|Photo via Disney Parks|
Welcome aboard the Leaki Tiki. Adventure lovers, my name is Jodi and I’ll be your captain- unless we run into trouble—in which case your new captain will be…YOU, sir! What did you say your name was?
You might call Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise the original Disney Cruise Line! An opening day attraction, Jungle Cruise was one attraction in which Walt Disney himself had a lot of interest. Walt’s early desire for this ride was that it be a journey through wild, live-animal habitats. But animal care and habitat design techniques of the 1950s prohibited that from happening. After consulting with animal care experts, Walt and his team realized it would be too difficult to maintain an onstage presence of exotic animals. This particular dream of Walt’s wouldn’t come to fruition until the 1998 opening of Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Park.
|Photo via Disney Parks|
Walt Disney also had designed Jungle Cruise to be an educational experience. When the attraction opened, it was just another boat ride. It was appealing, sure, but it served no other purpose than to virtually sail Guests down faraway rivers of the world, including the Amazon of South America, the Nile of Africa, the Irrawaddy of Southeast Asia and the Ganges of India. Those funny puns for which Jungle Cruise is famous didn’t come into play until 1962. Walt had sent WED newcomer, master animator Marc Davis, to visit the park. Marc’s first impressions were that there was nothing funny at Disneyland. The two men agreed the park needed some gags, and Jungle Cruise made the perfect fit. The attraction continues to be a fan favorite.
Portions of four major rivers are depicted in Jungle Cruise scenes: the Amazon, the Nile, the Irrawaddy, and the Ganges. Today, direct your kids in researching these four rivers. Locate the rivers on a world map or on a globe, and discuss characteristics of rivers. Then, following the project below, create a mini-river in your own backyard to demonstrate how rivers carve the land as they flow and how they erode and reshape the earth’s surface by carrying away sediment and depositing it downstream.
River Formation at Home (Project based on Rivers of the World unit study from CurrClick.)
Goal: To make a durable and reusable riverbed model, and test factors that affect the formation of a river.
You will need:
- Cardboard Milk Carton
- Wet Sand (2-3 cups) – the sand should have just enough moisture to form a small hill
- Watering can with sprinkler top
- Pan for catching water
- Measuring cup and teaspoon
- Data chart
- Stop watch
What to do:
1. Cut milk carton lengthwise so that it is about 2 inches deep, keeping spout intact for drainage.
2. Fill carton with wet sand leaving about ½-inch of carton exposed.
3. Make a groove in sand with your pencil. For your initial experiments, make this groove a straight line. Alter the curve for later experiments.
4. Measure an angle of 30 degrees with the protractor. Hold the carton at this angle with the spout placed over the pan to catch run-off.
5. Have your child hold watering can about 3 feet above carton and slowly pour water onto top of slope for 30 seconds. Collect the run-off water and any dislodged sand in the pan.
6. Allow the sand to settle to the bottom of the pan. Measure the amount of water with a measuring cup and the amount of sand with a teaspoon. Record your results on a data chart. Repeat steps 2 through 6 two more times and record the measurements. *USE the same amount of water each time and pour at steady rate!*
7. Repeat steps 2 through 6, changing the angle of the slope to 60 degrees. Record measurements.
8. Select one of the following variations and repeat the experiment. Record results.
a. Alter the curve of the groove you make in the sand so that
there are 2-3 S-shaped bends.
b. Alter the composition of the riverbed material by mixing
small pebbles or mud with the wet sand.
c. Do not create an initial groove and allow the water to carve
its own path
9. For an added element, repeat the experiments and time the water flow.
10. Discuss the results of your experiments. Consider each of the factors involved. How did each variation affect river shape and sediment collection? Did river (groove) shape affect rate of water flow? Did rate of water flow affect erosion? What other river characteristics did you notice in your observations?
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Earth Science, Geography
SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades
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