Mathematics is a subject that is often feared by many students, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One way to make math more engaging and fun for middle school students is by incorporating movies that have math topics. These math movies for middle school can help students understand mathematical concepts creatively and entertainingly.
In this article, we will be discussing the top 32 math movies for middle school students. The best movies have been carefully selected based on their ability to engage and educate students on various mathematical concepts.
From classics like “Stand and Deliver” to newer films like “Hidden Figures,” this list has something for every student. Whether you’re a math teacher looking for new ways to engage your students or a parent looking for educational movies to watch with your child, this list is sure to have something for you.
Table of Contents
Why Math Movies for Middle School?
Mathematics is an essential subject that every student must learn. However, many students find it difficult to understand and get bored quickly. One way to make math more engaging and interesting for middle school students is to use math movies.
Math movies for middle school can help students understand complex mathematical concepts in a fun and engaging way. These movies can also inspire students to pursue careers in math-related fields.
Watching math movies can also help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By seeing how math is applied in real-world situations, students can better understand the importance of math in their daily lives.
Math movies for middle school can help students improve their math grades. By making math more enjoyable, students are more likely to be engaged and motivated to learn.
Math movies for middle school are an excellent tool for teachers to use in the classroom. They can help students understand complex mathematical concepts, inspire them to pursue math-related careers, develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and improve their math grades.
Top 32 Favorite Math Movies for Middle School
Mathematics can be a challenging subject for middle school students. However, movies can make math more engaging and interesting. Here are the top 35 math movies for middle school students that combine education and entertainment.
1. Stand and Deliver (1998-PG) -Stand and Deliver is a 1988 movie based on the true story of Jaime Escalante, a math teacher who inspires his underprivileged students to excel in calculus. The movie shows how Escalante uses unconventional teaching methods to motivate his students to pass the Advanced Placement exam in calculus.
2. A Beautiful Mind (2001-PG-13) – In “A Beautiful Mind,” Russell Crowe portrays the life of the American mathematician John Nash, a brilliant math genius who made significant contributions to game theory and differential geometry. The movie portrays Nash’s struggle with schizophrenia and his eventual recovery.
3. Good Will Hunting (1997-R- This is a famous math movie but may not be age-appropriate) – In the film, Robin Williams plays the role of Dr. Sean Maguire, a psychology professor who works with a young janitor, Will Hunting, by Matt Damon. Hunting possesses extraordinary mathematical skills. The movie shows how Hunting’s life changes when he meets a professor who recognizes his talent and helps him reach his potential.
4. The Imitation Game (2014- PG13) – Benedict Cumberbatch plays the mathematician Alan Turing in this biographical drama, which focuses on Turing’s role in breaking the German Enigma code during World War II.
5.. The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015-PG13) – “The Man Who Knew Infinity” is a biographical drama that tells the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematician from India who makes groundbreaking contributions to number theory. The movie shows how Ramanujan overcomes poverty, racism, and illness to pursue his passion for mathematics, and how he eventually gains recognition from the academic community. This movie is a great choice for middle school students who want to learn about the history of mathematics and the contributions of mathematicians from around the world.
6. Moneyball (2011-PG13) – Moneyball is a movie based on the true story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, who uses statistical analysis to build a winning team on a budget. The movie shows how Beane’s unconventional approach revolutionizes the game of baseball.
7. 21 (2008-PG-13) – 21 is a movie based on the true story of a group of MIT students who use their math skills to win at blackjack in Las Vegas. The movie shows how the students develop a system for counting cards and evade the casino’s security measures.
8. The Theory of Everything (2014-PG13) – The Theory of Everything is a biographical drama about the life of Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist who made significant contributions to the study of black holes and the origins of the universe. The movie portrays Hawking’s struggles with motor neuron disease and his scientific achievements.
List of the Best Math Movies
9. Enigma (2001-PG) – Enigma is a movie about the British codebreakers who worked to crack the German Enigma code during World War II. The movie shows how the codebreakers use their mathematical skills to decipher the code and gain an advantage in the war.
10. The Bank (2001-PG13) – The Bank is a thriller about a mathematician named Jim Doyle, who develops a predictive model for the stock market that attracts the attention of a ruthless banker. The movie shows how Doyle’s model becomes the subject of a power struggle between the banker and Doyle.
11. Fermat’s Room (2007-NR) – Fermat’s Room is a thriller about a group of mathematicians who are invited to a mysterious room to solve a mathematical puzzle. The movie shows how the mathematicians use their knowledge of math to solve the puzzle and escape the room.
12. The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997-PG) – The Man Who Knew Too Little is a comedy about a man named Wallace Ritchie, who is mistaken for a spy and unwittingly becomes involved in a plot to steal a mathematical formula. The movie shows how Ritchie’s ignorance and bumbling nature help him foil the plot.
13. Gifted (2017-PG13) – Gifted is a drama about a young girl named Mary, who is a mathematical prodigy. The movie shows how Mary’s uncle fights for her right to a normal childhood, while also recognizing her extraordinary talent.
14. Infinity (1996-PG) – Infinity is a biographical drama about the life of Richard Fey.
15. Hidden Figures (2016-PG) -“Hidden Figures” is a biographical drama that tells the story of three African-American women who worked as mathematicians at NASA during the Space Race. The movie shows how these women overcame discrimination and sexism to make important contributions to the space program, and how their work helped to change attitudes about race and gender. This movie is a great choice for middle school students who want to learn about the role of mathematics in science and technology, as well as the history of civil rights in the United States.
16. October Sky (1999-PG) – A young man from a coal mining town pursues his dream of rocketry with the help of math and science.
17. Flatland: The Movie (2007-G) – An animated adaptation of Edwin A. Abbott’s classic novel about geometric shapes.
18. Donald in Mathmagic Land (1959) – A Disney classic that features Donald Duck and explores the role of mathematics in everyday life.
Best Math Movies for Middle School
19. Cyberchase: The Quest (2002-TV-Y) – A made-for-TV movie featuring the characters from the educational animated series.
20. The Wizard of Oz (1939-PG13) – Not a math movie per se, but it can be used to discuss geometry and symmetry.
21. A Brilliant Young Mind (also known as X+Y) (2014-PG13) – A young math prodigy competes in the International Mathematics Olympiad.
22. Flatland 2: Sphereland (2012) – A sequel to Flatland, exploring higher dimensions.
23. The Story of 1 (2005) – A documentary about the history and significance of the number 1.
24. The Great Math Mystery (2015-TVPG) – A documentary that delves into the mysteries of mathematics.
25. The Joy of Stats (2010) – A documentary series exploring the beauty and relevance of statistics.
26. The Story of Maths (2008-TVG) – A four-part documentary series tracing the history of mathematics.
27. Donald’s Better Self (1938) – A Disney short film that introduces mathematical concepts.
28. Back to the Future (1985 – PG) – Back to the Future is a film that follows the adventures of Marty McFly, who travels back in time with the help of a DeLorean time machine invented by Doc Brown, an eccentric scientist. The storyline focuses more on the consequences of time travel and the importance of making the right choices.
29. Interstellar (2014-PG13) – Directed by Christopher Nolan, this film explores space travel, relativity, and the impact of gravity on time.
30. “October Sky” (1999-PG) -“October Sky” stars Jake Gyllenhaal and tells the true story of Homer Hickam. and tells the story of how he and his friends became inspired to build rockets after witnessing the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik. Despite facing challenges from their community and families, the group of boys perseveres in pursuing their passion for rocketry. The title “October Sky” is an anagram of “Rocket Boys,” the original title of Hickam’s memoir.
31. Oueen of Katwe (2016-PG) – “Queen of Katwa” is a heartwarming and inspirational film that not only showcases the triumphs of a young chess player but also explores the challenges and resilience of individuals striving for a better life in difficult circumstances.
32. Jurassic Park (1993-PG13) – While “Jurassic Park” is primarily a science fiction adventure film centered around genetically engineered dinosaurs and the consequences of playing with nature, it does involve some mathematical concepts.
Benefits of Math Movies in Education
Math movies can be a valuable tool in education, especially for middle school students. Here are some benefits of incorporating math movies into the classroom:
1. Engaging and Fun
Math movies can make learning math more engaging and fun for students. By entertainingly presenting mathematical concepts, students are more likely to be interested in the subject matter and retain what they have learned.
2. Real-world Applications
Many math movies incorporate real-world applications of mathematical concepts. This can help students understand the practical uses of math in everyday life and make the subject more relevant to them.
3. Visual Learning – Visual learning can be an effective way for students to understand complex mathematical concepts. Math movies can provide students with a visual representation of mathematical concepts, making it easier for them to grasp and retain the information.
4. Diversity and Representation – Math movies can also provide diversity and representation in the classroom. By featuring characters from different backgrounds and cultures, students can see themselves reflected in the material and feel more included in the learning process.
5. Supplemental Learning – Math movies can be a great supplement to traditional classroom learning. They can provide additional examples and explanations of mathematical concepts that students may not have fully understood in class.
Math movies can be a valuable tool in education, providing an engaging and entertaining way for students to learn and understand mathematical concepts.
How to Use Math Movies in Classroom
Math movies can be a great way to engage middle school students in learning mathematics. Here are some tips on how to use math movies in the classroom:
1. Choose the Right Movie
When selecting a math movie to show in class, it is important to choose a movie that is appropriate for the age and maturity level of the students. Some movies may be too advanced or contain content that is not suitable for middle school students. It is also important to choose a movie that has a clear mathematical theme or concept that is relevant to the curriculum.
2. Introduce the Movie
Before showing the movie, it is helpful to introduce the movie and its mathematical theme or concept to the students. This can be done by providing a summary of the movie and discussing how it relates to the curriculum. It is also helpful to provide some background information on the mathematical concept or theme that the movie explores.
3. Watch the Movie
While watching the movie, it is important to encourage students to actively engage with the material. This can be done by asking students to take notes on the mathematical concepts or themes that are presented in the movie. It is also helpful to pause the movie at key points and discuss the concepts or themes with the class.
4. Follow-Up Activities
After watching the movie, it is important to follow up with activities that reinforce the mathematical concepts or themes that were presented in the movie. This can be done by assigning homework that relates to the movie, or by having students work on projects or activities that explore the concepts or themes in more depth.
By choosing the right movie, introducing the movie, actively watching the movie, and following up with activities, teachers can help students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of mathematics.
There are many great math movies available for middle school students. The top 32 math movies for middle school students have been compiled based on their educational value, entertainment factor, and relevance to middle school students. These movies can help students understand the importance of math in real-life situations and inspire them to pursue careers in math-related fields.
Some of the movies on the list are based on true stories, while others are fictional. However, all of them provide valuable insights into the world of mathematics. From “A Beautiful Mind” to “Donald in Mathmagic Land,” these movies cover a wide range of topics and themes related to math.
In addition to being entertaining, these movies can also be used as educational tools in the classroom. Teachers can use them to introduce new concepts, spark discussions, and engage students in math-related activities.
The top 32 math movies for middle school students are a great way to help students develop a love for math and inspire them to pursue careers in math-related fields.