Watching movies with the family is a good way to spend the cold, winter holidays. For engineering professionals, there are plenty of movies that are relatable, entertaining and can be a source of inspiration.
Here are some of our top choices:
1. Iron Man (2008)
One of the most iconic Marvel movies of all time, Iron Man features billionaire genius Tony Stark whose intelligence and wit was brought to life by Robert Downey Jr. The movie’s plot, effects and funny one-liners is attractive to all audiences, however, Stark’s resourcefulness and ingenuity which led to the creation of the Iron Man suit are traits that are more relatable to engineers. According to the Marvel comics, to which this movie was based on, Tony Stark was an MIT electrical engineering student at age 15 and has several advanced degrees in engineering and physics.
Because of the box-office success reached by Iron Man, it inspired younger generation to pursue STEM careers, and it also inspired well known individuals in the tech industry to recreate the Iron Man suit’s features. Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, debuted an AI assistant also named Jarvis.
2. The Imitation Game (2014)
One of 2014’s Oscar nominees for Best Picture, The Imitation Game was a historical drama based on the real life story of Alan Turing. Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) was a British cryptanalyst, who decrypted German intelligence codes for the British government during the WWII. He designed a machine to decipher the German’s Enigma machine which was used to send coded messages. According to the New Yorker, “Turing is viewed by many as the father of modern computer science, a status secured by his creation of the Turing Machine, an abstract model of the modern computer. He also made key contributions to the British effort, during the Second World War, to crack the German Army’s seemingly unbreakable Enigma code, an achievement that integrated mathematics, engineering, and a nascent effort in computer science, and which ultimately played a crucial role in shortening the war.”
For history buffs and those who enjoy learning about individuals behind our modern technology, this would be a great movie to watch.
3. Hidden Figures (2016)
Another historical and Oscar-nominated movie, Hidden Figures is about three intelligent African-American women who worked at NASA as mathematicians and engineers during the 1960s “Space Race”. At a time when the USA was segregated by race, the main protagonists, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan (played by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe), worked behind-the-scenes during John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth on Friendship 7. In the movie’s portrayal, their mathematical calculations is what led to John Glenn’s successful launch and re-entry back to Earth.
Kimberly Bryant who found the Oakland-based nonprofit Black Girls Code, which aims to help young girls pursue computer science, coding, game design and development said of the movie’s impact, “I think we’re seeing that this kind of changes the conversations with girls, who may have not known that the science and tech fields were an option for them before, and they actually now see this as an opportunity.”
4. The Martian (2015)
Based on the science-fiction novel of the same name, The Martian is a movie that showcases engineering innovation and humor. Mechanical Engineer and Botanist Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) was left on Mars after being assumed dead by his team during a storm evacuation. He uses critical thinking skills as well as some engineering analytics to calculate ways to survive, grow food and communicate to Earth.
Don Pettit, a NASA astronaut and chemical engineer who has spent time aboard the International Space Station, said of the movie, “I liked the way it showed how engineers think. You’re always doing calculations, you’re looking — particularly if you’re in a frontier — you’re looking at the resources you have, and the rates at which you are consuming them, and then you are doing a little bit of math in public and trying to figure out what’s going to kill you first. The book showed this, the movie showed this. It’s how the quintessential engineer thinks in order to stay alive in the frontier,”
5. Meet the Robinsons (2007)
For engineers who are looking for a family-friendly movie to get the kids interested about engineering, Meet The Robinsons is a great option. This Disney movie about an orphan inventor named Lewis who created a memory scanner to see what his mother looked like. What started out as a show-and-tell scenario at a science fair, turned into a time travel experience. It’s a great movie that’s both heart-warming and futuristic at the same time. It stays true from start to finish to its protagonist’s motto: “Keep Moving Forward.”
For SoloPoint Solutions, our holiday season will still be busy with filling engineering vacancies. If you are looking to hire mechanical, electrical or manufacturing engineers in 2018, call us at (408)246-5945 or (714)708-3639.