We noticed you haven't updated your profile picture recently. We've upgraded your profile to allow for richer hi-resolution images. We invite you to take a moment to upload a new image that represents you in the community!
I'm in the process of designing my STEM Enrichment Program at my middle school. One of the things that I wanted to incorporate is movies to help introduce various concepts and skills into the engineering design process. If anyone has ideas for movies that could match up with the things that I will be having my students do, I would appreciate it.
1) Designing Paper Tower
2) Designing Toothpick bridge
3) Designing Marble Roller coaster
4) Designing Balloon powered car
5) designing a robot arm
6) Designing bottle rocket (non-water)
510 Activity Points
Are you familiar with the Science Objects in the Learning Center? The Force and Motion Science Object has an animation called "Ball on a Fast Track" that you can show if you have the SciObject. Also, we have a discussion thread about movies and simulations. I will see if I can find those and link them here for you.
Here is the Movies in Science discussion thread link.
And this one:
Physical Science > New Force & Motion Unit - Ideas?
83493 Activity Points
Thank you very much for the response! I will definitely take a look at that forum.
There is a great deal of videos that are free and meet your needs. Just do a google search.
Have fun looking.
101490 Activity Points
At the beginning of every school year, we have a competition among homerooms to build the tallest newspaper tower with the supplies given and then to be able to hold a tennis ball. This project takes teamwork. Here are the guidelines that we distribute:
4-inch stack of newspaper
One roll of masking tape 1”
One tennis ball
Objective: Using the supplies listed, construct a tower that will hold a tennis
ball. This is a team-building activity, so guide the students in working
together. The class with the highest tower at the end of the activity is the
Rules: You may only use the supplies listed. No standing on chairs or
“piggy-backing”. Teachers are not allowed to participate or help in the
physical construction of the tower. They are only allowed to dispense
advice. Remember, be safe!
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
2680 Activity Points
A few years ago, we invested in the Discovery School series for our Physics' classrooms.
Roller coaster physics [dvd] / Discovery Channel School is an excellent resource for augmenting the physics of roller coasters and a favorite.
Hope this helps.
575 Activity Points
Disney made a series of videos that I love a lot. http://dep.disney.go.com/mathscience.html They are “The Science of Disney Imagineering” and have titles for Friction, Electricity, Trajectory, Levers and Pulleys, Gravity, Fluids, Energy, Design and Models, Magnetism, Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion, and Animal Adaptations: Communication. Each title is $29.99 from Disney, though Amazon carries them as well in the $25.00 range for new videos.
I use these with my middle school students and they really enjoy them because the Disney folks share how the concept is used within Disney theme parks or movies. The students come away with a real life understanding of the concepts, plus, there are generally a couple of lab investigation titled, “Do it yourself” and an interactive assessment.
42985 Activity Points
I used movies in the classroom but I always pulled out no more than a 5 minute segment and not any longer. Otherwise they loose the focus.
Also when I taught Physics we used to evaluate comic shorts such as the Roadrunner to talk about the good and the bad physics in it. Sometimes showing the bad helps students what good science should be.
Adah: Thank you very much for providing me with links for videos. This is a valuable resource that I will try to utilize in my class. Secondly, thanks for the advice on using videos for 5 minutes. I think the students will lose interest if it is longer.
Erin: That’s an awesome team project that the students must really enjoy! Taking what you just mentioned, I am going to introduce my parents to the concept of STEM by having the parents do the marshmallow challenge where they have spaghetti and a marshmallow.
Angela: Thanks for the advice on using Discovery Education! I will take a look at the physics of the roller coaster.
Sandy: Thank you for providing me with the link for Disney’s videos. I will also take a look at the videos because I will be teaching several concepts that you mentioned to my students.
I have to ask: What is the experiment with spaghetti and a marshmallow? Last year we did a marshmallow experiment with our seventh graders to demonstrate child development. We gave eat student a marshmallow and a challenge. We said, if you can wait ten minutes and not eat your marshmallow, we will give you a second one to have as well. Most student in seventh grade can handle the delayed gratification. Afterwords, we showed the below link of younger children barely able to not eat the delicious marshmallow in their hands. This demonstration was to teach about deferred gratification.
What is your experiment?Your text to link here...
There are several thread in the Learning Center on this topic.
For those interested here are the links
Under Elementary Science: Science in the Movies
Under General Science and Teaching: Science in the Movies
Under Life Science: "Life" in movies
68515 Activity Points
I am finding the new LabTV short movies of great interest and applicable to many teaching levels and content specifics.
a general search using the key words NDEP LabTV will bring up about 54 results.
External Resource: Eat Up!
Try them, and as in "Green Eggs and Ham" you may like them.
Really, please take me seriously. Time changes always put me and students in a slightly comical mood. The short vignettes are real world exciting and full of ideas for exciting learning within your classrooms.
45915 Activity Points
Do you need to take the course to get a Science Object, such as the movies discussed?
6985 Activity Points
You do not have to take a course to access the NDEP LabTV movies. You may access them and the wonderful collections of resources that accompany them by doing a search using the key word
This will return 54 resources for you to review and to use within your classroom.
If you have never used the search engine,
1. go to your Home Page by clicking on the icon in the blue line on the left hand side of any page that says Online Home
2. Scroll down the page to the box identified as Explore Learning Opportunities
3. Click on the words Advanced Search
4. Type the keyword or keywords into the top space and select search
The search engine will return the Learning Center resources to you.
The NDEP resources have great utility and potential. Let us know if you access any and use them. Also, don't be shy about evaluating and rating one of the resources so that others will know about them.
Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving, Janice.
I am a pre- student teacher, and was able to observe in a STEM class at the school I am currently in. Most of the ideas for activities the students were doing came from this website: http://www.sciencetoymaker.org/index.html. It is a great website with interactive directions and videos. There are also templates you are able to download for the things that you want to make. The students I observed really enjoyed making the tumble wings, gliders, and putt- putt boat. The directions are very straight forward and the visuals were very helpful for the students. I hope that helps.
2470 Activity Points
Welcome to this thread. It is so great to hear voices such as yours chime in and share recently used sites and resources. Please continue to do so. The site you mentioned is exciting, especially since it supports teaching with toys. In the past there was a robust discussion on teaching with toys. Let me go and find the thread and post it on this thread so that you and others might think about going that step farther and considering some of those resources. I also think I have a collection of resources on toys but I will have to go to my library and refresh my memory. There are so many great people sharing on these NSTA Learning Center forums that my brain recalls conversations and then has to go and search out the sources again. It's fun, however, and refreshing.
Thanks again for this fine resource,Jamilynn, and I look forward to sharing with you again.
Here's the url for one of the threads on teaching with toys
It's in the Physical Science Forum and I found it on the second page.
Some years ago terrific science, an effort supported by NSF put together a series of lessons and books on teaching science with toys
Here is a link to the lessons
If you scroll to the bottom of this page there is a link for purchasing the books
Beverley Taylor was one of the early authors of teaching science with toys books and many of the more recent series of books build upon her work.
Here is a pdf with some adaptations for teaching elementary science with toys
Many of the Teaching With Toys books were available through the NSTA Science Store.
Thanks, Pamela, for the NSF website and the listing of some of the books.
Hi Erin: The spaghetti and marshmallow challenge is where the students have to build a tower using spaghetti, tape, rope, and place the marshmallow on the top after “x” amount of minutes. They are not allowed to tape the spaghetti to the table and it has to be free standing. For more information, just type in marshmallow challenge on Google.
Hi Pamela: Thank you for the links that incorporate movies into the curriculum. I will be sure to take a look at it and utilize the resources available.
Hi Patricia: I’ll take a look at the new LabTv short movies. Do you notice changes in your student’s attention spans when you show these movies?
Hi Jamilynn: That’s awesome! I am currently teaching STEM in my school as an elective class and these are awesome ideas! Thanks!
Hi: Have you looked at the Myth Breakers videos?
The videos are short and punchy and if you are targeting a specific area of the curriculum, the students are quite involved. Teachers tell me that they even bring a few to task who are roaming elsewhere with their minds.
The regular NSTA site also has a wonderful set of resources on STEM because Dr. Blickenstaff specializes in STEM areas and he likes movies! I have heard him talk and he really seems to focus a lot on engineering, although he does touch on other topics, so it would be a great resource for you
Try his weekly "pick" from the internet at Blick's pics and also check out his blog on popular movies and science/STEM topics they can be tied to at http://www.nsta.org/publications/blickonflicks.aspx
65795 Activity Points
I use film teach concepts too. It is a great way to introduce a new concept. Have you tried the 'Schoolhouse Rock!' clips? Most are on YouTube. I use 'Victim of Gravity' to begin our physics module. A site you might also try is Teach With Movies http://www.teachwithmovies.org It is a nice site for ideas on which snips of film are good to use in class.
2825 Activity Points
Thanks for sharing the Teach with Movies site. I am not acquainted with it and look forward to seeing what is available. What was or is a particular favorite of yours?
Has anyone thought about giving a group of students 5 minutes to make a quick movie on what they think about a new topic before you begin the study of that topic? Selecting and sharing a movie or two from the group could uncover preconceptions and serve as a dynamic way to start a brainstorming session on 'what do you think' before starting the to do and to explore elements of a lesson.
Einstein in Hollywood: Capturing the Scientific Minds of Movie Buffs
Blick on Flicks is a regular column in NSTA Reports and a periodic feature of NSTA WebNews. Here is a handy list of previously published reviews:
Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers