Experimenting With Time Lapse Videos


The set up we used for the experiment.

In my 6th grade science class we are currently studying erosion and weathering. I really wanted to supplement this unit with lots of multimedia but struggled with coming up with exactly what I could use. It’s easy to show the students before and after pictures but I really wanted something that would hook them and really bring erosion into the classroom. Enter time-lapse video.

In my search for multimedia I found a few time-lapse videos that demonstrated the long term impact that erosion and weathering has on our landscape. The students loved them. They couldn’t believe that over a course of a year that the land around them changes as much as it did. Since all of my students were super engaged and wanted to learn more about erosion over time, I developed an experiment that used time lapse video to observe what effect water has on dirt.

The view from our iPad.

The view from our iPad.

Our experiment consisted of filling up two terrariums full of dirt and then pouring water on top of them. Each terrarium contained a different amount of dirt and water. To capture our video the app took pictures at an interval of 30 seconds. From there we left the camera out for 5 hours to do it’s magic. By the end of our experiment we had taken 565 pictures.

To create our time-lapse video we used iMotion HD. I really liked this app because it’s easy to use! Point your camera, set your intervals, and click record! The app takes care of the rest. One really awesome feature I like is that you can adjust the frames per second before you output the final video. Being able to adjust the fps really helped me as a teacher be able to create the perfect video for my class.

Overall I was very happy with both iMotion HD and the experiment. I knew this lesson was a success when the following Monday several students came up to me in the morning and before saying hi or hello they asked when we were going to watch the video. For your viewing pleasure I embedded the video that we recorded below. Enjoy!

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