Elementary school students in Graham walk red carpet, see their work on the big screen

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GRAHAM, N.C. — Walking the red carpet for a movie premiere is not something the typical fourth or fifth grade student gets to do. But that’s exactly what the STEAM Club at Alexander Wilson Elementary School did to celebrate their hard work making it onto the big screen at the Graham Cinemas.

Their movies were all stop motion animation they made while learning at home. STEAM club advisor Daniel Flack says he showed the club members examples and they let their imaginations take over.

“They take a story that they’ve come up with, and they take action figures, or lots of them made things out of clay, like the old school Rudolph movies and all those things,” Flack said. “They would put it and then move it just a little bit and then just a little bit and just a little bit more to take those pictures.”

It takes 12 pictures to make up one second of animation, and then you have to put them all together. Which means it’s a lot of work to make even a three-minute movie.

“I learned that that this kind of takes time, and you have to actually think about it because it’s not like, ‘Oh, I can do this in a second, and it would be done. It kind of teaches me to have patience and learn how to work with it,” said fourth grader Jayden Dailey.

STEAM Club member Emma Neece adds, “you had to make sure the camera was at the right angles just to make sure the parts were in there, but it was hard to keep your hand out of it,” said STEAM Club member Emma Neece. “So then you had to like put a camera at the right angle, and it was very hard for everything to be like in the perfect spot that you needed it to be.”

The students worked hard on their animations. Some of them even started over a couple of times.

“It took me about two days. Because the first day…I did one, but I wasn’t proud of it. So I had to redo it, and the second one was much better,” Harper Long said.

The projects were very diverse and some even carried a message.

Fifth grader Ian Marks says his did.

“I did a like burger that’s like unwrapping itself and then like the pieces. They don’t really like each other that much. So they split up, and then they like realized that…it’s like better together. So then they like come back, and they have a good time,” Marks said.

Flack says the theme for the school this year is every moment matters. This is one moment in time these students will probably never forget.

“Beyond proud words cannot describe from our summer project to the things where we’re getting ready to do,” Flack said. “The rest of…this year, they’ve really risen way above and beyond the expectations that we’ve had as team advisors.” 

There are more projects already in the works.

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