Skip to main content

Small Parts Make a Whole

By Rebecca Fox

As I watch a piece of paper slowly fall from the table, I catch myself beginning to space out. My thoughts are absorbed by the possibility of ways that I could recreate this seemingly mundane occurrence using 3DSMax—a 3D animation software that I had been introduced to in high school. I pause as I consider how the mass, gravitational force, and height from which an object falls all interact to make each object fall in a different way. 

What would I need to do to animate the differences between a piece of paper and a rock falling? How would I need to adjust each factor to make my animation as realistic as possible? 

Each small component plays a big part in the overall result; every pixel, element, and detail comes together to create a story. Fun Fact: Toy Story was created with this very same 3D animation software! 

Similarly, to the way I envisioned the paper falling—watching its twists and turns and deconstructing its movements—I view the world as an amalgamation of small parts that make up the whole. And, I appreciate all of the small elements that combine to create the big picture that we see every single day. Because of this, I view the world in a very different way.

Pictured, above, is an animation that Rebecca created of a location from the movie Inside Out.

When I was first introduced to 3D Animation I found a space where I was finally able to apply that way of thinking. However, 3D Animation was only the first time I used this thinking to bring together art, science and technology. I began to explore other areas that supported by my way of thinking. I found that I can look at science and technology in that same way. From there, my passion for STEM was born! Since then, I’ve explored all types of STEM disciplines, like the hard sciences, cognitive science, and computer science. Now, I’ve even started to explore the field of science outreach at RockEDU.

During my time as a Science Education Content Creator/Editor Extern, I further explored the way that science draws from most other disciplines, like technology, art, and public speaking. And, I found a place where all of my interests combine and work together to create something amazing!

Rebecca poses with co-intern, Yemi, during a RockEDU LAB Experience.

Throughout my time learning about 3D Animation and different STEM fields, I’ve come to realize that every discipline is multidimensional. To be successful in science, you need to understand science, but also technology, math, writing, and many other subjects. Every topic can be looked at the same way that I see the rest of the world—as small parts combined into a whole. And, every topic can also be looked at as large parts. Every discipline is fluid, and can be viewed in many different ways—every person can look at them in a way that makes it accessible to them.

Whoosh. The paper slips onto the ground. Suddenly, I space back into the real world. I look around the RockEDU lab at Rockefeller University, and marvel at the fact that I am in a space where I can apply my way of thinking to the field of science outreach. 

I think about the small details that come together to make up my story. I started with 3D Animation, but continued into science. From there, I discovered a love for computer science and cognitive science. Those led me to participate in this externship at RockEDU. Each experience was a step along my path to the field of science outreach; the small components of my life all came together to lead me to a discipline that I’ve now discovered a passion for, and plan to pursue in the future!

Your browser is out of date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now