Using Stykz to Model Biological Processes

Caitlin Kilts
The Hewitt School
Outline of Presentation
 Who am I?
 Why model?
 What are the benefits of the Stykz program?
 How do I use Stykz?
 What would a Stykz animation grading rubric look
 What are some ideas for using Stykz?
 Let’s play!
Why use models?
 Helps students actively engage with the material
 Decreases reliance on rote memorization
 Addresses multiple learning modalities
 Increases/deepens comprehension
 Decreases “activation energy” for learning a new concept
 Teacher as guide, not lecturer
 Facilitates environment of partnership, not hierarchy
 Allows for more honest analysis of students’ understanding
 Reduces reliance on testing for student evaluation
Benefits of the Stykz Program
 Freeware- free to download and use
 Multi-platform
 Simple, negligible learning curve
 Allows for easy assessment of comprehension and
 Frame based/onion skin layers
 Compatible with pivot
 Can be used with any grade level
Getting Started
 Go to to download the program
(for PCs and Macs)
Beginning Your Animation
 Use their “Create Your
First Animation” tutorial
 Select “Default
Document” if you would
like a Stykz figure to start
 Select “Blank Document”
if you want to start from
Getting the hang of the program
Drag nodes
Frame Palette
Pivot nodes
Create new frame
Creating a new slide
 Use drag node to
New Leg
Old Leg Position
New Frame (current one)
move whole
Use pivot node
to move
When a shape is
selected the
pivot nodes will
change from
blue to red
For a smoother
animation, make
tiny changes
Repeat, repeat,
 Play: runs through  Current figure: To use
only on highlighted
the animation
(this is just a
 Affects the whole figure
(unless you use special
 Add Stykz figure:
gives you a new
little guy
 Note for color:
 Add Piv 2 figure:
give you a new
little guy, but with
thinner lines
The tools on the side…
 Select (select one or more figures)
 Subselect (select one specific segment)
 Polyfill (connect nodes to make filled
 Add line (add a line to an existing node)
 Add circle (add a circle to an existing node)
 To save as QuickTime movie: File> Export Animation
 Be sure you have QuickTime installed on your computer!
 Make sure that you chose your animation speed
carefully! Don’t make it super-sonic!
 Animated GIF works well also
Things to remember!
 Do not “click and drag”
 Save early, save often
when creating new
shapes, just click and
click again
 IMPORTANT: If you add
a shape to an earlier
slide, it is not
automatically added to
all following slides!
 Save multiple
versions…if you’re trying
something new, save the
old version, just in case
Some useful articles
 Marbach-Ad, Gili, Yosi Rotbain, and Ruth Stavy. "Using
Computer Animation and Illustration Activities to Improve High
School Students' Achievement in Molecular Genetics."Journal of
Research in Science Teaching 45.3 (2008): 273-92
 Newman, Penny, and Ed Peile. "Valuing Learners' Experience
and Supporting Further Growth: Educational Models to Help
Experienced Adult Learners in Medicine." BMJ325.7357 (2002):
 Ornek, Funda. "Models in Science Education: Applications of
Models in Learning and Teaching Science." International Journal
of Environmental & Science Educatio3.2 (2008): 35-45. IJESE.
Web. <>.
 Pellegrino, James. "Knowing What Students Know." Issues in
Science and Technolog XIX.2 (2003): 48-52.

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