Well this is cool, parents! Khan Academy is partnering with Disney and Pixar to offer free online classes in storytelling for kids of all ages to show them how STEM helps make movies. The initiative is called Pixar in a Box, and we’re pretty sure it’s going to get kids thinking outside the box. Or Inside Out of the box? Heh.
The videos walk you through the Pixar studios while actual Pixar employees talk about how ideas become art become movies. We meet the real people behind our favorite stories and learn where Pixar had challenges–which is great for my kids to see, because it looks so effortless onscreen.
They also reveal how the animators rose to the occasion, often using the same STEM subjects kids study in school. For example, someone had to figure out how to make Merida’s hair so crazy in Brave, and it involved a lot of math. So did the grass!
I really like how the videos are serious but fun, not dumbed down or cutesy. Each of the lessons covers a topic like Animation, Character Modeling, or Effects, with all of them broken down into two lessons to allow students to connect what happens at Pixar to their own STEM studies, and then apply what they’ve learned with interactives and exercises. They’ve even got Learner Guides and Educator Guides to help you get the most out of each video (great for homeschooling families!).
If your kids are learning storytelling from Pixar, there’s nowhere to go but… Up. Okay, okay, I’ll see myself out.