Have some fun over the holiday playing with Phun which is a great free download for Mac and PC operating systems that facilitates creating simple 2-D animation. The program playfully combines science and art using physics terms, which is a great way to introduce students to concepts and language such as torque, velocity, density and so on – where they can see the effects of their applications. I certainly learnt a bit about physics in my play around. There are some excellent tutorials which enable the creation of motor cars crashing, building and destroying, rockets, catapults and the likes. I think this could be used with middle to upper primary students as well as high school students as well as teachers! Experienced users are creating elaborate mechanism using Phun, as well as games, comics and contemporary art.
To get started, download it go to file and apply one of the built-in themes already designed and click on the green ‘play’ button to set your theme in motion. Then take a look at the tutorials and see what you can create! Note: it is somewhat addictive.
From the creators of Phun:
We want to keep Phun freely available for non-commercial use, since we think and hope that Phun can make a difference in promoting science and art to the masses, in particular children and young people, through a constructionists learning paradigm. Contact us for sponsorship agreements, or for commercial licenses of Phun. We are also open to R&D collaboration, including pedagogic use of Phun.