Check It Out: Tech Movies, Books, and Podcasts
Technology is an important part of almost every career, whether you’re coding behind the scenes or developing food-technology innovations to fight hunger. There are endless tech careers out there, and the best thing to do is to learn all about them. Here are some tech-themed movies, books, and podcasts to get you started. Enjoy!
Big Hero 6 (2014, PG) Although this is a fictional animated movie, it’s sure to inspire your inner techie. A worldwide hit, Big Hero 6 pulls your heartstrings while showcasing some cool robot tech. A young boy and a companion robot, Baymax, form a special bond and team up with a group of high-tech heroes. The film’s producers and visual effects supervisor did extensive research on innovations in technology. That research is apparent: Tech-outlet reviews applaud the movie for its scientific accuracy and real-tech highlights.
Underwater Dreams (2014, PG) This inspirational documentary, narrated by actor Michael Peña, tells the story of how four high schoolers, all sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants, built an underwater robot. What at first seems impossible to these boys becomes reality when they compete against robotics teams from around the United States, including one from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Imitation Game (2014, PG-13) Based on a true story and set during World War II, this movie is recommended for ages 13 and up because it touches on some heavy topics. The Imitation Game chronicles how mathematician Alan Turning and a team of fellow code-breakers raced to crack a Nazi secret code. It’s a powerful and inspiring movie that showcases the mathematical-computational thinking side of tech.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Reader’s Edition), by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer In this inspiring true story, author William Kamkwamba helps change his family’s life forever using science. When a drought strikes his small village, Kamkwabma researches ways to help. He’s eventually able to build a windmill out of scraps from the area. Readers will be moved by this powerful story—and learn about wind-energy engineering along the way! And check out the 2019 movie adaptation. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Screen Queens, by Lori Goldstein This fun, fictional story is about a team of three girls competing for summer internships through a startup incubator program. The team faces the task of creating a winning app and the potential challenge of being the first all-female team to win the internship contest. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, by Steven Johnson Learn the incredible history of innovations that shaped the world we live in and set future technologies in motion. This is an enjoyable book that makes readers appreciate the impact of technology on our everyday lives. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
30 Animals That Made Us Smarter Brought to you by the BBC News World Service, this podcast collection dives into the many life-changing hacks we have learned, and could one day learn, from animals. You’ll be amazed to learn about the technologies and innovations that were inspired by wildlife. Just another reason to put wildlife conservation at the top of our priorities list! Listen to favorite episodes “Kingfisher and Bullet Train” and “Electric Eel and Medical Transplants.”
How I Built This This podcast tells the stories of American innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs, and the legacies they built. From food brands to tech startups to beauty product companies, there’s sure to be an episode that covers every techie interest. Give a listen to “Spin Master/PAW Patrol” and “Tofurkey.”
Stroke of Genius This podcast collection bridges the worlds of technology, culture, society, and politics. Each episode is challenging and intriguing in its own way, and each is definitely worth a listen. You might especially enjoy the episodes “Secure in Our Thoughts” and “Emerging Entrepreneurs.”