Judge Kent Dixon still doesn't get the big attraction of this release.
"If you can dream it, you can do it."—Walt Disney
Disney Imagineers use science and technology to create the many thrilling and entertaining rides and attractions in Disney parks around the world. Another entry in the Disney Educational Productions series—each taking a closer look at one specific area of science that contributes to the Disney magic—The Science of Disney Imagineering: Magnetism explains the force of attraction, better known as magnetism.
The Science of Disney Imagineering series are broken down into three essential sections: explanation, application, and inspiration. Series host and Disney Imagineer Asa Kalama begins by taking a close look at the scientific subject and the basic principles behind it. Once the concept has been explained, Kalama takes viewers into the Disney parks to see how Imagineers use the direct application of magnetism in rides and attractions like the audio speakers placed throughout Pirates of the Caribbean or the system that propels the Aerosmith Rock 'N Roller Coaster at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Finally, the bonus features include experiments viewers can perform to experience the science first hand.
Magnetism—or as Kalama refers to it "that odd pushy and pully feeling"—boils down to attraction and repulsion. We're all affected by it in our everyday lives, as we enjoy audio speakers, use motors to vacuum, or store data on computer hard drives. Viewers are treated to Kalama's engaging style, as he explains the science behind magnetism, offering interesting facts and examples while animated drawings illustrate the content. For me, science has never lost its wonder or appeal, and I continue to learn new concepts as I review more releases in the series. Did you know you can actually see the magnetic field generated by a magnet? If you didn't, the example you'll see on this release is pretty cool! And did you know that Earth's geographic north pole is actually its magnetic south pole? You do now.
Listed under "Educational Features & More," teachers will find some great resources. "Try It Yourself" leads viewers in an experiment called "Magnetic Art" that put the main feature's content into practice. "Test Your Knowledge" presents 15 multiple choice questions to quiz viewers after they've watched the main feature. The coolest feature of this section is that if you get a question wrong, the DVD automatically jumps to the section of the feature that addressed the specific question, before returning to the quiz.
A five-page PDF educator's guide covering the concept of magnetism in-depth is also included, saving valuable pre-class prep time for teachers. While students watching a DVD in a classroom setting aren't likely going to be concerned about the video or audio quality, The Science of Disney Imagineering: Magnetism is solid all around with a better-than-average video presentation and an audio mix that suits the content just fine.
Like the other titles in the series, Magnetism sells for about $50 and is not likely going to appeal to the average consumer. The series is intended for educators teaching complex scientific topics to children in grades 5 to 8 and includes some public presentation rights, so that helps to somewhat justify the cost.
Another thumbs up for Disney Educational Productions and The Science of Disney Imagineering: Magnetism, an entertaining resource that helps make learning fun.
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