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December 28, 2018

3 kid-friendly science/movie combos to get you through winter break

More than a week of school-free winter vacation is the best...until it's not. If you've got bored brains on your hands, spice up your break with some science and cinema!

Is it Science on Screen, kid-style, or your house during winter vacation?

Is winter vacation starting to feel a little too long, for you and/or the kids? If the family's getting antsy, add some science edu-tainment with these kid-friendly Science on Screen programs.

1. WHALE RIDER

The history of ocean science

Did you know that the Hawaiian mountain Mauna Kea, when measured from the ocean floor, is almost a mile taller than Mt. Everest? Or that while 12 people have walked on the moon, only two have ever visited the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench—the deepest place on Earth—and returned? In this Science on Screen presentation, Montana State University Professor of History Michael Reidy and Ocean Media Institute Executive Director Gianna Savoie share these and other fascinating facts about the ocean and its cultural history. Pair it with the moving Academy Award−nominated film Whale Rider—as Bozeman Film Society did in 2017—to get kids thinking about humanity's long and deep connection with and responsibility to the sea.

Whale Rider recommended age: 11+
Commonsense Media review

(Note that Commonsense Media's age recommendations apply to the listed feature films, not our speaker videos. We always recommend that you watch videos and films before showing them to kids to make sure that they are a good fit for your child!)

2. WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

The science of chocolate

In this video from Images Cinema, watch Earlham College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Patrick Barber lead a group of kids through a hands-on exploration of where chocolate begins, how it is made, and how to make the best-tasting, best-looking, and best-sounding(!) chocolate bar possible!

Willy Wonka recommended age: 8+
Commonsense Media review

3. SPACE JAM

The physics of basketball

Did Michael Jordan really achieve Wile E. Coyote−levels of hang-time on the basketball court? In this video from the Michigan Theater, University of Michigan Physics Professor Tim Chupp explains how center of mass travels during a slam dunk, how spins makes the backboard work for 3-point shooters, and other aspects of the physics of basketball. The equations get a little complicated in this one, but the demos are fascinating—particularly a surprising video of how a slinky falls!

Space Jam recommended age: 7+
Commonsense Media review