By Roszan Holmen
A teacher told him the tale of a lady named Ciye, who is picking blueberries when the creator turns her into a blue bird. For the past few months, the LÁU,WELNEW Tribal School student has worked to animate the story using 3D software called Alice.
“It was a lot of work,” said Smith-Harry, adding it’s a good way to teach the beliefs of the different stories.
His project is part of a program launched by Camosun College called ANCEStor, which aims to engage aboriginal youth in computer programming through traditional storytelling.
NSERC grant provides $18,000 in each of three years to support development of ANCEStor project
Camosun will receive $18,000 in each of three years to develop a pilot program known as ANCEStor (Aboriginal youth awareNess of ComputEr Science.) ANCEStor teaches the concepts of computer programming by engaging Aboriginal youth in cultural story-telling.
“The value of story-telling as a teaching tool is well recognized,” says Dr. Marla Weston, computer science instructor and one of the project leaders. “Telling a story gives value and significance to events that have meaning in their lives. Students will learn more if they feel empowered as participants, rather than being passive recipients of knowledge.”
ANCEStor uses Alice 3D software to create videos and simple computer games.
Below: "Andy Smith-Harry used 3D software to animate a story from the Saanich First Nation. Behind him, a scene from his minute-long video shows a blue bird in flight." (Roszan Holmen/News staff)