"Math and the Movies" Part Two

Movie Clip Descriptions and Worksheets
Throughout our years of teaching we have used (and continue to use) movie clips in our classrooms to enhance content and engage our students.  This listing is a sample of the types of movies we find useful.  The accompanying worksheets are our mathematical interpretations and applications of information presented in these clips.  Obviously, other interpretations are also possible.  These materials were designed to enhance content across the secondary and post-secondary mathematics curricula.  Our personal "mathematical" movie library contains purchased copies, in either VHS or DVD format, of all of the movies mentioned here.       (Fred and Donna Roberts, MathBits.com)

MathBits Main Page | Movie Main Page | Math Movies PART 1 | Terms of Use

Notice:  While these resources are offered free of charge as educational materials for the  mathematics classroom, they are NOT public domain.  Please read the terms of use.
Do not publicly distribute these materials or repost them to the Internet.

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. 
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) on-line at locations such as Amazon.com.
We have purchased "used" videos with no problems.

Calculator references made in these materials pertain to the TI-83+/84+ and/or the TI-Nspire.

"Math and the Movies" Part Two
little big league box
Worksheet Grade Level 9, 11
(Algebra 1 or 2)

strip Little Big League
(1994 Warner Home Video)
When left the Minnesota Twins baseball team by his grandfather, 12-year old Billy Heywood (Luke Edward) decides to manage the team himself. When doing his homework, he seeks assistance from the baseball players in solving a math problem. Several of the players offer solutions (both correct, incorrect, and humorous).
CLIP: The clip starts when Billy describes the problem to the players. The problem states: "Joe can paint a house in three hours, and Sam can paint the same house in five hours. How long does it take for them to do it together?"
Listen to the explanations of how to solve the problem.
MathBits’ Worksheet:  The worksheet is devoted to solving algebraic "work" problems, rational equations.


star trek season 1
Worksheet Grade Levels 6 - 9
(Basic Math to Algebra 1)
strip Star Trek (The Original Series) - Episode 20,
Court Martial
(1966 – Paramount Studios)

STORY: Captain Kirk (William Shatner) attempts to clear himself of murder by proving that the victim is still alive and hiding on-board the Enterprise. The sound of all of the heartbeats on the ship are amplified and then eliminated one by one, leaving only the victim's heartbeat. The captain makes a math blooper as he describes the amplification as increasing the sound by a power of 1 to the 4th power.
CLIP: The clip starts with Kirk standing on the bridge of the Enterprise ordering that heartbeats be eliminated from a sound program. The clip ends when Kirk explains that the amplification increases the sound by a power of 1 to the 4th power.
Listen for Captain Kirk's references to the amplification of the sound. Watch the reaction of the actors seated at the consoles.
MathBits' Worksheet: Explanation of the blooper, and work with exponents.

wall-e box
Worksheet Grade
Levels 6 - 10
(Basic Math to

strip Wall-E
(2008 - Disney-Pixar)
A small robot named Wall-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class)  is left on Earth to clean up the garbage left by the departed humans.  Wall-E compacts garbage into equally sized cubes and stacks the cubes in a high-rise, skyline fashion.
The clip is in the opening of the movie as Wall-e stacks cubes to build his skyscrapers. The clip ends when the title Wall-e appears on the screen.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Watch what the robot is doing.
MathBits’ Worksheet:  
The worksheet is devoted to examining cubes, including volumes, surface areas, measurement conversions, orthographic projections, logical reasoning.
galaxy quest
Worksheet Grade Levels 6 - 12.
Page 1:
Basic Math to Algebra 1
Page 1 and 2:
Algebra 2 to PreCalculus

strip Galaxy Quest
(1999 – Paramount Studios)
STORY: Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen) and his fellow actors starred in a Star Trek- like TV show that was canceled. Thinking the exploits of the show to be real historical documents, aliens contact Jason for help in overcoming a deadly predator. The movie is a comic depiction of the actors' exploits aboard a spaceship built by the aliens to resemble the ship described on the TV show.
CLIP: The clip begins with Jason and Gwen (Sigourney Weaver) facing a hallway of deadly chompers while a young fan gives them the proper sequence for traversing this obstacle. The clip ends with Gwen stating that the person that wrote that scence should die.
Watch the pattern of the chompers.
MathBits’ Worksheet TI-83+/84+:
MathBits' Worksheet TI-Nspire:
 Examining sequences including graphing calculator work. This is a two-page worksheet. For younger students, use only the first page.
Dot and Line
Video for Grade
Levels 5 - 12.
Worksheet for Grade Level 10
strip The Dot and the Line
(1965 - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
A line falls in love with a dot who has eyes for a squiggle. The line discovers he can bend and change shape to impress the dot.
CLIP: This is an Oscar Award winning 10-minute animated film. Show the entire film. Entertaining for all level students.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Watch and enjoy.
Glass Bottom Boat Box
MathBits’ Worksheet:  The worksheet is based upon students viewing the entire 10 minute film. Questions pertain to slope, equations of lines, circumference, segment length, angles of regular polygons, and sides of a parallelepiped.
Purchase: This short animated film is packaged for sale as an "added feature" on the CD of an old Doris Day movie called "The Glass Bottom Boat" (1966).


merry andrew box
Worksheet for
Grade Levels 7-10

(Basic Math to Geometry).


strip Merry Andrew
(1958 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
Andrew Larabee (Danny Kaye), as an unconventional teacher, leads his students in a singing discussion of mathematics, with emphasis on the Pythagorean Theorem.
CLIP: The clip starts in the classroom with a discussion of gravity and moves outside with a musical rendition of the Pythagorean Theorem.
Watch for the formations of right triangles. Calculators are needed to estimate square roots.
MathBits’ Worksheet: 
The worksheet is devoted to solving Pythagorean Theorem"word" problems related to the scenes from the movie.

father of the bride box
Worksheet Grade Levels 5 - 9
(Basic Math to Algebra)

strip Father of the Bride
(1991 Buena Vista Home Entertainment/Touchstone)
STORY: George Banks (Steve Martin), frustrated by the rising costs of his daughter's wedding, has a meltdown in a supermarket regarding hot dog buns. George refuses to purchase 12 buns when hot dogs are sold in packages of 8.
CLIP: The clip starts with George going to the supermarket and ends with him being chased by the store manager.
Listen for the dilemma regarding the sale of hot dogs and hot dog buns.
MathBits’ Worksheet: 
Topics include working with costs, comparisons, measurements, percents, and reasoning.

star wars episode 4
Worksheet Grade Levels 8 - 10
(Basic Math to Geometry)


strip Star Wars (Episode IV - A New Hope)
(1977 – LucasFilms)
STORY: Han Solo (Harrison Ford) launches the Millennium Falcon into light speed as his skeptical passengers hope that his claims of the ship's capabilities are true.
CLIP: The clip starts with Han, R2D2, C3PO, Obi-Wan, Chewbacca and Luke boarding the Millennium Falcon. Luke remarks "What a piece of junk!". The clips ends when the ship eventually goes to light speed.
Enjoy the clip.
MathBits’ Worksheet Page 1,  Page 2 :  The worksheet is based upon the premise that as the ship went to light speed it was invaded by a series of hull bugs called Wygon Clitchers. Come to the aid of the Millennium Falcon with the use of basic trigonometry.
pirates of penzance
Worksheet Grade Levels 11-12
(Algebra 2 to PreCalculus)

strip Pirates of Penzance
(1980 Kultur Video)

This is Gilbert and Sullivan's operatic tale of the orphaned Frederic and his adventures with the Pirate King. The bumbling Major General (George Rose) sings the song "I am the very model of a modern Major-General" with references to several mathematical topics.
CLIP: The clip starts with the Major General singing and ends after the first verse.
Listen for a reference to the Binomial Theorem.
MathBits’ Worksheet: 
The worksheet is devoted to facts about the Binomial Theorem. Graphing calculator references (TI-84+ and TI-Nspire)
Big box
Worksheet Grade Level 9 - Algebra 1


strip Big
(1988 20th Century Fox)

A 13-yr. old Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks) makes a wish on a Zoltar machine and awakens as an adult.  At a dinner party, he helps a student with his math homework by making a reference to basketball.
CLIP: The clip starts with the dinner party and ends after Josh helps a student with a math problem.
Listen for Josh's explanation of the problem.
MathBits’ Worksheet: 
The worksheet uses basketball references to address equation setup and solving, creation of expressions, work with parabolas and proportions.


stng season 6
Worksheet Grade Levels 9 - 10
(Algebra 1 to Geometry)
strip Star Trek The Next Generation (The Complete Sixth Season) - Episode 26, Descent, Part 1 
(1993 – Paramount Studios)

STORY: Android Commander Data has a poker game on the holodeck with three famous scientists: Stephen Hawking, Issac Newton and Albert Einstein. This clip is being used to introduce the concept of holodecks. 3-D holodecks are now actually being developed by engineers as seen by the NASA Virtual Iron Bird, Kapor and Bossut's Second Life and the Coherent Project's HoloVizio.
CLIP: The clip starts with Data playing cards with Hawking, Newton and Einstein. Play continues. The clip ends when Data is hailed to return to his duties aboard the starship and the holodeck collapses the poker game illusion.
Try to determine with whom Data is playing cards. Listen for the references to Einstein's mathematical abilities. Observe the end of the scene as the holodeck collapses the illusion of the poker game.
MathBits’ Worksheet:  Exploring holodeck situations in coordinate geometry.

Lost Ark
Worksheet Grade Levels 7 - 10
(Basic Math to Geometry)
strip Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(1981 Paramount Studios)

This adventure begins with professor and archaeologist Indiana Jones searching in the jungles of South America for a golden statue which is hidden in an abandoned temple. In its resting place, the statue’s weight precisely counterbalances the temple’s ancient self-destruct mechanism.  Indy unsuccessfully attempts to off-set the statue's weight with a bag of sand.
CLIP: The clip starts with Indiana trying to switch the statue with the bag of sand and ends with him fleeing the crumbling temple.
Watch as Indiana replaces the statue with the bag of sand and his efforts to guess the approximate weight of the statue.
MathBits' Worksheet: How many bags of sand should he have used? What if the eyeballs on the statue were human? Was Indiana "worth his weight in gold"? Volume, conversions, reasoning.


Worksheet Grade Level 12 (Calculus)


strip Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote - "Hot Rod and Reel"
(1949 Warner Home Video)
STORY: This cartoon is a continuation of the escapades of Wile E. Coyote as he pursues the elusive Road Runner. The poor coyote is still falling, crashing, exploding and failing in his attempts to catch the quick-footed bird.
CLIP: The clip starts at the beginning of the cartoon and continues through the coyote's roller skating adventure.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Note the highs and lows in the path followed by the coyote during the roller skating scenes.
MathBits' Worksheet: Working with First Derivative Test, inflection points, absolute max/min, equations of tangents to curves, and determining locations.


Worksheet Grade Level 11
(Algebra 2)


strip Maverick
(1994 Warner Home Video)

Brett Maverick (Mel Gibson) is a professional gambler. As he prepares for a Poker Tournament, he tries to develop his ability to predict which card will be drawn from a deck of cards.
CLIP: The clip starts with the final phase of the Poker Tournament and end with Brett's winning hand, a Royal Flush.
Watch for the hands being held by the poker players in the Tournament.
MathBits' Worksheet:  Working with probability (and, or, combinations, conditional probability, and poker hand probabilities).
simpsons season 1 box
Worksheet Grade Levels 8 - 9
(Basic Math to Algebra 1)


strip The Simpsons (The Complete First Season)
Bart, the Genius
(1989 20th Century Fox)

STORY: Bart Simpson is taking a math test and visualizing the math problems. He sees the trains departing from Phoenix and Santa Fe, the passengers coming and going from the train, numbers being shoveled into the engine instead of coal, and himself as a stowaway on the train.
CLIP: The clip starts when Bart starts his test and finishes when he if overwhelmed by the problems.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen to the problems Bart is trying to solve..
MathBits' Worksheet  Deals with distance problems, algebraic expressions, reasoning,
fractions and number patterns.
Worksheet Grade Level 10 - (Geometry)
strip Shrek the Third
(2007 DreamWorks)

STORY: Prince Charming is questioning Pinocchio as to Shrek's location. Pinocchio knows Shrek's location, but does not wish to divulge the information. Remember, if Pinocchio lies, his nose will grow.
CLIP: The clip starts with Prince Charming interrogating Pinocchio about Shrek's location.
DIRECTIONS for STUDENTS: Listen carefully to Pinocchio's answers.
MathBits' Worksheet:  Determining the truth value of sentences. (logic: conjunction, disjunction, implication, biconditional, negation)


Worksheet ANSWERS:  Teachers have requested that the answers not be posted for student access.
If a teacher e-mails from a school e-mail address, answers to requested worksheets will be supplied.
Registered parents may also receive answers.


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