Mathematics and Science in Popular Culture

Science & Technology
Mathematics & Science Teaching
Course Code
MSTE 5210
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course explores how mathematics and science are portrayed in popular culture, from literature, comics, audio broadcasts and movies. In combining "popular texts" with the math and science curriculum, participants in the course will discover and develop new and exciting ways to teach a wide variety of topics to elementary and middle school students. The course addresses questions related to "stereotypical portrayals of
scientists," "educational video games" and the "science of superheroes" through a multi-facetted paradigm of in-class and online discussions and activities.
Course Content
  • Students will explore elements of mathematics and science in a broad spectrum of literature and popular culture with attention to both aesthetic and theoretical innovation.
  • Students will study the representation of mathematics and science in literature and popular culture as it intersects with issues involving race, gender, politics, and aesthetics.
  • Students will engage with the categories of textual analysis such as plot, setting, character, and narrative in order to analyse the various manifestations of mathematics and science in literature and popular culture.
  • Students will explore how popular texts (literature and/or film) and other popular media can both support curricular objectives at the elementary/middle school level and enhance children’s experiences and conceptions of mathematics and science.
Methods Of Instruction

This course will be run in a seminar format.  Participants will be required to pre-read materials in order to prepare for in-class discussion of the issues.  Discussion will take place both face-to-face during scheduled class times and online via discussion groups.

Means of Assessment

Specific course evaluation procedures will be provided to participants in the first week of classes.  Such procedures will be consistent with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy and will be formative in nature, consisting of some or all of the following:

Seminar participation 0-20%
Weekly online postings/responses 0-20%
Presentations 0-20%
Assignments (e.g. journal, lesson/unit plans, projects, web research, story boards, book review) 40-70%
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of MSTE 5210, students will/will have:

  • Understand the role science and mathematics play in the design and conceptualization of literary and cinematic texts.
  • Recognize the presence of mathematics and science in the various categories of textual analysis such as plot, setting, character, and narrative.
  • Be familiar with representations of mathematics and science in the creative process, the deployment of various theoretical perspectives of textuality, and the historical conditions in which literature and popular culture emerge.
  • Developed an appreciation for the formal and aesthetic influence of mathematics and science on literature and popular culture.
  • Be able to apply the above in evaluating and/or developing activities for elementary/middle school contexts that engage students in mathematics and science across the curriculum.
Textbook Materials

A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the instructor’s course outline, available to students at the beginning of the course.  Texts will vary with authors and genres selected by the instructor, and may include shorter readings compiled in custom course packs.



Acceptance to program


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
There are no applicable transfer credits for this course.

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.