This week, I was fortunate enough to meet an inspiring teacher during one of our Disney Youth Education Series programs who values the importance of education and is truly passionate about the young lives she influences.
Mona Herbert, gifted resource educator at Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies in Louisiana, returned to Walt Disney World Resort on Tuesday celebrating two decades of participating in Disney Youth Education Series (YES) programs here.
Since 1996, Herbert has been a huge YES advocate and has brought over 800 students and 500 accompanying parents to take part in the Disney Youth Education Series at Walt Disney World Resort. What initially drew her to the Youth Education Series was a need for more immersive and engaging science trips that incorporate a setting of ‘multi-stimuli’ that helps ignite a student’s passion for learning. “The students get to see what we’ve done all year in school come to life here at Disney,” Herbert said. “It helps them spark that creativity and imagination.”
During this celebratory trip this week, Herbert, along with her fourth-grade students from Metairie, LA, experienced a hands-on, educational trip as they ventured through Magic Kingdom Park and discovered the importance of motion, kinetic energy and physics in an information-rich setting. This past week, the students participated in various interactive programs such as Energy and Waves Physics Lab, Properties of Motion Physics Lab and Discovering the American Spirit. These tailored workshops allow students the opportunity to learn the necessary skill sets of innovation, collaboration, and problem-solving strategies.
Jemal Taylor, senior sales manager for Disney Youth Programs, presented Herbert with a limited edition picture of one of her favorite attractions, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, to commemorate 20 years of bringing students from Louisiana to partake in Disney’s in-park educational programs. “We are thrilled to have inspiring teachers such as Herbert participate, and in this case, celebrate, her memorable experiences with Disney Youth Programs,” said Taylor.
During one of the programs, students go behind the scenes of Space Mountain where they discover not only the physics behind a roller coaster but also how lighting and acoustics are used to entertain and amaze guests from all over the world. This particular workshop allows students to gain a conceptual understanding of the properties of motion while experiencing the ride with the lights on to learn and appreciate how motion and energy come together to create an out-of-this-world roller coaster.
Herbert plans to continue bringing students to Disney’s Youth Education Series programs because she believes that every child should have a chance to experience how a facilitated program presented in a rich, immersive environment, can be a powerful stimulus to students of all ages. “I want the gears to kick in, the neurons to grow and the creativity to never stop because our future depends on it,” said Herbert.
If you are interested in learning more about these programs for your local school community you can visit DisneyYouthPrograms.com.