A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids will learn a lot about atoms, molecules, and the building blocks of life.
Science is fun. The secret of life is to enjoy it. Some subtle messages about pollution and protecting the environment.
Positive Role Models
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Nanotechnology Center has created the Molecularium Project to help teach science to kids in an entertaining environment with IMAX videos and resources for educators.
"What the helium!"
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Reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Molecules to the MAX! is an animated movie that was originally released on IMAX 3-D by the Molecularium Project, an initiative by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Nanotechnology Center to teach kids about science in an entertaining way. Along with the movie, the Molecularium Project also has resources to go with the film for educators. The short DVD teaches kids about atoms and molecules through different molecular characters and is full of science facts. It's squeaky-clean content (there's only one use of slightly iffy language when one character shouts, "What the helium!") makes it appropriate for young kids and up, though very young kids may find much of the subject matter and the science jokes over their heads. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not the most entertaining movie out there -- if you weren't trying to learn more about science, it probably wouldn't be most kids' first choice. But it does an admirable job of making learning about atoms somewhat fun and even sometimes funny. The characters are cute (especially Carbón the carbon atom), and there are some clever jokes that will be amusing to the adults watching and to kids with a little more science or pop-culture background. In the classroom or as a way to help a struggling student learn more about molecules, Molecules to the MAX! would be a great tool.
But the plot and characters are a bit juvenile for the level of the subject matter. Older kids may be a bit bored with the plot, but younger kids may struggle to follow some of the complex facts thrown around about the structure of atoms, molecules, and DNA. But no doubt it will make it easier for kids of all ages to retain at least some interesting science facts.
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