Ooh! Have you heard the exciting news? Khan Academy and Pixar have joined forces to offer Pixar in a Box! Frans and I had the opportunity to visit Pixar in Emeryville, California to hear the special announcement from the creators themselves.
Getting to Know Pixar in a Box w/ Khan Academy & Pixar
Pixar in a Box is a free online program designed to help middle and high school students see how S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) is used in real-world applications throughout the Pixar animation process. It’s usually around 7th or 8th grade when students lose interest in such subjects. They just don’t see how learning such things.
Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, and Ed Catmull from Pixar talked about why the partnership was such a perfect fit. Many times people separate those who are good at math and science from those that are good at art. However, at Pixar using math and science helps animators bring art to life in memorable family films.
Interactive S.T.E.A.M. Tutorials
Pixar in a Box launched with six lessons and another six are on the way. So far you can learn:
- How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALL E.
- How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.
- How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
- How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.
- How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.
- How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.
Though the lessons were designed for children to do independently, parents and teachers are welcome to join in. Each video is led by a Pixar employee and, as mentioned, using the site is free. The lessons are interactive and broken into two parts. Below you can watch the introduction video that was shown at the event.
Feel free to start using Pixar in a Box and bookmark the following links for updates and new lessons!
I was invited to this announcement event as working media. All opinions are my own.