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Pas a Pas: Delightful, Creative Educational Toy

Stop-motion animation is one of the most simple and yet most magical animation techniques. It can also be an effective tool for learning, as demonstrated in the interactive project, Pas a Pas, from Copenhagen-based designer Ishac Bertran, whose Linyl project we featured a few months ago. The tool makes ingenious use of physical objects and animation to help translate abstract concepts from maths, physics, or arts into a more tangible reality.

The device works like this:

The system consist of three aspects: a platform to record and display animations, sets of elements for animating and a community to share the content generated.

The platform has a display, a camera and an interface with three main modes:

- Assistant: the display shows a guide for the children to place the elements at the right position in each frame. This way it introduces the students to the set of elements and enables them to explore concepts that are being taught in the conventional curriculum. It also intends to give a progressive learning of stop motion techniques in order to create better and more realistic animations.
- Director: children can create their own animated movies using the pieces provided or other objects.
- Collection: children can browse through movies that have been recorded on the same platform, or on remote platforms located in other schools.

Bertran is now conducting research at Montessori schools in Denmark. With all the talk recently about technology’s potential to creatively disrupt the educational system, it’s interesting to see new and innovative educational tools being developed by designers. What we love most about Pas a Pas is the device’s potential to simultaneously teach both artistic and pragmatic principles, exercising both sides of our brains. We only wish we had one of these when we were kids—it makes our beloved Etch-a-Sketch and Lite Brite look a little sad.