Share it! Science : A Patriotic Spin on the Zoetrope Animation STEAM Project

A Patriotic Spin on the Zoetrope Animation STEAM Project

Let's put a patriotic spin on one of the most popular activities we've featured- zoetrope animation. Combining the science of how our eyes work along with creating some great art that you can animate makes this a super fun STEAM project. Why not also combine this activity with your Independence Day celebration and inspire some creativity over summer vacation?

First, you'll build your zoetrope out of supplies you most likely have around the house. Then do some doodles and voila! You'll be animating in no time. If you love STEAM projects, be sure to continue reading to the bottom of the post where we're sharing some other fun patriotic STEAM ideas.
DIY Zoetrope Animation Patriotic STEAM Project

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Supplies you'll need:

DIY Zoetrope Animation Patriotic STEAM Project

Build a Zoetrope

You will find the directions for building a zoetrope here.

DIY Zoetrope Animation Patriotic STEAM Project

Once you've built your spinning device, you can begin to create the art that you'll be able to animate. For our zoetrope design, you'll find that strips of paper that are an inch and a half wide work well for your drawings. Templates for the strips are included with the templates to build your zoetrope, available here. We created an American flag design and some fireworks for our Fourth of July animation.

DIY Zoetrope Animation Patriotic STEAM Project

What other patriotic or summer designs could you make? Here are some ideas:
  • Parade floats
  • The Statue of Liberty being built
  • The crack forming in the Liberty Bell
  • A moving map of the United States
  • Talking Mount Rushmore
  • Red, white and blue Popsicle melting


Zoetropes aren't the only way to make your own animation. You can create a stop-motion movie using LEGO bricks. Or try a clay animation video. You'll find a kid-friendly clay animation article here.

Here's a classic example of clay animation in action. 

If you're interested in doing more STEAM projects at home, you won't want to miss these Family STEAM night ideas.

Patriotic STEAM for Kids

Check out these other great patriotic STEAM ideas for your 4th of July and summer vacation!

DIY Zoetrope Animation Patriotic STEAM Project

Fluffy Patriotic Slime :: Schooling a Monkey
Make an American Flag Using Water Science Experiments :: From Engineer to Stay at Home Mom
Patriotic Animation :: Share It! Science
Film Canister Rocket Fireworks :: Science Kiddo

Home with the kiddos this summer? Check out this awesome new resource to keep them creating, experimenting and tinkering: Camp STEAM! 
DIY At Home STEAM Camp for Kids

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