Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cool 3D Animations

The University of Virginia Virtual Lab has created some really cool 3D animations that some science teacher may find useful. They show an item and then peel away the layers to explain how it works. Often what is happening at the atomic level.

Currently they have Animations of:
On the websites these are presented as presentations with text to the right and animation to the left. You click through the "slides" at your own rate. For many of the presentations you can download podcast versions through iTunes (look near the bottom of the text on the first slide). These have audio narration to replace the text and can be downloaded a slide at a time or (more preferably) all together.

I have to warn you, however, the narration is very dry. I was watching them and was riveted, but then I'm a Nerd. My wife thought they would be good for when she was having trouble sleeping. Whether you use the narrated version or not is up to what you think your students will tolerate. In any case they are only 5 to 10 minutes long.

I have been contemplating showing them to my students and then having them redo the voice-overs to make them more dramatic and entertaining. I'll have to investigate this further next year.

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