Girls and STEM: A female engineer shares her path

Many people leave Disney World dreaming of becoming a princess, but when I experienced Disney for the first time as a three-year-old, I left the parks with a different dream: to become an engineer. I was enamored by the rides and became obsessed with learning how everything—from the roller coasters to the teacups—fit together and worked.

While I knew I wanted to be an engineer, I didn’t know which type of engineer I wanted to be. Fortunately, my parents handled my interest in engineering in the same way they handled other extracurricular activities: by finding every opportunity for me to learn about and experience engineering. Over the next decade, I learned about engineering by interviewing current engineers, going to summer camps, and absorbing information online.

When I was 13, I read a paragraph-long description about industrial engineering and knew what I wanted to do with my life. Today, I’m a senior industrial engineering student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and I couldn’t be happier with the decision I made in my teens.…Read More

We Are Teachers 2017 Teacher Appreciation Giveaway

It’s May! Time to give yourself a high-five for everything you’ve done to help nurture and grow young minds in your classroom this year. And we want to show you just how amazing you really are with this 2017 Teacher Appreciation giveaway of gift cards and gift baskets piled high with goodies for you and your classroom. The winners will go on a $100 Teacher Created Materials shopping spree for books, decorations, lesson plans—the works! Plus you’ll get lots of other fun stuff like an inspirational classroom poster, a Disney Earth DVD, and plenty of goodies.

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Disney to buy social-gaming site Playdom

The Walt Disney Co. is buying online social-gaming company Playdom for $563.2 million, the latest sign the company is becoming a formidable player in the digital gaming industry, reports the Associated Press. The purchase will help bring Disney’s characters, stories, and brands to customers in new ways, through Facebook and MySpace. Playdom, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., has about 42 million monthly active users, who play games such as “Social City” and “Sorority Life.” The deal comes less than a month after Disney announced it bought Tapulous, the maker of the popular iPhone music game “Tap Tap Revenge.” And Disney bought the popular online kids hangout Club Penguin for $350 million in 2007. Disney is snapping up Playdom amid a boom for online social games, which are played for free by millions of people and make money through ads and, more importantly, sales of virtual goods for small amounts of money. The leader in the space, by far, is privately held Zynga, which boasts more than 235 million monthly users who play its “Farmville,” “Mafia Wars,” and poker games in Facebook and elsewhere online…

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Disney turns its focus to curriculum

Disney's curriculum on U.S. presidents features a whiteboard application.
Disney's curriculum on U.S. presidents features an interactive whiteboard application.

Readers with young children no doubt are familiar with Disney as a multimedia launching pad for the careers of teen superstars such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, while others might associate the company with its slew of animated features over the years. Now, Disney is hoping that educators will think of it as a provider of educational technology as well.

About 60 years ago, Walt Disney created Disney Educational Productions (DEP) and brought educational films into schools for the first time. After losing focus a bit, DEP now has recommitted to bringing educational multimedia into classrooms—and its latest set of videos combines Disney’s brand of educational movies with the interactivity of electronic whiteboards.

“The American Presidents” is a series of DVDs with an interactive whiteboard feature that lets students play games that use video clips, photographs, and quotes to test students’ understanding of the subject material.…Read More