34 Results:

Zoetrope: A 3D exploration of animation and sight

Zoetrope: A 3D exploration of animation and sight

With downloadable 3D files and activity sheets, students can explore an early animation device and how it uses the optical illusion of persistence of vision to give the appearance of motion. Emphasis is placed on building a functional zoetrope and allowing your students to be creative in determining its final form.

The 3D printing file for the zoetrope can be downloaded individually. Worksheets and 3D print files for the module can be reproduced as necessary for your classroom.

TERMS OF USE

3D Printing File - Activity

Download and print your very own zoetrope! These .stl files contain a modified version of a zoetrope found in Ingenium's artifact collection and are used in the activities found on this webpage.  They can be reproduced as needed for your classroom, and edited by students to see the impact of their changes.

DOWNLOAD STL OF THE STAND

DOWNLOAD STL OF THE BASE

3D Artifact File

The file below is an unmodified 3D scan of the zoetrope found in Ingenium's artifact collection.  It is not used in the activities found on this webpage, but it can be downloaded, viewed and examined.

DOWNLOAD STL OF THE ARTIFACT

Templates

Download these files to use in the activities below.

BLANK STRIP TEMPLATE

DRUM TEMPLATE

PRE-DRAWN TEMPLATE

PRE-DRAWN TEMPLATE: EXAMPLE

RECTANGLE TEMPLATE

Zoetrope Strips

These zoetrope stripes are part of Ingenium's collection of artifacts. They were made out of paper, their images drawn with ink, and they were likely manufactured before 1900. Download these strips to use in the "Build a Zoetrope" activity

STRIPS

Build a Zoetrope - Activity 1

In this activity your students will build their own zoetropes and learn how it makes a series of images seem like they are moving.

DOWNLOAD ACTIVITY 1 PDF

Create a Zoetrope Strip - Activity 2

Your students will have the chance to stretch their creative muscles and create their own zoetrope strips.

DOWNLOAD ACTIVITY 2 PDF

ArtiFactsheet

The artifacts collected, preserved, and displayed by Ingenium showcase Canada's rich history of innovation in science and technology. Each artifact tells a story of innovation and illustrates how science and technology have contributed to the transformation of Canada. Learn more about this artifact with this "ArtiFactsheet".

DOWNLOAD ARTIFACTSHEET PDF

Ingenium
Program Location
At Your School
Online

Illusions

Illusions

You may have heard the saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it!” However, can we really believe everything that we see, hear, taste, smell and touch? As it turns out, maybe not; it’s easier than you might think to trick your mind into perceiving something that’s not there!

How it works

Illusions come from a difference between what’s actually around you, and how it is sensed and perceived by the brain. In some cases, the illusion is caused by contrast. For example, when certain colours are placed adjacent to others, they can look like completely new shades! Other illusions come from the fact that human brains always want to complete patterns. When it looks like there should be a continuation of a pattern – but there isn’t – your brain will fill it in to make it look complete!

Why it matters

For the most part, illusions are just for fun. However, some have practical uses in medicine and psychology. For example, illusions can be used to generate feeling in limbs that aren’t there, leading to development in research for amputees. In psychology, illusions can be used to give researchers insight into how the brain works. For example, one experiment – called the ‘visual cliff’ – placed a clear sheet of acrylic glass over a drop in the floor of several feet. Researchers had infants crawl on the sheet, wondering if they would avoid the drop-off because it looks unsafe, or if they would instead feel the floor and crawl across. The results varied depending on the infant’s age and other factors.

A Canadian connection

The first psychology lab in Canada was established at the University of Toronto in the late 1800s. There, a researcher named August Kirschmann developed a colour wheel that has a really interesting effect when spun. This wheel was used by researchers to study the principles of colour and how it is perceived, especially how mixed blends of colour create different visual effects.

Illusions

Go further

Check out the Crazy Kitchen+ exhibit at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Discover how your senses and brain can fool you, changing the way you interpret your environment.

Make your own thaumatrope. The thaumatrope has been tricking our eyes since the 1800s. With this toy, you can make two drawings on separate papers merge into one!

Try This Out - Broken Pencil illusion
Try This Out - Finding your blind spot
Try This Out - Flipbook

Image Gallery

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Program Location
Online

Wearable Technology

Wearable Technology

Today, wearable technology can be found in entertainment, education, finance, fitness, music, personal safety, and medicine. While body-worn technologies have existed for centuries, today’s wearable technology is often connected to digital software and the Internet. In the health sector, we have fitness trackers like Fitbit and smart clothing like Hexoskin, which measure our biometrics and monitor our healthy behaviours. To make our lives more efficient, we have smartwatches, Bluetooth headsets, and even smart eyewear like Google Glass that places a layer of digital information right before our eyes. To make our lives more fun, we have gaming consoles like the Oculus Rift that immerse us inside of a story, bringing us into a new world of virtual reality.

How it works

Depending on the type of wearable technology, devices work in different, complex ways. However, most wearable technologies today share a few things in common. They are form-fitted to work with the human body, they connect to digital software to collect information and interpret actions, and they connect with networks to permit information to be shared with other devices, people, and databases.

Some devices – such as smartwatches or wireless headphones – use Bluetooth technology to connect all personal devices, in order to synchronize them. Others, like fitness trackers, can measure heart rate and movement, in order to measure sleep cycle and workout performance. They often synchronize with a computer or smartphone, to consolidate data so trends can be identified.

Why it matters

Wearable technology allows us to extend the capabilities of our own bodies. These technologies have a major influence on every aspect of our lives, including our communication with one another and the world.

Most importantly, these technologies can be life-saving. Doctors can use them while performing surgeries to float medical images and consult with colleagues remotely during an operation. In 1996, the “Smart Shirt” was employed by the military of the United States to monitor soldiers’ vital signs and better employ medical care in those critical minutes after injury. Finally, companies like CUFF Smart Jewelry and Lifeline have been introducing wearables which can send an alert if the wearer is in any danger, providing alerts in an emergency.

It must be said, however, that many wearable technologies have not seen the popularity to match their potential. Consumer concerns include limitations of functionality, low battery life, and privacy. Some wearable technologies have the ability to collect and share information that people want to keep private – even if they are not the wearer themselves. However, companies are taking note of these issues and are attempting to improve them, in order to drive further innovation in this field.

A Canadian connection

One Canadian who is putting wearable technology to the test is Erica Wiebe - Rio 2016’s Olympic 75 kg freestyle wrestling gold medalist. Using Hexoskin biometric clothing, she was able to track her performance to refine her training and get the best results. It seems as though her strategy was effective – she even has a gold medal to prove it!

Erica Wiebe - Rio 2016’s Olympic 75 kg freestyle wrestling gold medalist

Go further

Check out the Wearable Tech exhibition at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Discover how wearable technology has evolved throughout history, and try some out for yourself!

Image Gallery

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Program Location
Online

Flipbook

Flipbook

Did you know animators take advantage of a simple optical illusion to make their characters appear to move so smoothly? Although animators are helped with powerful computers, you can make your own cartoon animation using the same principles as the professionals!

What you need

  • A stack of small pieces of paper (sticky notes work well)
  • A pen, pencil, or colouring pencils

Make it

  1. Decide what story you want to tell, and which characters you would like to tell it. The simpler, the better!
  2. On the top piece of paper, draw your first “frame” – which is the “opening shot” of the animation. This is the very beginning of your story.
  3. On the second piece of paper, draw the next frame. The image should be very similar to the first, with only minor changes made to move towards the next action. For example, if your character is supposed to wave, have him or her lift their arm just a tiny bit.
  4. Repeat this process, making small, incremental changes on every page.

Test it

Use your thumb to flip through all of the pages quickly. It’ll look as though your character is moving!

Explain it

The reason the flipbook looks alive is due to the principle of persistence of vision. Before your eyes has finished processing the first image, you’ve already flipped onto the next. This is what makes the motion look seamless – the drawings, or frames, blend together because your brain cannot process them quickly enough.

Observe It

A flipbook works exactly the same way that animated films do! Frames with slightly different drawings change in such rapid succession that your brain is unable to process them as separate images. This makes it look like the characters are moving, but really, they just “flip” between many drawings – just like your book!

Go further

Another object which uses the principle of persistence of vision is the zoetrope. Check out this zoetrope 3D printing activity!

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Difficulty Level:
Easy
Program Location
Online

Make a Kazoo

Make a Kazoo

Instruments make sound through vibrations, which send waves through the air. Test this phenomenon out for yourself by making your own kazoo!

What you need

  • Paper towel or toilet paper roll
  • Elastic band
  • Wax paper
  • Scissors

Safety First!

Adult supervision may be needed when handling scissors.

Make it

  1. Cut a piece of wax paper that is significantly larger than the opening of your roll.
  2. Place the wax paper over the opening of the roll, and secure it with the elastic band.
  3. Carefully poke a small hole in the side of the tube using the scissors.

Test it

Sing into the open end of the roll. Make sure you don’t totally cover the end of the roll with your face.

Explain it

When you sing, it pushes air through the tube. This causes the wax membrane to vibrate, sending sound waves out. These waves reach your ear and cause your eardrum to vibrate, resulting in that classic ‘kazoo’ sound!

Observe It

Woodwind instruments, like the clarinet or the saxophone, use the same principle to make music. At the mouthpiece of the instrument, there is a thin piece of wood called a reed. When the musician blows into the instrument the right way, it causes the reed to vibrate and send sound waves out – just like the wax paper in the kazoo does!

Go further

In the world of music, each instrument makes a unique sound. This is because they are made of different materials – and they are different shapes and sizes. How do you think you could modify your kazoo to make different sounds? Try cutting the roll to make it shorter, using a thinner roll (like a wrapping paper roll), or making the roll thicker by wrapping its sides in plastic wrap. How do you think this might change the sound?

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Duration
10 minutes
Program Location
Online

Make a Thaumatrope

Make a Thaumatrope

The thaumatrope has been tricking our eyes since the 1800s. With this toy, you can make two drawings on separate papers merge into one!

What you need

  • Image pairs (included below)
  • Scissors
  • A glue stick
  • Adhesive tape
  • A wooden skewer or straw
  • Optional: colouring pencils

Safety first!

Adult supervision may be needed when handling scissors.

Make it

  1. Choose and print a pair of pictures.
  2. Optional: colour the pictures.
  3. Cut out the circles.
  4. Use the tape to attach the skewer or straw to the back side of one of the pictures. This will serve as your axis. Make sure that the dotted line is in the centre.
  5. Glue the second picture back-to-back with the first one (the skewer or straw will be between the two pictures). Before gluing them together, make sure that the dotted lines are aligned. The surfaces that you coloured should be facing out.
  6. Leave the glue to dry.

Test it

Hold the thaumatrope between your palms (as far from your face as possible for the best illusion). Rub your hands back and forth together quickly to spin the skewer and see your two pictures become one!

Explain it

The scientific principle behind this toy is known as "persistence of vision." What happens is simple: the pictures change so quickly that the eyes and the brain don't have time to see the individual images. The brain is still registering the first picture when the visual information from the second one arrives. As a result, the brain mixes the two pictures to make one single image!

Observe it

You might be surprised to find that the principles behind the thaumatrope are the same ones that have led us to create animated films! By creating still drawings which change quickly from one to another, the illusion of motion is created. This is because the previous drawing, or frame, persists for just long enough to make the transition seamless.

Go further

Another toy which uses the principle of persistence of vision is the flipbook – try making your own!

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Duration
15 minutes
Difficulty Level:
Easy
Program Location
Online