5 movies and guides for middle school STEM engineering class

5 engineering movies your students will love

Read on for a list of middle school engineering movies your students will love… and you will too!

Everyone looks forward to a good movie day, but they are even better when the film captivates your students and ties into course content! Read on to learn about 5 movies that make an awesome addition to any middle school STEM or engineering class.

1. Hugo (2011)

Hugo engineering movie guide
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This fascinating work of fiction follows young Hugo as he tries to repair a broken automaton left by his late father. Students will observe Hugo’s design process and how sketches and technical drawings are used to capture design ideas and engineering solutions. They will also notice how engineering skills can be an asset in many different careers and hobbies.

2. Dream Big: Engineering Our World (2017)

Dream Big middle school STEM movie guide
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In this amazing documentary, students will meet engineers from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties. They will discover some of the many marvels of engineering and analyze how engineering plays a role in our every day lives.

3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind Movie Guide
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This film is based on the true story of 14-year-old William Kamkwamba and his journey to end the drought plaguing his community by bringing wind power to his town in Malawi. Students will see William use the engineering design process to create a solution to a real world problem and the role perseverance plays in the process.

4. PBS Design Squad (2007-2011)

Design Squad middle school engineering movie guide
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In each episode of this show, teams of high school students are given a challenge by a real-world client (think create an automatic pancake-making machine for a diner or a cardboard furniture set for Ikea) and compete to design and build a winning solution. Your students will love picking a team to root for and watching as they work through the engineering design process, teamwork challenges, design roadblocks, and all.

5. Dolphin Tale (2011)

Dolphin Tale STEM engineering movie guide
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This movie follows the true story of Winter, a dolphin who loses her tail and gets saved by a rescue in Florida. Students will see rescue workers, volunteers, and engineers work together and use the engineering design process to create a new tail for Winter. Your students are sure to fall in love with Winter and be left wanting to learn more about this amazing dolphin and her rescuers.

Check them out!

Whether you are looking for an easy sub plan, a movie day incentive, or need some down time to catch up on grades, these middle school engineering movies are sure to keep your students engaged and learning throughout the entire “movie day!”

What other middle school engineering movies would you add to the list? Leave a comment below!

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