Animation, Empowering Girls

Girls Design and Play Their Own Video Games

We had fun and learned some of the basics of computer commands during Scratch Programming for Girls on February 20, 2020 at Ophelia’s Place, where students created their own “chase” games using the free program Scratch. Choosing from motion, looks, sound, backdrops and more, students used their imaginations and creativity to animate characters that ranged from squirrels to a loaf of bread!

Claire Graman led the class, starting off with a short PowerPoint presentation. Claire showed the girls photos of Ada Lovelace, who was the world’s first computer programmer, and Melba Ray Mouton, head mathematician and programmer at

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Claire Graman at Ophelia’s Place

NASA, who coded the spaceship trajectories in the 1960s. Then, Claire defined programming, which is, simply put, telling a computer what to do. She demonstrating basic If/Then/Else logic, reminding the class that computers aren’t very smart, and that they should be patient and try again if something didn’t work right away.

The girls started out creating a sprite, and then added commands to make something happen to the sprite based on certain conditions. For example, if the player presses the left arrow, the sprite moves to the left. The girls made their characters run, leap, flip, glide and chase. Much hilarity ensued!IMG_4211

Our next offering at Ophelia’s Place will be Digital Photography on May 6 at 4:30 pm. More details coming soon!

Animation, Empowering Girls

Fun With Flipbooks at Ophelia’s Place

On January 28, 2020, Girls’ Voices Matter lit up the classroom at Ophelia’s Place! It was rainy and cold outside, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the girls who attended GVM’s first Flipbook Animation Class. Using Post-It notes, numbered pre-made blank flipbooks, light-powered tracing boards, and colored pens, students made their own flipbooks, drawing a 2-second, 24 frame animated flower.

IMG_4163Claire Graman started us off with an introduction to animation. Using the famous example of “the horse question”—in 1876, Edward Muybridge used a series of photographs to prove that during a gallop, all four of a horse’s legs left the ground at the same time—Claire explained how a series of moving pictures, whether film or drawings, creates the illusion of movement. From the very first animated films to video games, Claire told the class that women have always been involved in this art form, and that it was once believed that women were better colorists than men, since women have better color vision!

The girls started out with a warm-up exercise of drawing a moving dot, then a stick figure waving its arm. They then started working on the flipbook, using LED tracing boards to carefully draw each frame. In the flipbook, a flower pops out of the ground; the girls drew red, pink, and purple flowers emerging from green grass.

At the end of class, each girl finished her flipbook with a cover, and bound it with ribbons.

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Claire Graman giving introduction.

We had a wonderful time, and look forward to teaching our next class at Ophelia’s Place, Scratch Game Programming for Girls!