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Making Mini Movies with Science

We’ve provided all the instructions and templates so you can construct your own Mini Movie Maker. This activity’s from the Curiosity Box archives but it’s a classic for a good reason. You don’t need much equipment at all. In fact, you can recycle a cereal box and use that instead of the black card that’s in the instructions. It’s the perfect activity to do with your younger Curiositeers on a rainy day.

Where’s the science?

Your mini movie maker goes by the fancier name of a Zoetrope which is defined as:

“A device for giving an illusion of motion, consisting of a slitted drum that, when whirled, shows a succession of images placed opposite the slits within the drum as one moving image.”

We prefer mini movie maker but whatever you want to call it, it’s the very first kind of animation and it works because our brains put together the images and fill in the blanks so that we see it as one moving image! You might have also seen some those books that you flick through really quickly to see a moving image – that’s based on a similar principle.

We love this activity and we hope you will too. If you do make your own Zoetrope/Mini movie maker, why not post a picture on our Facebook page? We’d love to see how you get on!

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