Tuesday, March 18, 2008
My tech lab had a station dedicated to puppet building. Puppets are a fun way to experiment with simple machines. A puppet mouth is usually designed around a lever. Arms and eyes are usually controlled by a linkage of some sort. Marionettes and shadow puppets have pretty complex mechanisms controlling their movements.
I added this module after I co-taught a technology/art class in my middle school. I had the grand idea of a multi-disciplinary class built around building puppets and then using them as the actors in short videos. I had the opportunity to run this class once with a group of eighth graders. The logistics of it gave us the biggest headaches. Storage of puppets and props. Where to film. How to work multiple groups through scripting, puppet building, video production and editing. I think we could have worked it all out if the art teacher hadn't gone off to teach at the high school. (I don't think working with me drove her away? I'm a nice guy...a little odd...but nice.)
Anyway, after that experience, I was hooked using puppets as an educational doorway to the wonderful world of technology. I was pleased to discover this blog dedicated to puppet building and I've linked to a video from the site that demonstrates how to make blinking eyeballs.
Online Videos by Veoh.com
[Image Captured from Puppetmaking.com: Moving Eyelid Mechanism Video Tutorial:http://puppetbuilding.com/animatronics/moving-eyelid-mechanism-video.html]