Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Cartoon Coders

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(girls) S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S

(Izzie) We need you!

(girls) S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S

(Izzie) Come on!

(girls) When I need help and I've got a question

There's a place I go for inspiration

Got to get to the web, check the girls' investigation

What girls?



(girls) S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S

(Izzie) I need you!

(girls) S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S

Come on!

You've got to log on, post Uh-huh

Upload, pitch in Yeah!

Want to get inside a world that's fascinating?

The time is right 'cause SciGirls are waiting

(girls) S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S

(Izzie) We need you!

(girls) S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S

(Izzie) SciGirls!

[laid-back music]

(Jake) [sighs] I love the beach.

(Izzie) [sighs] Me too.

The sand, the surf, the--ew.

The garbage?

So much garbage.

You know, we should do something about it,

like pick up bottles and trash and stuff.

(Jake) That sounds like cleaning.

Have you seen my room?

Jake does not clean.

(Izzie) But Jake, this is our beach.

We have to take care of it.

Think of all the birds and fish

that are going to have bellies full of trash.

(Jake) You're right. That's not cool.

Okay, let's do it!

[upbeat music]

(Izzie) [exasperated sigh]


That's one corner.

(Jake) At this rate, we'll be done by next summer.

(Izzie) Yeah, we need a better plan.

SciGirls, we need your help.

[exciting music]

[Izzie grunts]



[gasps] Ooh.

This might be something.

[upbeat music]

(Margaret) Too much snow. (Kanah) Yeah.

(Margaret) My name is Margaret.

I live in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I like that there's a lot of different people

with different backgrounds.

(Kanah) Look at all the frozen boats.

[girls squeal, giggle]

(Eh Lay) [speaks indistinctly]

My name is Eh Lay.

St. Paul winters--well, it gets really cold.

Wasn't it even colder than, like, Antarctica's?


(Kanah) Look. Oh, cool.

My name is Kanah.

We are at the Science Museum.

I like the dinosaurs. They're pretty cool.

Seeing the cameras that you can see

what it actually looked like.

(Kanah) They had teeth shaped like a banana?

(Margaret) I know Kanah and Eh Lay from school.

We share a lot of the same classes.

[rousing music]

Today, we're at the Science Museum

of Minnesota in the Kitty Andersen

Youth Science Center.

(Emmanuel) So a lot of programs do STEM.

What does STEM stand for?

(all) Science, technology, engineering, math.

(Eh Lay) We got to be a part of a Design Team meeting.

(Kanah) Design Team is a program where you can learn

about STEM and STEM Justice.

(Emmanuel) So we just focus on STEM,

but we added this new content, STEM Justice.

[upbeat music]

And you're not trying to come up with the right answer.

Whatever you're feeling.

(Eh Lay) STEM Justice is using STEM

to solve real world problems.

(Oanh) We gotta make the world a more just place,

and we can do that with STEM.

That's the unique thing that Kitty Andersen

Youth Science Center does.

(Kanah) Oanh is a member of the Design Team,

and she also works with animations.

(Oanh) So, today, all right, we're gonna learn

how to do stop motion animation.

We're gonna learn how to use technology to create stories.

[funky music]

(Kanah) Stop motion is a animation

where you have a character that you take

many different photos used as frames,

so then your character can, like, move around.

(Eh Lay) Our stop motion animation video

was about a phoenix who turns into ashes,

and then she restarts the life cycle again.


(woman) Wow. (man) Awesome.

(Margaret) I think our animation turned out

pretty good for the time we had.

If we had more time, we could have

definitely made it a lot better.

[upbeat music]

(Eh Lay) Hey, Oanh. (Oanh) Hey, how's it going?

(Eh Lay) It's good. (Margaret) Yeah.

(Oanh) What'd you think of the animating?

(Kanah) I liked it. (Margaret) It was fun.

(Oanh) You liked it? Yeah.

Since y'all like animating,

how would y'all feel about making an animation

for other kids about STEM Justice?

(Kanah) That'd be cool. (Margaret) Sounds great, yeah.

(Oanh) Yeah? (Margaret) She invited us

to make an animation about STEM Justice

that we could use to teach other kids about it.

(Oanh) I think a great idea would be for y'all

to maybe ask the middle school youth

who are here today about what they think about that.

(Kanah) Yeah. (Oanh) All right.

(Eh Lay) Oanh suggested that we do some research

on what other kids think STEM Justice is.

[exciting music]

(Kanah) Ready? (Eh Lay) Go.

(Margaret) What does STEM Justice mean to you?

(girl) STEM Justice means that we could use STEM

to make the world a bit of a better place.

(girl) STEM Justice is there to help out causes

that need the help.

(girl) It would be equal,

and things wouldn't--like, there wouldn't be, like,

any discrimination, barely.

(boy) If the world had STEM Justice,

I think a lot more people would be lifted up.

(boy) I guess, just where everyone feels like

they could be a scientist

or they can do whatever they want to do.

(Kanah) What do you guys think about that?

(Eh Lay) He told us that we could

do anything if we put our mind to it.

(Margaret) Many people had different ideas

about STEM Justice,

but then it all revolved around the same point

on how it helps life be better.

(Eh Lay) Some feedback was how we should include

people of all backgrounds, no matter what.

(Oanh) Hey, everyone. (girls) Hey.

(Oanh) So how'd the research go?

(Kanah) I think it helped us a lot.

(Oanh) Yeah? What'd you learn?

(Eh Lay) Women and people of color

don't get as much representation.

(Kanah) We also learned that

many different people learn

about, like, injustices from, like, social media.

(Oanh) Any other questions

about how we should start this animation?

'Cause it sounds like you really understand STEM Justice.

(Kanah) How long should we make our animation?

(Oanh) So we only have a week to make it.

So we're thinking, because it's on social media,

it should be short.

So I would say a minute, minute and a half.

(Eh Lay) What kind of equipment or software should we use?

(Oanh) We want to make sure that

we're using things that are accessible.

There's Alice, and then there's also Scratch.

Those are really good softwares to use

because they're free.

Those are easy to use.

They have good tutorials.

Should we go take a look at them right now?

(Kanah) Yeah, that'd be cool. (Margaret) Sounds great.

We considered using Alice and Scratch for our project.

(Kanah)We had to choose one

based off of what kind of animation we wanted to create.

Check out what Scratch has.

(Margaret) Here we go.

It seems pretty easy to use. (Eh Lay) Yeah.

(Margaret) Scratch had a large selection

of characters and backgrounds

and that Scratch was 2D.

(Kanah) Okay, let's open up Alice, see what they have.

[upbeat music]

It has more of an option

to, like, move your character.

Can rotate just, like, individual body parts.

(Margaret) We liked how you could customize the character

and how it was 3D, so it looked realistic.

Ooh, that's cool.

The tool we selected to do our project was Alice.

(Kanah) After we found out about the tools,

we decided to brainstorm our ideas.

(Oanh) What is the animation about?

How do we share this message

about how we can use STEM Justice in the world?

(Margaret) One thing I found challenging

about the brainstorming process

was that there were so many possibilities.

(Eh Lay) I did mine on water

and how, like, one side of the city gets good quality,

clean water, and the other side gets,

like, a not-so-good quality of water.

(Margaret) What type of food they have access to.

(Kanah) Maybe jobs,

'cause based off of where they live,

there'll be different jobs that pay different wages.

(Margaret) We worked together to combine our ideas into one.

(Oanh) All right. How about we create the outline?

So y'all can think about what happens

in the beginning of the animation,

middle, and then end.

(Eh Lay) Probably we should first introduce our problem.

(Margaret) How different parts of the city,

like, get treated differently.

(Eh Lay) Some scenarios of the outline

were food, jobs, water, and parks.

(Margaret) And people trying to solve the problems

by using STEM.

(Eh Lay) Welcome to my video diary.

Today I'm going to be talking about my cultural clothing.

I'm Karen.

It's spelled like Karen, but it's pronounced "kuh-ren."

We have the white one.

And here is the red one.

Fun fact about this:

there is not really a front or a back,

so you can either wear it on either side.

I'm gonna be showing you guys my side of the room,

'cause I share my room with my sister.

By the way, I got new glasses.

Um, how do you guys like them?

Over here, we have my fifth grade

film festival ribbon.

Then this is, like, the drama squad.

They're, like, our little group of friends.

Over here, we have my LEGO League ribbon

and then the Dancing Classroom ribbon.

See you guys later.

[upbeat music]

We made our separate story boards

with the three key ideas that we had:

jobs, food, and parks.

(Kanah) A story board is a series of pictures

that are in chronological order

in order to tell a story from beginning to end.

(Margaret) It's a good idea to make story boards

before you start making your animation

because then you have, like,

a good plan for what you want to do.

(Eh Lay) Wait, so Kanah,

how are you gonna show that time is passing?

(Kanah) Maybe in our animation

we could do, like, a time lapse of, like,

something that goes by quickly

so it looks like time is passing.

We thought of, like, similarities between all of them

and decided to, like, pull them all together

using, like, one long story.

(Margaret) Okay, so are you guys all done?

(Kanah) Yeah. (Eh Lay) Um, yeah.

I think we need to show our audience now.

(Margaret) Sounds good. (Kanah) Okay. Let's go.

[upbeat music]

(Margaret) Today we're going to invite

a group of middle schoolers

to look at our story board and see if they understand it.

(Kanah) In the city, one job would get $80 an hour,

and another would get only $13 an hour.

(Eh Lay) We made a PowerPoint

to show our test audience our story boards.

(Margaret) In the second scene,

it shows two different areas of the city,

one in a poorer neighborhood,

and the park has dying plants and litter all over the ground.

(Eh Lay) Here's a group of students

that are coming up with an idea to get better quality produce.

It was exhilarating, because you're up there,

and then, like, you're waiting for your turn,

but then you're also scared if you're gonna mess up or not.

(Kanah) They create multiple things online

using social media like hashtags and videos

to show people what's been going on within the city.

We'd like to ask you guys a couple questions

for feedback on our animation.

We asked if they understood it

or we asked what they learned

to see if our message got through to them.

(girl) I think it's about, like,

seeking equal rights in a poor town.

(Margaret) The test audience

seemed to understand the story pretty well,

but then they also didn't understand

some key points that we were trying to express.

(girl) I think it's about that we can make the world

a better place by using social media.

(Margaret) They seemed to think it was

more about social media than it was STEM.

(Eh Lay) The test group told us

that we could maybe put a little more details

and go a little deeper.

(Margaret) Thank you for giving us all

feedback on our animations.

Give yourselves a round of applause.


(Oanh) That was awesome.

(girls) Thanks. (Oanh) Yeah.

(Kanah) I think it was pretty helpful too.

Like, the questions. (Oanh) Mm-hmm.

(Margaret) Oanh gave us feedback

about how to make it clearer

that we're trying to use STEM to solve the problems.

(Oanh) What about water quality or the soil quality?

Sometimes the soil gets polluted,

and then plants can't grow there.

(Eh Lay) One change I'm making to my story board

is showing someone testing toxins in the dirt.

(Margaret) She also elaborated

on the idea of adding more details.

(Oanh) Maybe you could have,

instead of a wide shot of the trash being picked up,

like, a close-up of a hand picking up the trash.

(Kanah) After we improve our story boards,

the next step in our process,

we're going to start on Alice and create our animation.

(Izzie) We'll make a robot that can travel over the sand.

(Jake) I like it.

A robot version of us that can pick up way more trash.

[upbeat music]

(Izzie) Perfect.

Okay, we'll need cameras for eyes...

(Jake) And arms so it can grab the trash.

(Izzie) Ah! [laughs]


(Jake) And two cans,

one for trash and one for recycling.

(Izzie) Uh, Mr. Trash and Ms. Recycle?

(Jake) My mom got them to get me to clean.

Who says it has to be my room?

(Izzie) There.

That should do it.

Oh, we made a Sand Rover.

(Jake) Wow, she's beautiful.

What should we call her?

(Izzie) Ooh, I got it.


(Jake) Of course!

All the Sandys I know are awesome.

[upbeat music]

(Kanah) Today we're at the Createch studio.

You guys ready? (Eh Lay) I think.

(Margaret) This space is well set up

for doing technology projects

because it has a lot of resources,

and it's really colorful, which inspires me.

(Kanah) Let's open Alice.

Today we were working on Alice,

trying to figure out how to work it

to start our animation.

What kind of characters do we want?

(Margaret) Probably just everyday people.

(Kanah) Just like--okay. (Eh Lay) Yeah.

(Kanah) So I guess let's rotate.


You deleted the ground.

(Eh Lay) Undo. (Kanah) There we go.

(Eh Lay) Um, sometimes we ended up moving the grass,

but that's a whole different story.


(Kanah) Maybe we could try to see if we can move his arms.

(Eh Lay) Yeah. There we are.

(Kanah) Let's try to make him move his arm down

so it's more natural.

Oh, okay. Add objects, I guess.

We can, like, rotate the arm.

Oh, not him.

[indistinct speech]


Let's try to make it move--methods.

Oh, walk.

(Eh Lay) To make a character walk,

you have to grab a block

and then do an order block,

which then you would select

how many steps the character took.

(Kanah) And then let's try that.


You should test every couple blocks,

because if you get too far into your coding,

you might not be able to tell

which block is the one that's messing up your function.

Let's check any of the other blocks.

(Margaret) We don't have, like, any other objects.

(Eh Lay) Yeah, we don't have objects.

(Margaret) So if we wanted to do stuff like these,

we'd have to add more.

(Oanh) Hey, y'all.

Looks like you started working with Alice.

(girls) Mm-hmm.

(Oanh) How is it feeling?

Is it manageable?

Do y'all think that you can get it done?

(girls) Yeah, I think so. (Oanh) Okay.

I always say "less is more."

So maybe you only tell two stories.

(Kanah) Yeah. (Oanh) Or...

(Kanah) Cut parts of the story out.

(Oanh) Or cut parts, yeah.

Or cut parts of the stories.

(Eh Lay) Or just cut the whole thing out.

(Oanh) Just cut the whole thing out.

Let's just forget this. Just forget about it.

(Margaret) 'Cause we have three parts of our story,

and to put them all together would be a pretty long video,

so she suggested to kind of maybe take out a few.

(Oanh) And then the last thing to consider

is the final touches.

Adding things like music or sound effects,

and so the big thing to remember with adding music is,

like, to make sure you get people's permission.

(Kanah) It's important to have permission

to use these kind of things, because you don't want

to take someone else's work and call it as yours.

So you always have to give them credit

or ask for permission before you use it.

(Oanh) Yeah, once you add the music

and you add the titles, you're done.

(Eh Lay) We don't have that much time left,

but I feel like, if we push through it,

we could still make it.

(Margaret) Hello.

Uh, welcome to my house.

This is the area

where I do, um, most of my homework

and where I hang out most of the time.

This is my desk,

where I have some other art supplies.

I have a bunch of bookshelves, because I really like to read.

This is my guinea pig, Gatsby.

He's really nice, and I really like to pet him.

And he's kind of funny too.

Sometimes he will just squeak until you give him treats.

[upbeat music]


A pepper.

I also have, um, this stuff,

uh, from swim season,

'cause I really like to swim.

I also like to do track.


(Kanah) And...go.

Today we are at Margaret's house.

(Eh Lay) Something we did

to make the characters' movement lifelike

was we videotaped each other

setting down a tray and a glass of water.


Okay, I can't stay in character.

That was helpful

because we could see the character's movements

when it was doing the action.

(Kanah) I'm gonna start coding my animation

for the fast food worker.

Go through the video we took earlier.

(Margaret) And then when we were coding that part,

we referred back to it

so we could make it look

as natural and real as possible.

(Kanah) There are lots of movements that we forget about

because it just happens or flows very naturally,

but for our animations,

you have to individually move each side of the body.

You have to rotate your right shoulder, left shoulder,

each part of your hips,

and your elbows, wrists, and even your fingers.

(Margaret) Wait. Should we put the trash closer?

(Eh Lay) Yeah.

We're using two computers today

because it would make the work go faster.

(Margaret) First we have to figure out, like,

how to get her to squat down.

You have to bend your knees.

Oh, um, I don't think that works.

(Eh Lay) If it was kneeling

and it was picking up trash,

at first, it looked like

its arm was halfway to its body,

and like...yeah.

(Margaret) So-- (Kanah) You want to try that?

(Margaret) I feel like it's gonna turn too much though.

(girls) Yeah. (Margaret) Okay.

(Kanah) You have to make very small changes

because one small move could change a lot.

I want to make the tray move with her.

(Margaret) Okay. (Kanah) So...

You have to, like, do another "do together" block?

(Margaret) Yeah, that would work.

Grouping things are beneficial,

because if you want everything to happen at the same time,

you can put them in a "do together" block.

(Kanah) I think it's this one.

(Margaret) Let's see.

(Kanah) Yay! Okay. (Margaret) Yes, it worked.

(Kanah) I was pretty happy,

excited, or basically relieved

that our hard work eventually did something.

(Eh Lay) Here's what I've got done so far.

(Kanah) Oh, that's nice. (Margaret) That's good.

That's good. (Eh Lay) Yeah.

(Kanah) High five, buddies.

(Margaret) When we got, like, everything to work,

it felt, like, really good, and it was really exciting

because, I mean, we worked a long time on it.

(Kanah) [laughs]

Hi. My name is Kanah.

I'm 12 years old.

I am a Hmong-American girl.

So this is my room.

It's pretty normal.

It's just an all-white room.

I really like to read.

Some things you might not know about me

is that I like to take part in a lot of different clubs.

I'm in Drama, I'm currently in Debate,

I'm on the middle school Math team,

and I swim for the girls' Washington swim team.

I have three siblings.

One of them is KaSua.

(KaSua) Hi.

(Kanah) That's my sister KaZong.

(KaZong) Hi. (Kanah) Here's my dad.

(man) Hi. (Kanah) My mom.

And I have one older brother named KaHun.

(KaHun) [laughs]

My favorite thing about my family

is that we're all goofy,

and we're all funny.

See you later.

[upbeat music]

(Margaret) Today we're at Kanah's house.

(Kanah) We're working on finishing up our animation.

I've been working on programming,

like, the nurse, but I was thinking,

since it took so long to just get this,

if there were, like, parts that we could cross out.

Margaret, Eh Lay, and I,

we had this huge idea,

and we only had so many days.

(Eh Lay) I think we could combine

the advertisement and then the hashtag part.

(Kanah) We had to bring that huge idea,

and we had to make it smaller,

but we still had to keep that same idea,

so we can still get that message out.

(Margaret) Instead of doing, like, water and soil,

we could just do, like, water or soil.

Focusing our story helped to strengthen it,

because it helped it get more to the point.

(Kanah) So, like, we just have what?

A couple more boxes to do, because we have

some of the things that we can do in iMovie.

(Eh Lay) Mm-hmm.

(Kanah) By using iMovie, we are able to make

different transitions,

and we're able to combine our parts together.

(Margaret) We are going to have

a presentation at our school

and invite some of our classmates.

(Kanah) We invited Oanh

to come watch our presentation.

(Margaret) We're also going to have a coding activity.

We're going to teach them

how to do an animation project on Scratch.

(Eh Lay) I feel kind of nervous,

but also kind of excited,

'cause--to get to see the work we've done.

(Kanah) Good job, guys.

(Eh Lay) Oh.


[upbeat music]

(Margaret) Today we're at our school,

Washington Technology.

(Eh Lay) We're here to present our animation

to our classmates.

(Oanh) Do you know that we're sharing it

on our social media?

(girls) Yeah.

(Kanah) Oanh told us that she posted

our animation on social media.

(Oanh) We shared it in the KAYSC,

and other people have been picking up the idea.

(Eh Lay) Our animation has reached 1,700 people.

(Kanah) Which really shocked me,

because it's only been a day since she posted it.

(Oanh)Check this out.

Mayor Melvin Carter has shared your animation.

(Kanah) That's cool. That's cool.

(Margaret) Wow, that's really cool.

I felt, like, happy when she said

the project reached a lot of people.

(Kanah) Hey, guys. I'm Kanah.

(Eh Lay) I'm Eh Lay.

(Margaret) And I'm Margaret.

(Kanah) Thanks for coming.

We've been working on our animation.

(Eh Lay) Our animation is about STEM Justice.

We've been working on our animation with Oanh.

(Margaret) Oanh, like, told us

to create an animation about STEM Justice

so we could show other kids what it's about.

(Kanah) So we decided

to give you all a activity to do.

They had to create a simple animation about change.

(girl) It will not move.

[indistinct chatter]

(Kanah) I hope that they learn

that technology can be used

to express things or send messages.

(Eh Lay) It was STEM Justice in action.

We got to show them the technology part of STEM.


(Margaret) It felt good to share, like, the information,

and I felt proud that I knew it.

Yeah, it looks great. I like it.

(Kanah) We really appreciate that you guys came,

and here's our finished animation.

[light upbeat music plays]

(Margaret) I hope our classmates felt, like, inspired

in that everybody can do it, no matter who they are.

(Eh Lay) This project made me realize

how you could, like, use technology differently

to promote causes

and to, like, spread awareness.

(Kanah) Like, this is a whole entire idea

that came from our minds

that just sprouted,

and the amount of teamwork you have to use

to be able to bring it to life

or to, like, create your animation together.

I feel like it did its job,

and I'm just, like, happy and excited

that it actually, like, made its way through to people.

(Margaret) Now that I know about STEM Justice,

I think I'm going to use it

to try to improve people's life around me.

(Kanah) Even though it was very challenging,

I have to think about the impact it'll have

on everybody else in the future

instead of, like, focusing on me and how I'm struggling now.

[cheers and applause]


(Izzie) Jake, deploy garbage grabbers.

(Jake) Aye-aye, Captain!

Sandy, show us your gorgeous hands.



If cleaning my room was this fun,

I'd do it all the time.

(Izzie) Good job, Sandy.

I'm so happy we got to clean the beach for everyone.

(Jake) Yep.

It looks better, feels better...


Ah. Smells better.

Makes me almost want to clean my room.

(Izzie) We could make a room-cleaning robot.

We can call it Roomie.

(Jake) Don't get carried away, Izz.

I said "almost" want to clean my room.

[laughs] (Izzie) I know.


The Description of Cartoon Coders