I am starting this blog (finally after a few years of thinking about it!) to connect with others out there who may be interested in the same thing as me - that is educating and entertaining young kids about science and maths through video, TV and interactive media.
YOU, reading this, may be a teacher or parent looking for ideas to inspire and help your kids or you may want to invest (your time, energy, ideas or money) in my projects!? Either way, you are most welcome. This first blog is by way of introduction......
Here I am in the picture with my often times co-conspirator the multi talented Ian Tregonning (crouching.) We were filming at Scitech Discovery Centre in Perth, Western Australia. We were filming in a puppet set that I conceptually designed a long time ago now when I worked there writing and performing Science shows and dabbling in the exhibit planning side of things (loved that.) They are still in use at Scitech so I used them in my Jelly Jym TV programmes which present and model early science to young children using puppets, real people and animations. Behind the camera lens is my other "wouldn't have been able to do anything without" man, Chris Hunt - see picture below of us all, with our Antennae award for Best Children's Programme for Jelly Jym episode Bubbles.
Of course I have worked with heaps of really talented animators, TV crews and film makers but I can't mention everyone right now. I have made two half hour Jelly Jym episodes through the CADSA programme at the Animation Centre at the Film and Television Institute in Western Australia.
The CADSA programme is now called Key Frame which is the scheme that I developed my Rainbow Dragons project under.
I also made a short film through the FTI's Raw Nerve scheme - this is also educational entertainment, a docu-drama of sorts combining live action drama with animated docu-drama re-enactments (yeah really!) This film is probably for bigger kids (6-12 years) than what I mostly cater for which is 3-8 year olds.
I currently have a submission for a LINK grant in at the FTI and that is for a short stop motion drama for kids which centres around an Elf and a character loosely based on myself and a science centre. Hopefully I will post more on that including how a science communicator is putting elves in stories!
I didn't just jump into making TV programmes - way back I learnt production in sports TV production in England (which is where I was born and bought up along with my seven brothers!) I ended up in Western Australia when I married a Perth boy, software programmer and outdoor adventurer, Rob Wall. I have also made educational and corporate programmes for West One Television which is part of the Education and Training department in Western Australia.
I noticed lately (and you may have done too?) how my life in Western Australia seems to have certain focal points to which I keep returning; Scitech Discovery Centre, the FTI and lately the Innovation Centre. I entered my Rainbow Dragons project in the WA Inventor of the Year competition run through the Innovation centre. I didn't get into the finals but I did get the opportunity to do a business course aimed at me make the most of my innovation, which I certainly hope to do. Here are the rainbow dragons pictured below, Rhomby Tina and Goo. Young kids will be entertained as well as developing strong mental maths foundations while playing with Rainbow Dragons interactive stories, toys and computer games or at least they will be able to when I get the funding to make the project. My daughter Kira (the second of four children) said "Oh Mum I SO want you to be able to put the Rainbow Dragons on the computer." I SO agree with her.
I am working on the Rainbow Dragons pilot script which I started through an animation writing course done through Skype with writer and teacher Jymn Magon in California, which was incidentally at the Innovation centre but was in fact organised by WAnimate in association with ScreenWest and AWG. WAnimate is the West Australian Animation Association of which I am a co-founder and secretary.
So there is my first blog by way of introduction to me and what this blog might be all about. I will be back shortly to post video after I have entered the world of video sharing sites!?