It is our
understanding that it is an
infringement of copyright law to
post movie clips of any length to the Internet without written permission from the owner/author/movie studio (who seldom, if ever, grant such permission).
If you know otherwise, please let us
know.
Roberts@mathbits.com
(It may be possible to find many of these video clips by searching the Internet. We have been unable, however, to verify that such clips (when found) are posted with permission of the authors, so please use with caution.)



DVD and VHS box pictures
are of the movie packages owned by Fred and
Donna. While some of the boxes are from
"collection" sets or "special" editions, these
movies can also be purchased as single copies.
Purchase movies (new or used) online at
locations such as
Amazon.com. We have purchased "used" videos with no problems. 
Calculator references made in these materials pertain to the TI83+/84+ and/or the TINspire.

"Math and the Movies" Part One 


Worksheet Grade Levels 7  9
(Basic Math to Algebra 1)

Abbott and Costello: In
the Navy (1941 – Universal Studios)
STORY: Comedians, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, have joined the
Navy. Lou is attempting to make seven batches of
thirteen donuts each for the Naval officers. He cooks
28 donuts, claiming that
7 x 13 = 28. Lou shows in three different ways that
his mathematics is correct.
DIRECTIONS to STUDENTS: Watch carefully for Lou's mathematical techniques.
CLIP: The clip begins with Bud, Lou and Dizzy examining a tray of freshly made donuts. Lou explains the situation and shows that 7 x 13 = 28. The clip ends when Lou hangs his hat on an imaginary hook he draws on the chalkboard.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
A “what went wrong?” scenario; examinations of division, multiplication and addition; algebraic investigations
to disprove Lou’s conjectures.

Worksheet Grade Levels 7  9
( Basic Math to Algebra 1)

Ma & Pa Kettle Back on the
Farm (1951 – Universal Studios)
STORY: Ma and Pa Kettle display their skills with finances by
showing that 25 divided by 5 is 14.
(same scenario as the Abbott and Costello routine).
CLIP: The clip begins when Billy states that 75% of the money will go to Ma and Pa with the remaining 25% to be divided among 5 others. When Billy explains that each of the 5 individuals will receive 5%, Pa states that it is actually 14% and shows the calculations. The clip ends with a frustrated look on Billy's face.
MathBits' Worksheet
A “what went wrong?” scenario; examinations of division, multiplication and addition; algebraic investigations to disprove Ma and Pa’s conjectures.
(This worksheet asks the same questions as those on the
Abbott and Costello worksheet.)

Worksheet Grade Levels 8  10
(PreAlgebra to Geometry) 
Alice in Wonderland (1999 – Lions Gate Studio – made for TV)
STORY: This is a threehour made for TV special about Lewis Carroll's "Alice
in Wonderland" and contains many of the
mathematical antics of its author. A discussion at the
Mad Hatter's tea party focuses on statements and converses.
CLIP: The clip starts at the Mad Hatter's tea party table. The Mad Hatter (Martin Short) is sitting at the head of the table and asks "Why is a raven like a writing desk?". A series of statements and their converses are discussed. The clip ends when the dormouse falls back to sleep after his contribution to the discussion.
DIRECTIONS to STUDENTS: Listen carefully! You may be easily distracted by the activity at the dining table, but focus on the discussion. Listen for statements and converses.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
Working with inverse, converse, contrapositive and their
truth values. Also an investigation of truth values on the
graphing calculator.

Worksheet Grade Levels 7  10
(Basic Math to
Geometry) 
Contact (1997 –
Warner Home Video)
STORY: Contact, based on the novel by astronomer Carl Sagan, is the story of a
free thinking radio
astronomer who discovers an intelligent signal broadcast
from deep space. Mathematics
is seen as the means of communication with an alien
civilization (through prime numbers).
CLIP: The clip starts when Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) and her crew hear a signal of radio transmissions which are patterning prime numbers. The clip ends when Ellie is asked who should be informed, and she replies "everyone".
DIRECTIONS and INFO for STUDENTS: Scientists have actually hypothesized that should we receive a signal from intelligent life it will be in the language of mathematics. Project META at Harvard University, which searches for alien signals, listens for the occurrence of prime numbers (according to astrophysicists Cocconi and Morrison). Listen for the references to prime numbers as you see this clip.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Sieve of
Eratosthenes, Fundamental Theorem of Arithmetic, Twin
Primes, Germain Primes, Relatively Prime, Ecommerce
encryption using primes. Graphing calculator used for
computations and investigations.

Worksheet Grade Levels 10  11
(Geometry to
Algebra 2)

Donald in Mathmagic Land (1959 – Buena Vista Home Video)
STORY: Disney’s Donald Duck has a series of adventures dealing with
mathematics, including discoveries about the Golden Ratio.
CLIP: The clip starts with Donald shaking hands with Pythagoras. The Golden Ratio and the Golden Section are then explained. The clip ends with Donald trying to squeeze himself into a Golden Rectangle to show that his body has ideal proportions.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Watch for references to the Golden Rectangle, Golden Section, Golden Ratio.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
Constructing a golden rectangle; investigating the golden rectangle's
connection to
quadratics using algebra and the graphing calculator; and
investigating the golden rectangle and the Pythagorean
theorem.

Worksheet Grade Levels 1112
(Algebra 2 to
PreCalculus) 
I Love Lucy:
Episode 39: “Job Switching“ or “The
Candy Factory” (1952 – Paramount Studios)
STORY: The husbands, Ricky and Fred, think that doing housework is much easier than earning money. So, the boys stay at home and do the housework while Lucy and Ethel take a job at a candy factory. Comedic situations arise as candies progress down a conveyor belt.
CLIP: The clip starts with Lucy and Ethel standing in front of a conveyor belt in a candy factory lamenting that they have been unsuccessful working in other departments. The ladies then attempt to wrap the candies as they progress down the belt. The clip ends with the work administrator instructing that the belt be increased in speed.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Watch the candy as it progresses down the conveyor belt.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
Dealing with patterns and sequences, average daily inventory.
Graphing calculator used for investigative analysis.

Worksheet Grade Levels 11  12
(Algebra 2 to
PreCalculus) 
Star Wars 
Episode I, The Phantom Menace
(1999 – 20th Century Fox)
STORY: This is the first episode of the adventures of young Anakin
Skywalker (Darth Vader).
The famous pod race at Mos Espa Arena circuit weaves through a flattopped
mountain called Ben’s Mesa. Here is where young Anakin
Skywalker wins the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace.
CLIP: The clip begins at the start of the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace as young Anakin encounters difficulties with his engine. The clip ends after 2 or 3 minutes of the race.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Enjoy the race scenes.
MathBits’ Worksheet: The map
of a pod race circuit and locations along the track are
the focus of this mathematical investigation. Law
of sines, Law of cosines. Graphing calculator used for
computation and investigation.

Worksheet 1
Grades 11  12
(Algebra 2 to
PreCalculus)
Worksheet 2
Grades 6  9
(Basic Math to Algebra 1)

Star Trek
The Original Series, Vol. 21, Episodes 42:
The Trouble With Tribbles (1966 – Paramount Studios)
STORY: Tribbles are cute, furry little creatures in the Star Trek
world. Being Hermaphrodites (both male and female), a
tribble can produce a litter of 10 babies every 12 hours,
assuming none die. One tribble is trapped in the grain hold
of the Starship Enterprise for 3 days. Spock proclaims that there are now 1,771,561 tribbles.
CLIP: The clip starts with Captain Kirk (William Shatner) standing under the grain hold door with tribbles falling on his head. An exchange of information ensures. The clip ends with Mr. Spock explaining how many tribbles are in the grain hold.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen to Spock's statement about the number of tribbles. Is Spock mathematically correct?
MathBits’ Worksheet 1: Population growth, exponential regressions examined on the
graphing calculator.
MathBits’ Worksheet 2:
Measurement and volume. Graphing calculator used for
computation and investigation.

Worksheet Grade Level 11  12
(Algebra 2 to
PreCalculus) 
The
Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
(1995 – Walt Disney Video)
STORY: This is a 1917 tale of a small village in Wales, that prides itself on being the location of the "first mountain in Wales". Two English cartographers arrive, measure the mountain, and deem it to be only a "hill". Refusing to lose yet one more thing during war time, the inhabitants heroically set out to increase the height of Ffynnon Garw to mountain status. While the name of the mountain is fictitious, the story is a true tale.
CLIP: The clip begins with the cartographers on the mountain explaining to the villagers how the mountain will be measured. The clip ends with the Reverend stating that the first mountain was measured by God.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Set the stage by introducing the story. Listen for the method of measuring the mountain.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Trigonometry, Law of Sines, Proportions in Similar
Triangles. Graphing calculator used for computation
and investigation.

Worksheet Grade Levels 11  12
(Algebra 2 to PreCalculus)

I.Q. (1994 – Paramount Studios)
STORY: Albert Einstein comes to the aid of a young garage mechanic
(who has fallen in love with
Einstein’s mathematically brilliant niece), by helping him
to pretend to be a great physicist.
CLIP: The clip begins with Catherine Boyd (Meg Ryan) looking out a window at the rain as Ed Walters (Tim Robbins) tells her that her uncle expects them to dance. A discussion ensues regarding Zeno's paradox. The clip ends with Catherine remembering that she had a date with her fiancée.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen for Zeno's Paradox.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Zeno’s Paradox, Introduction to sum of infinite series as developed on the graphing calculator.

Worksheet Grade
Levels 10  12
(Geometry to PreCalculus)

The Matrix
Revolutions (2003 – Warner Home Video)
STORY: Neo (Keanu Reeves) and the others try to save Zion, the last realworld
city and the center of the human
resistance. Neo's nemesis, Agent Smith, has learned how to replicate himself (transform) by taking over other organisms.
CLIP: Be aware of the number of Agent Smith's in the scene.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: The clip starts with a view of the back of Neo's head as he looks down a street lined with replicas of Agent Smith as the rain pours down. An altercation ensues. The clip ends with a spiraling leap into the air in a confrontation with Agent Smith.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
Transformations, glide reflections, composition of
transformations, use of graphing calculator with transformations in addition
to
graph paper work.

Worksheet Grade Levels 7  11.
(Basic Math to
Algebra 2) 
Die Hard with
a Vengeance (1995 – 20th Century Fox)
STORY: Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) battle against a villain playing a
game of “Simon Says.” During a mad chase across the city solving riddles, our heroes find themselves in a park attempting to defuse a bomb.
CLIP: The clip starts with John and Zeus in the part opening a laptop. A riddle must be answered to defuse a bomb. The clip ends after the riddle is explained and discussed by the heroes. (If you want the students to solve the riddle, stop before an answer is shown. Or come back to the answer after the students have had time to solve the riddle.)
WARNING: Be careful of the language used in this movie. Your clip may need editing.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen for the challenge and the conditions.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Logical reasoning, volume. Calculator used for
computation.

Worksheet Grade Levels 10  12
(Geometry to
PreCalculus) 
October Sky
(1999 – Universal Studios)
STORY: The true story of Homer Hickam, a coal miner's son, who was
inspired by the first
Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's
wishes. Homer struggles to earn a college scholarship so that he will not end up in the coal mines. Homer uses mathematics to prove that his
rocket did not set a fire. Homer Hickam became
a NASA engineer.
CLIP: The clip starts with Homer, his teacher, and the principal in a classroom. Homer is trying to explain that one of his rockets did not start a nearby fire. His mathematical explanation follows. The clip ends when the principal discovers that the fire was started by an aeronautical flare.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen for Homer's explanation of the flight of the rocket.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Parabolas, quadratics equations, projectile motion.
Graphing calculator used to display graphical
representations of situations and for investigation.

Worksheet Grade Levels 11  12
(Algebra 2 to PreCaclulus). 
Proof (2005 Miramax Studios)
STORY: The daughter of a brilliant, but mentally disturbed,
mathematician fears that she has inherited his insanity.
While the movie is a rather somber episode, it has a
humorous reference to a musical score of the imaginary i.
CLIP 1: The first clip starts with Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal) explaining to Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) that a group of mathematicians will be performing at a local celebration. He describes one of their musical pieces as "i", the imaginary number. The first clip ends with Hal explaining that the band is not very good.
CLIP 2: The second clip starts with an audience listening to the band. The band then plays their musical piece "i". The clip ends after the audience's reaction to this piece.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen for references to a band of mathematicians and their creative musical works.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
This is a cutup grid puzzle working with the imaginary i. Pieces are matched so equivalent expressions are touching. Graphing calculator used
for computation.

Worksheet Grade Levels 6  9
(Basic Math to Algebra 1) 
Castaway
(2000 – 20th Century Fox)
STORY: Chuck Nolan, a FedEx engineer, struggles to survive on an
isolated tropical island after a plane crash in the Pacific. In assessing the seriousness of the situation, he computes the size of the prospective search area. He laments to his inanimate companion, Wilson (a volleyball), that based upon his mathematical calculations they may never be found.
CLIP: The clip starts with Chuck (Tom Hanks) talking to volleyball, Wilson, about the size of their search and rescue area. Chuck draws a diagram on the cave wall. The clip ends with Chuck telling Wilson that they may never be found.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Watch and listen for Chuck's computations.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Area and circumference of a circle, airplane distances.
Calculator used for computation.

Worksheet Grade 12 (Calculus) 
Stand and
Deliver (1988 Warner Home Video)
STORY: Teacher Jaime Escalante encourages his Hispanic students to
take the Advanced Place Calculus test. He believes that mathematics will be his students only way to escape the Barrio. The movie
portrays the students' struggles to succeed and their courage and determination when asked to retake the
exam. The College Board feels that the students cheated since many answered one question in the same manner. A true inspirational story.
CLIP: The clip starts with the students sitting for a retake of the AB section of the Advanced Placement Calculus Examination. Questions and student responses are shown. The clip ends after several actual questions are shown.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Watch for actual AP Calculus problems and solutions.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
Getting ready for the AP Calculus Exam, word problem on
applied
derivatives. Graphing calculator used for computation
and analysis.
Note: The actual 1982 AP Calculus question that
caused the controversy regarding Escalante's students cannot
be posted on the Internet. The question used on the worksheet is similar in nature to the actual question.

Worksheet Grade Levels 10  11
(Geometry to Algebra 2) 
The Wizard of
Oz (1939 – Warner Home Video)
STORY: Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) is swept away to the magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. Accompanying her on this journey are a scarecrow (looking for a brain), a tin man (looking for a heart), and a lion (looking for courage).
CLIP: The clip starts with the Wizard bestowing a degree of "thinkology" upon the scarecrow. The clips ends with the scarecrow reciting a theorem regarding the sides of an isosceles triangle.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen for the mathematical statement made by the scarecrow.
MathBits’ Worksheet:
Dealing with triangles, triangle inequalities,
Pythagorean
Theorem, indirect algebraic proof. Graphing calculator
used for computation.
Note: See Mathematics Teacher, February,
1987, pgs. 100101 for an interesting article entitled "Two Views of Oz"
by John Pancari and John Pace regarding the scarecrow's
theorem.

Worksheet Grade Levels 6  12
(Basic Math to PreCalculus) 
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
(2002 – Warner Home Video)
STORY: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger become trapped in
a room with two exits blocked by flames. To
survive, they must solve a logic puzzle. While
this scene does not appear in the movie, it does
appear in the book. The movie can be used as
an introduction to where the scene from the book
would occur.
CLIP: The clip starts with Harry, Ron and Hermione playing the lifesize chess game. Ron is injured and Harry wins the game. Hernione goes to help Ron while Harry proceeds onward. The clip ends with Harry walking down a set of stairs.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Enjoy the scene.
MathBits’ Worksheet: Logical reasoning.

Book, 1998,
page 285 