Understanding Uniform Linear Motion with Famous Animated Painting GIFs (LS-GR-356)

Physics and arts are much more related than most people believe. While they may go about it in different ways, they both try to understand and interpret the world around them, by visualizing, experimenting, exploring and sharing their findings.

The connection between physics and arts

Physics and arts are often viewed as separate concepts, though physicists often use art and artists often use physics. Physicists use arts to help them visualize abstract aspects of the physical world, while artists use physics as a tool in order to experiment with their materials. Throughout the years they have supported each other and have evolved together. The times of great achievements in science and particularly in physics is often roughly correlated with revolutionary accomplishments in arts, as in the case of Leonardo Da Vinci.


This is an interdisciplinary learning scenario, combining physics and arts, for 16-17 years old students. Uniform Linear Motion is investigated and applied in different views and circumstances.


Students conduct a historical review on different means of transport, using Europeana’s Resources, followed by the research on the inventors of the first aeroplane, motorcycle, train and submarine as well as the design of those inventions.

In the second section, they are expected to compare the speed of the latest model of the aforementioned to the first one, in order to gain a better understanding of the scales as they evolved through time. Using the previous data, they should be able to solve physics problems, applying their knowledge on Uniform Linear Motion.

Finally, students make their own GIF illustrating an object constantly moving, by modifying a painting of their preference from Europeana’s Collection.  The applied teaching approach is Project Based Learning as it involves problem-solving, creativity and constructive learning.


The learning scenario has been applied and the used methodology, Project-Based Learning, has been effective and engaging, helping students to apply uniform linear motion in different contexts, combining physics, history and arts. The students were active listeners as well as co-workers sharing ideas and collaborating efficiently. According to students’ feedback, the learning scenario has been extremely interesting, challenging. Overall, students mentioned that they enjoyed Europeana’s Gallery as well as the Gif creation.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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CC BY-SA 3.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wikimedia Commons Community.

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