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Melding Art and Science with Phenakistoscopes

Ayden Kuo ’26
On May 16 and 17, Alexis Kuo ’24 hosted a phenakistoscope workshop with the help and support of Ms. Parks and SCWIST, the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology. 
This workshop demonstrated how Art and Science could be melded into one project. The perfect example is the phenakistoscope, an early animation tool that utilized a series of images that appeared to be moving if the phenakistoscope was spun at the correct speed. 

Ms. Parks generously provided two lunch times and her classroom to help supervise this exciting STEAM workshop. 

“It’s a really great opportunity to connect Science and Art and actually give the students an opportunity at lunchtime for a cool activity. We’re going to have it available for next week as well, just to make sure that the Grade 6s can have a chance,” Ms. Parks explained. 

Reese Suntok ’26, one of the students who attended the workshop, said, “I liked how it was creative and how it explained how to work the phenakistoscope. A demo was shown and we were given the opportunity to create one ourselves!” 

After examining different examples of phenakistoscopes, the students were set free to cut out the provided phenakistoscope stencils. Mirrors were provided and students could look at their phenakistoscope reflection and spin it. They experimented with different speeds and tried to find the right speed to allow the animations to flow smoothly. The students were also given a chance to draw their own animations. 

The workshop will continue for one more session on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 to provide others a chance to make a phenakistoscope. All students are welcome! The workshop will take place in Brooks 200, from 12:15 to 12:45. 



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We wish to acknowledge and respect the Lekwungen-Speaking Peoples on whose traditional territory we stand, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and Wsáneć Peoples whose historical relationships with the land, where we live, work, play and learn, continue to this day.