Earth Day 2017: A Day for Awareness & Protection (...& Animation-ish Fun!)

Did you know that more than 100 billion pieces of junk mail are delivered and thrown away again in the United States each year? Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day, a time to recognize and protect the precious environment that is all around us.

The team at FableVision Learning - lovers of the environment - gathered some fun facts about the holiday, and ways to help preserve our Earth on April 22, and every day. And while you’re at it, you also can have your students visually represent Earth Day with Animation-Ish - an easy-to-use animation software tool - to show what they know!

When Earth Day was started on April 22, 1970, the impact of the movement resulted in 20 million participants. This day is important to help raise awareness to show how much of an impact we really do have on the environment by every little move we make. Now 47 years later, the question is still: How can we start going more GREEN?

1. Recycle! Take the time to talk to your school's principals to discuss a recycling system in your school if you do not already have one. According to the Recycling Revolution site, recycling one piece of aluminum can save enough energy to watch 3 hours of television! Moreover, it will take less energy (90% less) to physically throw your aluminum in the recycling bin than to manufacture brand new ones. If we start recycling more paper like we should, we will begin to save one quarter of a billion trees each year.

2. Use less water! That five minute shower compared to a three minute shower makes all of the difference. You would not believe that the average person uses about 12,000 gallons of water each year! This Earth Day, let’s be aware of the water we are using so that we can save it in the long run.

Want to know how the water cycle actually works? Check out this sweet animation to the left made with Animation-Ish!

3. Stop littering! Each year, 14,000,000,000 pounds of garbage are thrown into the oceans, according to National Geographic. Of this, the plastic kills at least 1 million animals/creatures each year who find their homes in the ocean. Let’s take the time to save our precious animals!

Let’s take a look how students around the world have used Animation-ish to show how they celebrate this special day...

Now you can really see how Animation-Ish is out of this world!

Did your students create "out of this world" Earth Day animations?! Share it with the FableVision Learning Team via Twitter @FableLearn, or via email:

Happy Earth Day 2017! 


FABClassroom Spotlight: Kim Slayton, Burnham Brook School

Meet Kim Slayton from the Burnham Brook School in Canterbury, New Hampshire. Not long ago, the school added Fab@School Maker Studio, a digital design and fabrication program, to their school curriculum. Kim and her students have been using the web-based program in art, science, and social studies projects. We asked Kim to share more about how her students were using the tool and how they plan on taking the program to the next step.

As a teacher, you truly encourage your students to Create Bravely. What tips can you share on encouraging creativity in the classroom?

An important tip to encourage creativity is not to panic. If something doesn’t work out the way it is supposed to, don’t be afraid to try again or find another way to solve the problem. Where there's a will there’s a way to work around any problem. It is also important to have a backup plan, in case your original idea doesn’t come out as you hoped it would. Finally, taking notes on what did and didn’t work helps gives the learner a general sense on how to solve the problem in the future.

How are you using Fab@School Maker Studio in the classroom?

We use Fab@School Maker Studio in art class for making sculptures, as well as creating boxes to store small art projects. The program is especially helpful in demonstrating concepts in science and social studies. To top it off, I also make paper masks for my dyslexic students, as well as other teachers for their students.

What has been an “aha” moment using Fab@School Maker Studio?

I have a student who, due to birth complications, has only four fingers on one hand. This makes it especially difficult for her to use scissors. She was so excited and amazed when she came across the Fab@School Maker Studio program. She was able to plan and create a very complex paper art project without difficulty [and cut it out with the digital cutter]. It was a great “aha” experience when she finally saw her concept come to life.

You work with learners of all ages and abilities. How have you used Fab@School Maker Studio with every student?

Some of my students have been using Fab@School Maker Studio on their own computers, while others explained what they wanted and I designed it on my computer. Typically, the students sketch out their desired finished product, and then we work together to figure out how to properly place the nets. My students and I have also used some of the 3D Ready-Made projects, such as the castle and automaton, for writing prompts and story mapping.


What is next? Any cool projects in the works!?

The student who has difficulties using scissors really likes horses, so we will be working on building an automaton with galloping horses instead.

Can you tell us a bit about your school?

Burnham Brook is a small private school founded in 1982 by Barbara and Walter Howell. All teachers use multisensory structured language instructions to teach their students. Each student is provided with an experience and then we attach a specific language to that experience. This allows them to take ownership for their learning, as well as develop a deeper foundational understanding of the concepts.

Instead of dividing the students into grades, they are instead grouped together based on their ability and language processing styles. The school consists of students with average, above average, and gifted intelligence. Some students have been identified as having a learning disability, while some have no learning difficulties but weren’t being challenged in their local public schools. All of the same types of classes meet at the same exact time, so if we need to change a student’s group, it would not disrupt his or her overall school schedule.

Is your classroom a FabClassroom? We would love to feature your school in an blog post! To be featured in an upcoming post, send an email to You can also tweet your photos with the hashtag #FabMakerStudio! For more posts featuring Fab@School Maker Studio, click here.

Curious about how the digital fabricator connects to Fab@School? Watch this video to learn more about fabricating through Fab@School Maker Studio