Here’s an example of interdisciplinary teaching that will be very good for students’ BRAINS! (Yes, that really was a zombie reference.) STEM Behind Hollywood brings together science, math, and film making in a program designed to get students excited about STEM education and careers. In truth, there’s a lot of science behind the entertainment industry. While all of it may not be exactly real, much effort goes into creating plots with plausible scientific underpinnings.
In STEM Behind Hollywood, scientists who consult with film and television productions create activities focused on the math and science behind Hollywood’s zombies, superheroes, space adventures and forensics. The activities give students the chance to solve problems just like real-life scientists, using the concepts behind their favorite movies and TV shows.
The first of these activities, Zombie Apocalypse, models the transmission of “zombie contagion” through the human population, using mathematics that are essential in both studying real-world epidemics and planning zombie movies. Activities require learning brain anatomy, making mathematics-based predictions, and planning anti-zombie strategies using modeling like that the World Health Organization uses to track the spread of infectious diseases. “Coming Attractions” for STEM Behind Hollywood include activities focused on forensics, superheroes and space travel. Because STEM Behind Hollywood is sponsored by Texas Instruments, you can expect TI-based activities in the mix, but you’ll also find motivating lessons that ask students to solve problems and look at math and science in new ways. Isn’t that what creativity is all about?