Falcon Cove Gifted Classes Participate in Disney Education Program

kids at disney

Field trips are typically to museums or historical sites, but the Falcon Cove Middle School gifted classes recently completed an overnight field trip to Walt Disney World. Students participated in Disney’s Youth Education Series (YES).

This was the first time all three grades (six, seven and eight) took part in the Disney YES program. Two years ago, only eighth graders participated in this unique experience. The Disney theme parks serve as learning laboratories for the Youth Education Series which offers accredited, standards-based field studies designed to reinforce classroom lessons. 

Sixth grade gifted students completed the Introduction to Global Citizenship course at EPCOT. While visiting the various World Showcase countries, students explored other cultures and developed cultural awareness and global citizenship. 

“Students worked in small groups to learn about how culture is transmitted, how we can engage with and learn about other cultures and spoke to a person from another country to learn about their culture,” explained 6th grade teacher Phyllis Zuri. “Students learned to be more aware and sensitive to cultural differences and how to positively interact with people through digital tools and social customs.”

kids at disney

Seventh grade gifted students took part in the Sustainable Practices in Wildlife Conservation course at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. During this environmental studies program, students discovered how people and animals are connected and how they respond to environmental challenges.

“This interactive program allows for students to work in small groups to explore challenges that real life communities face when trying to balance economic and population growth without causing further damage to existing ecosystems,” explained 7th grade teacher Harvey Lipshutz. “The program challenges provided students an opportunity to apply what they have learned from the classroom lessons on Ecology.”

Eighth grade gifted students also participate in a science program. The Science of Disney Imagineering: Gravity class was conducted at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Students discovered how gravity and Newton’s laws of motion are fundamental to the creation of theme park rides.

“Students identified how energy changes during the Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Roller Coaster rides,” explained 8th grade teacher Gina Powers. “They also discussed how gravity is used to make theme park rides more thrilling. Students used ramps and roller coaster replicas to demonstrate how potential and kinetic energy can be changed to make a ride faster and more exciting.”

The overnight field trip also included a day spent together at the Magic Kingdom. “This was a community-building experience for students and teachers in our program with education extensions that matched components of each grade-level curriculum,” noted Ms. Powers.