Best Educational Programs on Netflix

Calling all middle school and high school science teachers! It is no secret that students love to watch movies, and Netflix offers a massive library in terms of entertainment and even educational value. Netflix even has a wealth of films that can supplement classroom science lessons. Here are the top 20 films that can add some pizzazz to science instruction.

March of the Penguins

A visual treat for all ages, the rated G documentary follows emperor penguins as they migrate to their breeding grounds in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. Morgan Freeman narrates. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Lorenzo’s Oil

Nominated for two Oscars, this film is based on a true story of a father looking for a cure for his son’s rare, degenerative disease. It is a good film to teach about the scientific method, developing hypotheses and biology. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Microcosmos

This French documentary allows students to get up close and personal with the insect world. It is available for streaming and DVD.

MicroPlanet

This documentary also gives students a close-up view of some of the earth’s smallest ecosystems. It is available for streaming and DVD.

Planet Earth

This 11-episode documentary was filmed in high definition and can perfectly supplement lessons on ecology, life sciences and geology. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

The Blue Planet

An eight-episode series, David Attenborough and Pierce Brosnan narrate a detailed exploration of the earth’s oceans. It is available for streaming and DVD.

Contagion

This is a fictional film but really illustrates just how an epidemic can spread and quickly spin out of control, as well as the challenges involved in developing a vaccine in time. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Hungry for Change

This is an educational health documentary that reveals the food industry’s marketing schemes to get consumers addicted to food and explains how to properly maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This is available for streaming and DVD.

Gorillas in the Midst

Sigourney Weaver portrays the scientist Dian Fossey, who worked tirelessly to study and save the endangered mountain gorillas in Africa. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Never Cry Wolf

Nominated for an Oscar, this film tells the story of Farley Mowat, a biologist who was sent to the Canadian tundra to study wolf habitats and the decline in caribou. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Winged Migration

This documentary looks at the migratory patterns of birds on all seven continents over the course of three years. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Wild Ocean

This documentary examines a different kind of migration: sardines, which cause feeding frenzies off of South Africa’s coastline. It is available for streaming and DVD.

Madame Curie

Nominated for seven Oscars, this 1940s biopic dramatizes the life of the famed scientist and her discovery of radium. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.

Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking takes you through the history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the end of the world. It is available for streaming and DVD.

TEDTalks: Rad Inventions

This 16-episode series introduces you to great inventors, computer geniuses and rocket scientists. Netflix offers the series for streaming.

TEDTalks: Ancient Clues

This 16-episode series introduces you to great inventors, computer geniuses and rocket scientists. Netflix offers the series for streaming.

TEDTalks: Head Games

This 19-episode series explores the psychology of human behavior. Netflix offers the series for streaming.

TEDTalks: Brave Neuro World

This 12-episode series explores how the brain grows, functions and controls the rest of the body. Netflix offers the series for streaming.

October Sky

This feel-good film tells the true story of Homer Hickam, a son of a coalminer who decided to study and build model rockets against his family’s wishes. He later became an aeronautical engineer and astronaut trainer. The film is available for streaming and DVD.

Super Size Me

To encourage a healthier lifestyle, this documentary shows the shocking results of one man’s experiment to eat nothing but McDonald’s every day for a month. Netflix offers this film as a DVD only.