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.
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.
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.
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.