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Sent in by:
Brianna of Madison, WI

Phenawhozeewhatsee? It's an animation invention that Brianna calls a "Winker".

Materials Needed

  • poster board
  • paper plate (for tracing)
  • markers
  • ruler
  • pushpin
  • pencil
  • scissors



  1. Trace a paper plate on the poster board and cut out the circle.
  2. Draw lines dividing the poster board circle into twelve sections, like slices of a pie.
  3. On each line, measure one inch in from the edge of the disk toward the center, and make a mark.
  4. Cut 1/4 inch wide slots along each line from the mark to the edge of the circle.
  5. Draw faces on each slice. It's good to do it in pencil first, in case you make a mistake, and then go over it with a marker.
  6. On each of the 12 faces, change one thing on the face, like the position of the eyelid so that the eye winks, or the position of the lips so the mouth moves.
  7. When you're done drawing, put a pushpin through the center of the disk then into the eraser of a pencil.
  8. Spin the disk to make the hole a little bigger so that it can turn easily.
  9. Point the faces towards a mirror and look through the slots as you spin the disk.
  10. You should see the face changing.

How did it work? Can you change anything about your Phenakistascope to make it work better? Send your reports to our special feedback area. Be sure to tell us what you did and what you learned from your experiment. Share your results with the world, right here at ZOOM!

Some of your Results

George, age 8 of Atlanta, GA wrote:
i use fishes instead of faces. I saw the fish's mouth closing.

Jazmine of Cleveland, OH wrote:
It was the coolest thing my campers have done off of this site.

Marcie, age 12 of Fernandina, FL wrote:
It is a little weird I thought that it didnt work then I tried it again and then it did work so it was the best Phenakistascope ever!!! thanks for the tips...

ZOOM Fan, age 10 of Hodgenville, KY wrote:
It was so cool seeing how a cartoon folls you in to thinking you see a smooth motion!!!

Sofia, age 7 of Monterrey wrote:
I drew a volcano insted of a face. I think I saw it erupt very, very, very fast! Inless than a second!

Misty, age 12 of Columbus, OH wrote:
I though it was cool when it looked like it was winking. I showed my little sister and she thought it was cool to.

Meg, age 10 of San Jose, CA wrote:
It was so awesome. It was so cool when it winked at me.

Daniel, age 12 of Austin, TX wrote:
It was so cool, I mean the way it winked at me, It was so cool!!!

Tori, age 13 of College Station, TX wrote:
It was really cool the way that it looked like it winked at me. I talked to my science teacher, and told her about it because we had been learning about the eyes. Then she decided to let the whole class do the expiriment, and they loved it!!

Katrina, age 5 of Vienna, VA wrote:
The winker works best when spinning slow. And didn't work as well when spinning fast.

not yet implemented