Students to explore ‘Magical Math and Science’

Several hundred area high school juniors and seniors will explore “The Magical Math and Science World of Disney” at the 13th annual Math/Science Challenge today on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

Seven activities or challenges have been designed to give high school students a greater appreciation for the applicability and power of mathematics, science and engineering. Students will work in teams to creatively apply numerous aspects of mathematics and science to solve problems.

The first event, “Happiest Place(s) on Earth = SMADNESS,” strengthens students’ understanding of mathematical operations while sharpening their problem solving skills and fostering teamwork.

In “Spaceship Earth GeoDome Domination,” teams of 4-6 students will construct and test their own Spaceship Earth GeoDome made from assorted mystery items provided in Imagineering Packs.

“Space Mountain Coast-er Creation” presents an engineering challenge based on the signature Disney attraction “Tomor-rowland’s Space Moun-tain.” This event incorporates physics, engineering and creativity, while relying upon real-world math and science.

Students will be required to navigate a robot around a signature road course in “Wall-E Goes Racin’,” based on Pixar movie favorites “Cars” and “Wall-E.”

“It’s a Small World but Don’t Sue Us” explores the science of sound and gets its name from the $8,000 settlement awarded to a man trapped inside the Small World ride who endured repeated exposure to the classic melody “It’s a Small World After All.”

For “Mickey’s Magic Hat,” students will display their own magic hat that they created, prior to the math/science challenge, by using their own “imagineering” skills.

The finale event, “Our Very Best Magical World Math/Science Skills Competition,” assembles all participants in Steele Hall Arena to compete in groups of 4-6 students in Disney-themed events – “Mousketeer Dance Off,” “Sorcerer’s Estimation” and “Princess Switch Your Britches” – that combine mathematics, problem solving and teamwork.

Awards will be presented to top student performers.

The Math/Science Chall-enge gets under way with registration at 8:45 a.m. at McEwen Hall. Activities will be held there as well as Fenton, Dods and Houghton halls.

Advance registration is required through arrangements between SUNY Fredonia and high school teachers. Contact SUNY Fredonia Mathematics Professor Keary Howard to learn how to enroll in next year’s program ( There is no charge to participate.