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STEM Movie Spotlight: Wall-E

By Rital Miller and Joslyn Stamp

The movie Wall-E shows the last clean-up robot on Earth in 2805. The 700-year-old robot spends his days converting trash into compact cubes fighting earth’s deadly battle with climate change. Despite being a robot, Wall-E has a personality of his own. Wall-E is intuitive yet also lonely. While picking up earth’s trash he encounters a robot named EVE. EVE is from Axiom, a Starline spacecraft humans were sent to when the earth got covered with trash. Axiom is robotically dominated to make life convenient for humans, but it has led them to be lazy and gain weight. After Wall-E gives EVE a plant he discovered, the 2 of them take an adventure up to Axiom so the humans can finally return to earth.

This movie exhibits many accurate STEM representations, including advancements in robotics and development in space programs. We can see this throughout the movie, especially when we are introduced to Axiom and the background of the Wall-E robots. Axiom is a vacation space station, which is a development that regular citizens who are not astronauts want in the future by going to space for vacation. Right now, engineer, Elon Musk, is already putting Wall-E’s expectations to the test by promising to send American citizens to space. Wall-E robots were intended to clean up the earth, and we can see that technology is being built today to detect pollutants in the air and water. Although we don't have the advanced technology, in the year 2805 in Wall-E, some of the technologies they have are something we are working towards today.

This movie also follows the loneliness of Wall-E after being isolated on earth for years after the other clean-up robots stopped working. He is the opposite of those on Axiom since he goes out every day to pick up trash and clean the earth despite the situation is helpless. He admired a love shared between 2 humans hundreds of years before him, and when he sees EVE he wants to interact with someone after being alone for so long. EVE made him driven to connect to other robots and made him driven to protect a plant ensuring people and robots could come back to earth.

A big lesson from this movie is to not let technology take over our daily lives. We have become so reliant on technology since it can be convenient, but it can make us lazier. In the movie, the citizens of Axiom don't even walk since they have chairs that can transport them wherever they want to go. This makes everyone gain weight due to lack of exercise. We can see this in the captain of Axiom, B. McCrea, especially when the movie shows the generations of captains in which each one continually gains more in weight.

The careers displayed in Wall-E are shown in every part of STEM. The moral of the movie leaves audience members like us wondering how they can help solve climate and environmental problems. A field that is geared toward the solution to this problem is the environmental sciences. Another job that helps solve environmental problems one seed at a time is botany. Finally, astronomy can inspire the audience members of the movie by see what advancements in technology could happen in the future if we looked into the universe. Even if your (future) career does not include any of these aspects, something we can all do is individually make a difference by recycling and picking up trash we see. Wall-E continued to work and try to compress trash even though he was the last robot doing it. His efforts alone would not get rid of all the trash, but he still took the initiative to do it. If we all pitch in, it can help heal our planet.

Although we wouldn’t personally watch the movie it does demonstrate difficult and important topics (now more than ever) to youth. That’s why we'd recommend anyone 3+ to watch this. We would guess it would appeal to any STEM lover between the ages of 3-10. The movie can be hard to concentrate on because of the little dialogue between characters yet the plot of the movie is well written and can leave anyone questioning their role when trying to understand and benefit the environment. This is also a great family movie since parents can help their kids understand the topics in the movie relating to our world today. This entire movie can empower the next generation to take steps toward environmental issues our planet is facing like climate change, pollution, deforestation, and dozens of others. Seeing what could happen to us pushes kids to make a better word for themselves and those around them by spreading the message and taking personal actions to help our planet.

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