Mickey and Minnie Mouse WavingThe Orange County Department of Education–OCDE–has teamed up with Disneyland Resorts to launch a program bringing hands-on science lessons to elementary school youngsters in Anaheim, California. The program is led by the Traveling Scientists from the school district’s “Inside the Outdoors” program.

Disneyland donated $55,000 to launch the initiative that will allow the Traveling Scientists to visit dozens of private and public Anaheim schools. Their shared goal is to bring science to life for students through interactive classroom activities and lessons.

According to Stacy Deeble-Reynolds, the objective is to help students develop a greater appreciation of science. Deeble-Reynolds is the Community and Student Support Services Director at OCDE.

The event kicked off at Orange Grove Elementary school this past Friday, where Mickey Mouse made an appearance to approximately 100 clapping and cheering fourth-graders.

During the opening event, an experiment was performed for students by school officials to demonstrate how the volatility of carbonated water is affected by temperature. This experiment offered a simulation of the sequence of events that ultimately cause volcanic eruptions.

When she heard the news, a private tutor in Anaheim said “it’s really heartwarming that Disney gives back to this community — especially when we sometimes struggle to provide basic classroom necessities for our students!”

As many as 5,000 fourth-graders in the Anaheim school district will be visited by the Traveling Scientists before the end of the school year. During these visits, they will be introduced to various science, technology, engineering, arts and math–STEAM–programs.

Disneyland Resorts has partnered with STEAM and both are dedicated to helping Anaheim youngsters develop critical science skills for the future and learn the importance of preserving Earth’s natural resources whenever possible. STEAM will also teach children essential facts about conservation and their carbon footprint on the planet.

Lessons and experiments taught and conducted by the Traveling Scientists are designed to support California’s Next Generation Science Standards, which teaches critical thinking. Some examples of the many hands-on science projects in which the fourth-graders can participate include an interactive learning session focused on how natural and human systems intersect. A study of how volcanic eruptions and rock formations helped shape California’s topography is also on the agenda.

Christopher Downing, Elementary School District Superintendent in Anaheim, stated that giving children the opportunity to participate in Steam programs helps them to expand their imagination and enhances their understanding of the world in which they live. He stated that introducing students to science early in life ensures that they acquire a practical and invaluable foundation of knowledge about planet Earth.

Our math tutors in Orange County were thrilled to hear about this new program, and are excited to see what these new resources will bring.