Local middle school students attend program at Disney studios

The recent Ultimate Science Trip 2012 was an opportunity for 88 middle school students, along with 18 parent chaperones and six teachers from Red Deer to fly to Florida and fill their days with fun while filling their heads with knowledge.

According to Scott Cline, a teacher who organizes this annual trip, this is the only trip where all seven schools with Grade 8 students can interact and network together.

This trip is often referred to as a “once in a lifetime experience.”

The Ultimate Science Trip is a 10-day journey. The students chosen to go can come from West Park Middle School, Eastview Middle School, Central Middle School, Gateway Christian School, Normandeau School, Glendale School or G.H. Dawe School.

This Ultimate Science Trip encompasses many areas of science, and leaves students with a rewarding opportunity they could not fully experience in Canada.

Students encounter new locations and new environments including the everglades using airboats. They see animals, space technology, physics in interesting locations, plants and their growing conditions, movie making and the technical end of animation unlike anything they could experience here at home.

“We are hopeful that the students will come out of this trip with an appreciation for seeing science in a different light as well as in ways they will never experience at home,” said Cline.

Disney’s Youth Education Series Program (Y.E.S.) offers programs throughout the resort. Most of the programs take place in and behind the scenes of the world-famous theme parks.

The Y.E.S. programs are designed to help students get a better understanding of various subjects through experiences and attractions offered at Disney Theme Parks. Disney Y.E.S. field studies allow students to see how principles they are learning in the classroom are making exciting things happen every day in this fun environment.

The areas of study include more than just science. That is why the name is being changed to the Ultimate Education Vacation. The areas include career discovery, life management, physical and natural science, history, properties of motion and art and humanities.

Sites that were visited include Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Epcot Center, Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Parks, Discovery Cove, Boggy Creek Airboats, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld, Medieval Times Dinner Theatre and the Kennedy Space Center.

“Fourteen sites in nine days, a lot to see, do and learn,” said Cline.

It is a real privilege to be selected to go on this education vacation, he said.

Students applying to go on the trip must fill out a three-page short answer form to say why they want to go on the trip. Then they must get three references from three of their teachers. Each teacher answers 10 questions about character building for the applicant.

After all of the applications are gone through and scores from the teachers have been tallied, the final decisions are made.

Next year’s list of students that have been chosen to go to Florida has been completed. Out of 110 qualified applicants, 44 have made the cut. The trip next year will offer these students opportunities that they may never experience in the regular science classroom here in Red Deer.

This will be the 15th year that the Ultimate Science Trip has been offered.