Using movie clips to teach chemistry formally and informally

Mark A. Griep, Marjorie L. Mikasen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The goal of the Movie Wow! project is to develop chemistry educational materials targeted to underserved youth, including non-monolithic groups such as African Americans, Hispanics, and females. First, we identified over 50 movie clips that could be used to teach chemistry, some of which might prove especially engaging for our target groups because they feature certain performers. In our current phase, we seek to discover the movie clips associated with highest impact based on the responses from high school and middle school teachers, senior citizens, college students, science summer camp students, and middle school students. After only one year showing the same 10 clips to various groups, we discovered a strong correlation between movie "Wow!" (clips with famous actors, great dialog, incredible sets, etc.) and how much students report learning from the chemistry explanations that follow each clip. The correlation did not depend on the student's connection to a target group although special needs students gave higher Wow! scores compared to others. Instead, movie clips with the greatest impact make the strongest connections between movie chemistry, daily life, and classroom chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHollywood Chem
Subtitle of host publicationWhen Science Met Entertainment
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780841228245
StatePublished - Sep 3 2013

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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