Animation via Desmos

by Serge Ballif — on  ,  , 


Recently I had to make a video to introduce our new placement tool to students. Several people asked about the graphics in the video, so I am sharing the details in this post. Click below to watch the video.

I wanted an animated video, but I have no drawing skills. Fortunately I have a black belt in plotting equations. I opened up the Desmos graphing calculator and started plotting. Desmos lets you add sliders to your variables, so it was possible to create an animation by changing the values of various parameters. You can view the Desmos worksheet in the video to see the exact equations I used. Just start playing with the sliders in the cells along the left side of the screen to see how the animations were created. Zoom in and out with by scrolling with your mouse.

I recorded my voice reading the script and then moved the sliders to match the recording. The music came from I spliced the video together using Camtasia. Altogether it took about four hours of work. Overall I’m pretty proud. What better way to promote math than to use equations to tell the story.

What does the Script say?

Every college journey has obstacles and opportunities. For some students math seems more of an obstacle than an opportunity. Studies have shown that students who complete their college math requirements early in their academic careers are more likely to finish college and to finish on time. So how can we successfully scale this hurdle? We can’t skip over it; math is important and it’s not going away. However, we can shrink the path. Did you know that you might be one semester away from completing all of your college math requirements?

Nevada State College has redesigned their college math curriculum to help students finish their degrees faster by consolidating classes and making clear pathways to completion. We have smoothed the path by improving the content in key courses to create a fun, interactive learning experience for students as they engage in real-world applications of math.

Students are now able to give themselves a boost by working through our newly adopted learning software: EdReady. EdReady is a free resource that allows you to learn and practice concepts as you watch instructive videos. Edready assesses your knowledge and assigns you a score. By following a custom learning plan you can increase your score as you learn the material. Your EdReady score may be used to place you in your initial math course.

The best part is that you can start EdReady now. Just go to and sign up to get started. By beginning now you can prepare yourself to hit the ground running. Just think, you could be one semester away from completing all of your college math requirements. The path to your degree is wide open.