University of Dundee

Animating Science Workshops

Animating Science is an exciting pilot project under the banner of STEAM (taking STEM and adding A for arts). University of Dundee's School of Life Sciences has partnered with DCA Learning to deliver a unique art and science collaborative programme supported by Wellcome through the Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

Animating Science aims to develop stop motion animation skills with pupils and teachers (P7 - S3) and support them in creating animated films about Life Science concepts and processes. This will deepen pupils’ engagement and science understanding and make science learning more fun.

So far we’ve worked with 76 children and teenagers, including:

Teens out of school

In May 2016 we ran our first course for teenagers, and in September 2016 we ran a five session evening course for 11-16 year olds, animating Life Science concepts including bacterial communities called biofilms (e.g. plaque on teeth) and the immune system in action. Eight young people created some great short films which will be screen at the DCA in the coming months.

Primary schools

Dunning Primary School

From September 2016 we have had Dunning Primary School in Perth & Kinross involved with their P7 class of 30 pupils, working with science concepts to brainstorm the creation of characters and devise a creative narrative about what happens in our bodies. The pupils worked with their teacher, Mr Dallas, and our project team to storyboard their ideas, plot the shots, create the scenery and models, rehearse for the live action, capture each scene as stop motion animation or live action and script the voice overs. 

Woodlands Primary School

From November 2016 we have had Woodlands Primary School in Carnoustie doing the same with their P7 class, also of 30 pupils. Woodlands P7 have been making paper cut out animations and have created a series of mini-stories about how different kinds of infection can be picked up on or in the body, and how each can be defeated by our immune system. They have a title for their film already: The Ill-Lympics!


Who is in our project team?

  • DCA Learning Co-Ordinator and film maker, Andrew Low
  • Professional animator, Bruce Husband
  • Artist, Ian Tayac
  • DCA Head of Learning, Sarah Derrick
  • Science Engagement - Head, Dr Ian Ganley MRC PPU & a team of scientists at the School of Life Sciences  
  • Schools Outreach Organiser, Erin Hardee