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Prep Time: 45 minutes
Class Time: 3hours 0 minutes
90lb Card Stock
Reflective Cardstock
Skate Bearing
Drinking Straw
Glue Stick

Big Idea

Over time, the development of several physical animation machines extended storytelling capabilities, leading to the birth of cinema. This process of innovation and invention can be characterized in the following way:

  1. Advances evolved slowly over periods that spanned decades or centuries.
  2. Each advance was inspired by and built upon the foundation of prior inventions.


The purpose of this lab is for students to explore different types of animation machines throughout history. They will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each and how each iteration changed over time. Then they will assemble a model of a praxinoscope, observe the essential components of animation machines, and determine how the essential components work together to create the illusion of animation.

Required Knowledge/Skills

Students should have basic mathematical computation skills that include addition, subtractions, multiplication, division, and making measurements. Students should also have basic computer skills and an understanding of how animation works.

Lab Duration:

2.5 Hours