Disney-Sponsored Conference Celebrates Innovators of Tomorrow

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Oct. 12, 2010 – Encouraging some of the brightest students in the nation to pursue their passion, The Great Minds in STEM conference recently hosted at Walt Disney World Resort celebrated careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Nearly 4,000 top executives, cutting-edge professionals and high school and college students converged to discuss the skills required for innovation and explore how those skills can be put to work in exciting professions.
The Great Minds in STEM conference is one of the nation’s premier venues for the recruitment and recognition of top Hispanic STEM talent.

“It is so encouraging to have these young people learn about pursuing a career in STEM while visiting Walt Disney World,” said Betty Martinez-Lowery, manager of minority business development for Walt Disney World Resort. “It is a challenge to recruit young people in minority communities for careers in math and science so these young minds at the conference really are role models. To see them here at the Great Minds in STEM conference and interacting with the minority professionals who blazed a trail for them is truly inspiring.”

The Walt Disney Company Diversity Programs and Walt Disney World Minority Business Development have jointly sponsored The Great Minds in STEM conference since 2004. This is the first year Walt Disney World Resort has hosted the annual conference.

Other highlights of this year’s Great Minds in STEM conference included:

■ANNUAL COLLEGE BOWL COMPETITION – Students and professionals were presented with actual math and science dilemmas to solve and were judged based on their creativity and teamwork skills. The U.S. Department of Defense-coached team won this year’s event, narrowly defeating the Walt Disney World Resort-coached team who earned the 2009 title. ·
■OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – WITH DISNEY MAGIC! – Walt Disney engineers presented a seminar to teach professionals and students alike how math and engineering skills help create magic at Disney Parks, from the first spark of an idea to the construction of iconic attractions. Industrial Engineers at Walt Disney World Resort also taught a session on how they take manufacturing efficiency principles and help Disney Parks around the world deliver top-notch guest service.

The Great Minds in STEM conference will return to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in 2011 and 2012.

To learn more about Great Minds in STEM, visit www.greatmindsinstem.org.