Friday, August 28, 2015

Khan Academy launches Pixar in a Box, a behind-the-scenes look at Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process!

Looking for a free online education resource? A resource that sparks interest in math and other academic fields? A resource that is fun and educational? Be sure to check out the newest wonder from Pixar… Pixar in a Box! Here is a little more information about this from the press release:

Free online curriculum shows how Pixar filmmakers use science, technology, engineering, art and math to create movie magic

Pixar in a Box - a new online resource that explores the academic concepts behind Pixar Animation Studios’ creative process - goes live on Through a series of video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, students will discover how the academic concepts they learn in school enable Pixar filmmakers to create new worlds, animate unique characters and tell stories through animation. Although designed especially for students in middle and high school, these resources are available to learners of all ages, completely free of charge.

“Our mission at Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Khan Academy. “Sparking student interest in math and other academic fields is a key part of that, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pixar to achieve this goal. Pixar in a Box gives students a new way to engage with key academic concepts and see how creative these concepts can be.”

"Learning makes us beginners again,” said Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.  “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning - in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble.   By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.”

“For years, we’ve heard from teachers at every grade level interested in creating animation-based curricula,” said Elyse Klaidman, Director, Pixar University and Archives.  “We’ve wanted to provide free online resources for them, and Pixar in a Box makes that dream a reality. We hope that it not only gives students a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made but also gets them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts.”

Khan and Catmull officially unveiled Pixar in a Box at a special event yesterday evening on the Pixar campus in Emeryville, CA. After an introduction from Klaidman, local educators learned the story behind the project and then received a live demonstration of Pixar in a Box from two of its creators - Brit Cruise, Content Producer at Khan Academy, and Tony DeRose, Senior Scientist and Research Group Lead at Pixar. The evening concluded with a question-and-answer session moderated by Klaidman.
Starting today, students can access Pixar in a Box and learn:

·       How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALLŸE.
·       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.
“These lessons are the first phase of the project,” said Cruise. “While the first year focuses on math, future Pixar in a Box lessons will explore science, computer science, arts, and humanities.” All Pixar in a Box resources are available free of charge at The site will be updated as additional lessons become available.

What do you think of Pixar in a Box?

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1 comment:

  1. This sounds fantastic! My kiddo's would love to be a part of this, I will definitely be looking into this today! We still have a week until school starts, so this will be the perfect activity to have them do before school begins!


Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.

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