West Branch student’s design recognized by Disney World

Submitted photo West Branch eighth grader Brynn Smith.

BELOIT — West Branch eighth grader Brynn Smith has been recognized by Walt Disney World for her water park design attraction. The design was part of a theme park ride attraction STEM project.

She was one of the West Branch grade 7-8 STEM students to compete in the project over the past several months.

Brynn’s design is a water park ride that she designed and built featuring many Disney characters. Her ride includes an interactive story, as well as a lazy river for her rafts.

Engineers from Walt Disney World explained to the students how theme park rides are designed and built. After many lessons from the engineers, it was their turn to design and build their ride attraction, which included vehicle, the track, and the theme using storyboards.

“My students followed the remote learning program by completing exercises using the design process,” said STEM teacher Denise Ginocchi. “They really took to the challenge and created, designed and built some amazing rides.”

Students would upload their pictures or take a video of their ride attraction to Google Classroom and explain their ride in a Google Meets platform with their class.

Some of the ride attractions will be submitted to the engineers of Walt Disney world for critique with the possibility of using the ideas from our WBMS students.

“Applying what they learned through the design process speaks volumes on how this lesson applies to the real world and prepares our students for 21st-century skills,” said Ginocchi.

She also said teaching STEM during these remote learning times was challenging since it is a project-based curriculum, but her students did an exceptional job with this project.


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