More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Engineering the Magic at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Kathleen Prihoda

by , Manager, Communications & Public Affairs

I appreciate a good challenge, so when I heard that a team of Disney engineers has spent five years designing cool experiments to convince kids that learning math and science are fun – I was curious as to what kind of magic they had in store and thought you’d like to get a sneak peek.

Lee Wilson, a Disney mechanical engineer, is part of a team that revels in revealing the inner workings of some of the show elements of rides and attractions at Disney Parks. Through a presentation called “Engineering the Magic,” Wilson and his colleagues aim to teach kids about real-life applications for science, math and technology. The group volunteers their time year-around at Central Florida schools and camps with the hopes of inspiring students to become the innovators of tomorrow.

When I caught up with Wilson recently at the Walt Disney World Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, he was demonstrating the principles of action and reaction by gliding on a hovercraft. Approximately 120 kids were in the audience; all were in awe and gave him their rapt attention. I was wowed too.

In another lesson, Disney engineers let the kids get hands on with a working replica of a roller coaster.
Engineering the Magic at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida
The energy in the room was electric and the kids had a million questions. All of the excitement about science and math was impressive and certainly made an impression. Boys & Girls Clubs service director Jose Bastias tells me the Walt Disney World engineers encouraged the children to “open their eyes to see different things” and believes the introduction to engineering may inspire the kids to consider careers in math, science or technology one day.


  • So excited to revisit Disney, wish they would bring back the original “Figment, the original, Tiki Birds , and the original Dinosaur ride, where Ellen Degeneris is now, Loved Ellen in Finding Nemo, change is not always better, cant Disney tell by the lines people are willing to wait on? Have been huge Disney fan my entire life Kathy

  • There was always a line to see “The Tiki Birds,” the original one, since they changed it, no line, Bring back the original one it was so much better

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