Altamont School’s Abby Lee is changing the world through claymation and a good idea

Birmingham
Birmingham
The Altamont School’s Abby Lee . Photo courtesy of The Altamont School.

Can one person change the future of seven billion?

Altamont School Senior Abby Lee is changing the world through video, claymation and a solution to a global problem.

Late last month, Lee was named a finalist in the World of 7 Billion national student video contest. Her video “Drip Irrigation Can End World Hunger” was chosen from more than 3,000 entries.

Recently, Bham Now asked Lee how she came up with the idea for the award winning video and the effort it took to created it.

Bham Now: What a wonderful video! How did you produce it with clay animation?

Abby Lee: I’ve been making stop motion videos since I was 13 and love it. The making of this video seems complex but was composed of nothing but a few sheets of white paper taped together and some modeling clay I bought at the craft store. Claymation is simple but you have to be very precise. You have to move the subject in each frame. If you move it too slightly, it will be difficult to see the movement in the final product but if you move the subject too drastically, the movements will not be fluid. Having multiple subjects is fun because the video becomes more dynamic but requires a large amount of time. I think I used a total of about of 1,500 pictures.

The Altamont School’s Abby Lee.  Photo courtesy of The Altamont School.
Bham Now: Drip Irrigation is a great idea to fight poverty and hunger, how did come up with that idea?

Abby Lee: When thinking about solutions for the video, I considered the fact that most of the food consumed in developing countries comes from small farms and is often not commercially grown. Corporations have ample resources to grow crops to mass distribute, but if you are trying to grow food in a developing country where there are limited water sources and mostly arid land, it is important to not over-irrigate your land and save as much water as possible. My environmental science teacher brought up drip irrigation in a lesson one day. I thought that this was a great solution to prevent drying out land and reducing water usage.

Screen shot from Abby Lee’s video Drip Irrigation Can End World Hunger
Bham Now: You graduate this month. What’s next for you?

The Altamont School has prepared me very well for what’s next after high school, and this summer I am headed to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio to study and work alongside researchers in their STEM scholar program. I plan to major in biochemistry.

An extraordinary young woman, Lee’s  video is a great use of art, science and social studies to address a global issue.

Through her video, Lee  proves one person can change the future.

Learn more about the World of 7 Billion population education at: www.worldof7billion.org

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.