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Writing. Everyone’s choice for a second career.

Washington University faculty and students may use the form below to submit ideas for an animation. We’ll share your message with a group of picky people and let you know what they say.

Making a fun animation is harder than you think. Sorry. Just saying. So here are a few tips:

1. Start by watching a lot of videos—unless you’ve already done that. We’ve provided a few links but spend a few evenings looking at science videos on Ted Ed, Minute Physics, Periodic Videos, PhD Comics or the channel of your choice.

2. Pick a question; for that matter pick several, so that you can select among them. They should be questions that have interesting answers that can be reached quickly and easily or, if science can’t answer them yet, questions that go down amusing blind alleys.

3. Ask yourself if your question is simple enough. Videos will only be three or four minutes long, technical terms are an impediment and your ability to fill in necessary background is limited.

4. Ask yourself if your question is hard enough. There has to be an element of surprise, even if the viewer is science-literate.

5. Test drive your idea. Run it by non-science friends to see how they react. See if they ask for the answer.

6. Email your idea to us.

For inspiration and to clear your palate after all that academic writing, watch this (but ignore the sexism).

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