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Wednesday, May 10 2017 12:24

Cars 3: A New Trailer + STEAM Learning with Pixar in a Box!

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Disney-Pixar's Cars 3 is racing into theaters on June 16 (get tix via my affiliate, Fandango), and there's plenty to get revved-up about. For kids, there's always the high-octane excitement that racing brings, but as I've been discussing in my preview coverage of Cars 3, this is a film that brings so much more to the table in terms of emotion and learning. The latter is something that most people don't enter a Cars movie thinking about - but there's a lot of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) involved in racing, and when it comes to making an animated film, there's a whole lot of STEAM (the added "A" is for "Arts") involved. For educators, that's where Pixar in a Box comes in - a fantastic suite of FREE materials built around a curriculum created in partnership between Pixar Animation Studios and the Khan Academy, sponsored by Disney. We'll talk more about that in just about 2 minutes and 7 seconds, because first I'd like to invite you to check out the latest trailer for Cars 3... one focusing on the "Rivalry" between Lightning McQueen and newcomer Jackson Storm. Check it out!

So what is Pixar in a Box exactly? They explain it best as "a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. You will be able to animate bouncing balls, build a swarm of robots, and make virtual fireworks explode. The subjects you learn in school — math, science, computer science, and humanities — are used every day to create amazing movies at Pixar."

Pixar in a BoxDuring my recent visit to Pixar Animation Studios, I had a chance to check out Pixar in a Box alongside Elyse Klaidman and Tony DeRose, two of the driving forces behind the program.  They'd explained that the genesis of the project spawned, in large part, from the sheer volume of inquiries that Pixar staff gets asking for insight into how they do what they do. Since continuing education is a big focus for Pixar's own staff, the opportunity to partner with Khan Academy to offer Pixar in a Box to the public was a perfect chance to pay it forward, and help to inspire a new generation of creative kids. These lesson plans are designed for middle schoolers and high schoolers, so be aware that younger learners might need grownup assistance. 

For the full suite of lesson guides and an interactive tutorials (which can be done in a classroom setting or at home at your own pace), check out the official website.

About Disney•Pixar Cars 3: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

See Cars 3 when it races into theaters on June 16, 2017!

Pictured Top: The #Cars3Event Crew on the Pixar Animation Studios Campus in Emeryville, California, Spring 2017.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. Current special projects include promotional campaigns for PJ Masks (eOne/Disney Junior) and Beat Bugs (Netflix). 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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