Walt Disney Magnet School’s science lab offers a range of scientific tools, such as a 3-D printer, high powered microscopes, and tables re-purposed as dry erase boards for collaborative brainstorming. But what makes this a true laboratory is not just the hardware, but also the “software” of its project-based learning approach - projects that are designed to have lots of “wow” factor – so that students are motivated to re-teach what they have learned to their friends and families as they test scientific theories and apply new knowledge in the real world. For instance – when studying environmental health, students were challenged to design a “Green Halloween” by creating costumes that were entirely recyclable. When studying advanced chemistry, students took a field trip to a Michelin restaurant to investigate culinary applications ofscientific methods.
When studying wind resistance, students experienced life inside a wind tunnel. These sorts of literally hair-raising encounters reveal science to be a vivid, living discipline that challenges learners to be deeply inquisitive about the natural world, and to actively re-examine our assumptions about ourselves and the world. The coming together in the science lab of teamwork, problem-solving and interpersonal skills ignites a chemical reaction of its own that produces transformative learning.
Grades Pre-K to 4 receive Disney’s special Art-Science instruction, in which hands-on art activities reinforce abstract science concepts.