Parents and teachers can agree that sometimes you just need to put on a movie. Especially with parents and guardians now taking on additional household roles of chefs, employees, bosses, PE teachers, AND educators, we want to equip you with a chance to take a break. But, you won’t find us encouraging just any mindless flick—why not make it educational?

Here are 3 STEM movies and discussion questions to keep young learners thinking critically while parents and guardians capitalize on some well-deserved R & R.

1. A Bug’s Life

A colony of ants finds itself in a sticky situation when a group of grasshoppers tries to take over. Flik is an ant who works and creates as he finds a new spot for his community.

Teaching Points:

  • Teamwork/Community
  • Friendship
  • Courage
  • Problem Solving
  • Engineering
  • Planet/Life Science

Discussion Questions:

  1. Did the ant colony free itself from the domination of the grasshoppers because of Flik alone, or did all the ants have to work together?
  2. What did Flik say to Dot about being small, about being a seed?
  3. Who in this movie was different from the other bugs? Was being different good or bad?

2. Wall-E

In a desolate no man’s land, Wall-E the robot works to compact the trash left by humankind. Then comes a drone sent from the humans’ space station—Eve. With a small exchange, Wall-E immediately falls in love with Eve. As Wall-E and Eve develop their relationship, the couple saves humankind!

Teaching Points:

  • Climate Change/The Environment
  • Personal Responsibility

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you think will happen after the movie ends? What will the humans do when they return to Earth? What will life be like for Wall-E and Eve?
  2. Is there any possibility that the real Earth will suffer the fate that the Earth shown in the movie suffered?
  3. Why did the humans have to leave the Earth?

3. Big Hero 6

Robotics prodigy Hiro’s closest friend is Baymax. Baymax was created to take care of people. When a series of events turns Baymax, Hiro, and his friends into a band of tech heroes, the world may never be the same!

Teaching Topics

  • Engineering
  • Technology

Discussion Questions:

  1. What makes Baymax, “Baymax”?
  2. What is the robotic invention from Hiro?
  3. What do you need to say to deactivate Baymax?