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You can use Pixar films to learn about computer science

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AJ Dellinger


There’s always a lesson about life packed into a Pixar film. Now thanks to a partnership with Khan Academy, there are plenty of lessons about animation to be learned from the beloved studio as well.

Pixar in a Box is a collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and free online learning resource Khan Academy. By using the world of Pixar films, which has become a staple of childhood for many, the courses walk students through a variety of concepts and skills that can be applied in the classroom.

The most recent collection of courses for the project gave participants the opportunity to go under the hood of the finely tuned Pixar vehicle to see what makes it run. 

Through a combination of video lessons and online exercises, users can learn about the fundamentals of computer science by playing with the same tools used by Pixar engineers and artists. 

Previously, lesson plans in the Pixar in a Box collection explored mathematic concepts that make the animated worlds work on the big screen. The lessons, which use examples like grass modeling in Brave to explain geometry and crowds of robots in Wall-E to look at combinatorics, are still available to revisit.

All of the lessons from Pixar in a Box are available for free, with no registration needed and no requirement to actually complete the course. You can learn the lessons you want at your own pace and maybe one day you’ll find yourself in the actual Pixar University.

H/T MakeZine | Photo via Jennifer Lynn/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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