Su Adams

Su Adams

Su Adams has been working with schools for over 10 years and is passionate about computing in education.

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Easter Animation Workshop

The Easter Break arrived and with it came the first of our two Tech Workshops.  We kicked off with an animation workshop using Zu3D Animation Studio.

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From snakes to boxes, and plasticine to slinkies, we animated it all.  

This workshop provided the opportunity for children to work towards Arts Award Discover, so the session began with a quick time-challenge to think of, and list as many art forms as possible!  The techies came up with some great ideas including sculpture, printing, dance, painting and many more.  After an introduction to the different types of animation, we then went on to find out a little more about Nick Park, creator of the popular animated characters, Wallace and Gromit.  We discovered that he was born in Preston, that he used his mum's video camera to create his first animation and that he went on to study animation at National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire.  We also found out that he's created lots of other animations, including shorts like Creature Comforts and Feature Films like Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, a feature length Wallace and Gromit film.  Most exciting, was the discovery that Nick Park is working on a new feature film, to be released in 2018 called Early Man!


Next it was time to consider our characters and storyline.  Some techies chose to animate preformed characters, such as Playmobile or Lego characters whilst others designed their own character which they made from plasticine.  Then we used a storyboard to plan our animations including what our characters would do and any text that they would say.  Some techies used their animation to tell jokes, whilst other had ideas around stories that they wanted to tell.


We collected images and added sound, text, titles and credits then rounded off the workshop with Cinema Time.  The lights were dimmed and techies proudly shared their animations with the rest of the group, and parents, as they arrived.


The animations were hugely varied, all techies worked very hard to capture their collection of frames creating good length films, whilst taking into consideration the small movements needed to create an effective end result.  The concentration in the room was impressive and we saw some wonderfully clever ideas... the slinkie snake transporter was ingenious!

So, next up this Easter holidays in Vehicle creation and programming with the Crumble Controller!!  We can't wait to see the inventive makes!!

BETT 2016

BETT 2016 proved to be 4 fantastic days to remember!

Repeating last years' attendance at BETT, Su spent 2 of the 4 days supporting the wonderful guys at Zu3D, whilst the remaining 2 days were spent with Ohbot!  who were newcomers last year, but have really found their feet (hmm for a body-less robot that might be a little insensitive) and proved very popular at BETT selling out on the 2nd day! Each day was punctuated by an 11:30 presentation over at the EXA Communications stand in support of their EXA Education arm.  There was barely a moment to stop but it was a truly fantastic few days and a little networking got squeezed in too!

Zu3D's stand was as colourful and exciting as ever, but even busier!  Time was focussed mainly on the launch of the new Zu3D M for PC, which brings the software more in line with the iPad version of the software, for a more seemless transition, with more additions.  One of the aspects that we love about Zu3D is their open mindedness and how much effort goes into further developing their product.  Our favourite two additions to the software itself are the addition of pivot points to added images and the wonderful Zu3D Remote Camera App, which allows for easy transfer of images from iPad to PC over the wifi.  The pivot point addition provides a fantastic method for including images and GIFs in films and making them look like they are really there.  Check out 'Not a Stick' in the Zu3D Gallery for an example of how that has been used.  In the clip you will see that when the stick becomes a sword, it moves with the boys' hand, appearing as if he is holding the sword!  See how many more times you can spot where this tool has been used.

On Wednesday and Saturday Su accompanied Ohbot in the BETT Futures area.  As BETT 2015 marked the launch of Ohbot, a visit to BETT 2016 proved to be a celebration, as they marked their 1 year milestone.  Ohbot had launched their second crowdfunded campaign through December to further develop their robotic head and so BETT 2016 was an opportunity to showcase not only the new and improve Ohbot, but MegaBot and HUGE version of Ohbot 2.  MegaBot proved to be a crowdpuller and a talking point and Ohbot's stand was barely free of prospective customers wanting to find out more about this peppy little bot.

Daily presentations on the amazingly creative EXA Communications stand also went very well.  If you were at BETT 2016, we're sure you will recall the beach huts and bar, with the surf boards and Hawaiian shirts!  Whilst Su didn't dress for the beach the atmosphere certainly felt chilled in front of the Campervan screen!  The presentations delivered covered two main topics, how Technology Events can impact the teaching of Computing and combining technology to make the most of it across the curriculum.  Both proved popular with happy snappers recording aspects of the presentations on various devices!

A well earned rest followed and we can't wait to see what BETT 2017 brings!

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