Animating STEM: 
Enhancing STEM Comprehension Using Animation Production Methods
Written and Illustrated by Vera Saar, engineer and animator.
 “Animating STEM” presents the idea of using the process of creating animation, as a project based learning technique, which not only embraces STEM (science technology engineering & math) curriculum, but also develops creative and literary skills to succeed in the world.

Animators see things in ways, many others miss. Animators think in motion. For them, everything has an element of time, a sense of momentum, and direction. They understand how someone sips coffee, how they walk, how they open a door. They sense the emotion of a child, the crying of a parent, memorizing all the nuances and subtext of body language. Animators watch, and mentally record, the gallop of a horse, the metamorphosis of an evening sky, and the jumping of a fish in a crystal clear lake. These sensibilities are gathered up, and then recreated and shared with others, resulting in a form of visually kinetic literacy.

In “Animating STEM”, comparisons are made between the animation production process and how STEMists work. In reality, the animation production process has many of the same series of actions and skill sets as STEM professions. As each aspect of the animation process is described, one can envision the application of those steps in other occupations. Connections are made between the art of the sciences, and the science behind the arts.

Insights are offered regarding the impact of social and cultural history, as well as, technological and economic development, on the basic ideas of education and career development. The societal perceptions, and the pressures of focus, competition, excellence and success, are also discussed. This unique perspective also offers an understanding of the thought processes of, linear and nonlinear reasoning, as well as, those of abstract, mechanical and numerical reasoning.

 “Animating STEM” reveals the best possible balance, of both the arts and the sciences, in project based learning for individuals, groups, or homeschooling. This book is not meant to solve the problems of education or society. Some may disagree with some of the points of view, and that’s alright. It is hoped that this book sparks discussion about what we have, and have not learned, where we may be headed, and what we can do.

The purpose of “Animating STEM” is to remove the artificial barriers to learning, create an awareness of the relevance and connectivity of knowledge, and promote a sense of inclusion that leaves no student behind. Whatever your interest in education, whether you are a parent, a teacher, or a student, this eBook is meant to share some ideas about learning, culture, and the circle of understanding. Ultimately the goal is, to get everyone, to get animated.

Vera Saar is an engineer, animator and author. She has been in the engineering and multimedia field for over twenty years and during that time garnered multiple awards in excellence for her animation projects. She has also used animation as a teaching tool for presenting STEMist concepts to students K-12.


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