POLK COUNTY, Fla. (June 7, 2011) – A group of Valleyview Elementary students got a sweet surprise today when they found out they will be among the first class of Polk County second-graders to receive a free field trip to LEGOLAND Florida next school year, compliments of University of South Florida Polytechnic.
LEGOLAND Florida, Central Florida's newest theme park opens on October 15, 2011 and will be a 150-acre interactive park dedicated to families with children ages 2-12.
More than 120 excited first-graders crowded into the school’s library this morning to hear the special announcement from USF Polytechnic Regional Chancellor Dr. Marshall Goodman, who explained why the university is funding the program.
“The United States faces stiff global competition from China, India and other countries that emphasize science and technology,” said Goodman. “As Florida’s first and only public polytechnic, our programs have a particular emphasis on science and technology while providing multi-disciplinary, applied learning and research experiences to prepare our graduates for the jobs of the future. We must engage students early in math and science, and keep them engaged, so they are prepared for these highly-skilled fields later. Through our partnership with LEGOLAND Florida and Polk County Schools, we hope to inspire these young minds through their experience at the park and the associated curriculum that will be introduced in their classrooms.”