Lincoln Land Community College’s youth program has started an initiative to get girls in grades 3-8 excited about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. In addition to classes in candy chemistry and how to engineer a faster car, LLCC’s STEAM program has a class in Animotion Pictures — how to make videos with Animoto.
We chatted with Sheril Flynn and Stephanie Zeidler, the two teachers running the class on Animoto, to find out why they think their popular class is perfect for getting girls interested in technology and how they’re able to teach girls as young as 8 years old to create videos like the one below.
Style: Animoto Original
Song: “A Sunnyside” by Leftover Cuties
“Animoto is something Steph and I have used here for a few years with the students in Rochester [school district], creating videos about themselves,” Sheril shared. In fact, Jessica Ingold, who runs the STEAM program at Lincoln Land Community College, had had a child in Stephanie’s class. “She saw firsthand the type of things we were doing with Animoto,” Sheril told us, “so when I mentioned Animoto for a class, she said that would be a great option.”
Here’s how their class works:
- Registration. Students are registered for either grades 3-5 or grades 6-8 (Stephanie teaches the younger girls and Sheril teaches the older ones.) Though the material is similar for both groups, the different age levels let the girls be comfortable with their peers.
- Before class. Prior to class, parents send in images and video clips to Sheril and Stephanie for the students to use in the class.
- How-to lesson. Sheril and Stephanie give a step-by-step explanation of how to create a video. “And then the kids will take off. Some of them do different styles and songs, and some of them like to keep it more basic with transitions.” In the end the girls are able to self-differentiate, creating either elaborate or simple videos in line with their abilities.
- Future applications. The class ends with Stephanie and Sheril discussing with the girls how they can use video in the future. Stephanie shared, “At the end we talk about how you can incorporate this into your schoolwork and how this could help people in their jobs. That makes them excited also — to see how you can use it in the real world.”
- Sharing videos. Sheril and Stephanie end the class by sharing the videos everyone has created. This not only lets the girls take pride in their showcased work, but gives the class a chance to see different styles, music and pacing that they might try next time.
Following the class, Stephanie and Sheril find that many of their students are still creating new videos, giving them fresh exposure to technology and the arts, and letting them express themselves with video outside of the Lincoln Land STEAM program.