Khan Academy recently hooked up with Pixar Animation studies to create a new (and free) animation curriculum set. Kids can see how Disney artists use everyday math concepts they learned in school to create movies. Learn all about it in this video …
I’m so excited to share this with my daughter Rose, who recently informed me, “Math is boring.” She loves to draw, so I tried to explain how math and art are intertwined. Let’s just say, my explanation failed miserably. Ha. This curriculum is geared toward middle school and high school students, but we’re going to check it out anyhow.
Through video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, you can learn how Pixar artists use math to solve design problems at each stage of the creative process. [source]
When interacting with the Pixar in a Box curriculum, students will discover some of the equations behind Pixar movies. They’ll learn:
- How large swarms of robots in “WALL•E” were designed using combinatorics
- How a field of grass was created in “Brave” using parabolic arcs
- How simple models are transformed into realistic characters using weighted averages
- How animators bring characters to life with the help of animation curves
- How sets are constructed using geometric transformations
- How all of Pixar’s images are painted using simultaneous equations
If the Pixar in a Box curriculum is too far above your kids’ heads, check out this short TED Talk. Pixar Research Lead Tony DeRose delves into the math behind the animations, explaining how arithmetic, trigonometry and geometry help bring Woody and other Pixar characters to life.
Unfortunately, at school … math can feel boring. Thank you to both Disney and Khan Academy for keeping the spark of curiosity alive in our kids. How cool.
P.S. We heard about this awesome educational opportunity in this Trending Disney News: Brilliance & Buzz group on Facebook. Thanks to Wonder and Company for sharing the info there. If you’re a Disney fanatic too, click here to join the private group. I’ll add you in as a member!
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