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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Science animated program

Teacher checklist


Your school


DoE $24 per student - GST free

Non-gov school $34 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

Term 1 - Catholic school Weeks 3 to 7 cost = DoE cost - GST free, minimum charge $700

Risk assessment

Risk management plan

COVID-19 safety plan

School preparation

Please provide one learning space, with a smart board/projector, for all participating classes for the duration of the day. The space needs to accommodate multiple classes.

Place students into groups of two. 


Students wear hats, sports uniform and reusable name tag.

Supporting resources

Invertebrate fact sheets

Invertebrate Explorer - available free from Apple Books

Fact sheets

Parent/carer helpers

1 or 2 parents per class are welcome to attend the middle session. Parent/carers provide additional support during the animation process. Ensure the COVID-19 safety plan is followed.

Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to incursion. 

Sick students or adults to stay at home.

Extreme or wet weather

Days predicted to be above 35ºC, high winds, extreme bush fire danger and dust storms may result in the incursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 


Cancellations with less than four school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather or fire danger.

Suggested timetable for up to two classes



Commence at 9.15

Morning session

Investigating invertebrates


Developing a script, storyboard and props

Middle session

Creating an animation

Afternoon session

Editing an animation 


Animation theatre

Learning activities

Science animated is a literacy and science focused incursion program that engages students in the creation of a stop motion animation communication product using an iPad.

Inquiry question
  • How are environments and living things interdependent?
Investigating invertebrates

Students will work in groups of two to search for and collect leaf litter or arboreal invertebrates in the gardens and trees found in the school or local area using equipment provided by Field of Mars teachers. 

Developing a script, storyboard and props

Students will develop a script in the form of a simple information report. The script will be based on observations of students' invertebrates as well as research using a variety of multimodal texts.

Once the script is complete students will begin to visualise what their final animation will look like. This involves creating a storyboard that provides an outline/sketch of the types of scenes that will be used to create the animation. A good storyboard simplifies the animation process and ensures students know what is required in each scene.

The script and storyboard will help determine what types of props the students need to create their animation. The main prop for the animationwill be an invertebrate. This will be made out of modelling clay, drawn or a photograph. Field of Mars teachers will provide clay and other resources for props.

The props that will be moved will be around the size of a student's thumb. Only one or two moveable objects will be used in the animation.

Creating an animation

The focus of the middle session is to provide students with an opportunity to engage with and creatively explore stop motion animation.

At the start of the session Field of Mars teachers will demonstrate to students how to use the app iStopmotion to create an animation with the assistance of the script, storyboard and props.

A quality animation usually contains 10 pictures per second of film. For a 20 second animation students will need between 180 to 220 frames of animation. To speed up the process a minimum of 5 pictures per second may be used.

Traditionally animations are created by building a small stage indoors. The students will utilise the school grounds for creating the animation. Students will use different natural areas for each scene. In the event of poor weather the 'stage' will move indoors and utilise tote trays to create a stage with natural materials.

Editing an animation

Students will use iMovie to compile their animations into one movie. They will add titles and learn how to improve sound.

Animation theatre

Students will be invited to present their animation on the ‘big screen’ during this session to showcase their efforts to their class. 

Animations will be saved and provided to the school for further viewing.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017)


A student:

  • questions, plans and conducts scientific investigations, collects and summarises data and communicates using scientific representations ST2-1WS-S
  • compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things ST2-4LW-S


  • plan scientific investigations with guidance
  • conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions
  • use appropriate materials and equipment safely (ACSIS054, ACSIS065)
  • suggest possible reasons for findings (ACSIS215, ACSIS216)
  • represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings, using formal and informal representations (ACSIS060, ACSIS071)


  • describe how living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)

Other syllabus links

Learning experiences will also support but not explicitly teach the following outcomes and content.

English K-10 Syllabus (2012)


A student:

  • responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to or different from their own EN2-11D 



  • experiment with visual, multimodal and digital technologies to represent aspects of experience and relationships 

English K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017