This Is the Perfect U.S. Road Trip According to Science

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest ranking of country school systems based on student math and science test scores, the United States barely cracked the top third. Yet, at the same time, tourism to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando continues to increase with 2015 tickets sales topping 2014s numbers.

Priorities, people!

While Americans are flocking to see a walking, talking mouse and a wizard on a broomstick, they’re passing up on an entire country of scientific learning opportunities – most of which are a fraction of the price for an Orlando vacation. Seriously, have you seen the price of Disney tickets these days?

Luckily, Michigan State University Graduate Research Assistant Randy Olsen has put together the ultimate science road trip. While his 3-month, 14,000-mile journey across all 48 continental states isn’t feasible for most families, it is possible to break off a digestible chunk for a weeklong road trip that will be both fun and enlightening for the entire family.

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Let’s start in Disney’s own backyard

Florida has plenty of both natural and manmade scientific attractions that will wow your family more than the captive animals in the Animal Kingdom. For starters, there’s the diving wonderland of the Florida Keys. Watch their excitement in the turquoise waters as they swim alongside tropical fish. The Everglades also offer plenty to see and do, from alligator spotting to airboat rides.

Backyard-Photography / Shutterstock

Take a journey to space (sort of)

Why settle for Space Mountain when your family can watch a real rocket take off from Cape Canaveral? Or, for a true space experience, continue that road trip through the South to Huntsville, Alabama and visit the Space and Rocket Center. Remember the movie Space Camp? It’s a real thing in Huntsville.

Building rockets may just replace playing on their smartphone as your child’s favorite new hobby.

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Mini Guide to Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world and has a population of nearly 150 million, though around 77 percent live in the western part of the country. It’s best known for being the first constitutionally socialist state and its role in World War II and the ensuing Cold War. The country has also many technological accomplishments, including sending the first human to space. Nowadays, it’s the world’s 12th largest economy by GDP, the biggest producers of natural gas and oil, and also a permanent member of the UN Council.

Most Interesting Small Towns to Visit in the United States

If you’re used to living in a city or a big suburb, it can be hard to picture what life is like outside of all the hustle and bustle. In fact, U.S. cities house 62.7 percent of the population (as of 2015), but take up just 3.5 percent of the land area — and those numbers continue to grow as more people move into cities every day. If you need to get away for a bit, check out some of these incredible American towns. They may be small, but they’ve all got their own unique attributes that make them popular vacation destinations.

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To connoisseurs of fast food, visits abroad bring the opportunity to see how the rest of the world eats on the go. Although we have our own fast-food chains at home — many which have spread around the world — the most exciting chains around today are regional chains, which use local ingredients flavored to perfectly suit the local’s palate. To get a taste at what’s out there, here are some amazing international fast food chains we wish would come to the United States.