create more complex robots.