Teachers may utilize the Teacher Toolkit — educational materials found on the World of Coca-Cola’s website, www.worldofcoca-cola.com — in order to enrich their students’ experience and meet Georgia Performance Standards during their self-guided tour of the attraction. The Teacher Toolkit contains lesson plans, pre- and post-visit activities along with photo cues to look for when using the Toolkit to ensure all materials are covered. Subjects covered include English/Language Arts and Social Studies as well as an African-American Highlights module which was added in early 2010 for use in connection with African-American History Month. In addition, a Green Tour allows teachers to point out many of the aspects of the World of Coca-Cola’s design, construction and operation that allowed the attraction to achieve Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification when it opened in May 2007. While each state may have slightly different performance standards, the materials contained in the Teacher Toolkit provide educators with an idea of how they might meet their state’s requirements while leading their class on a tour of the World of Coca-Cola.
Groups visiting the attraction can view rare artifacts and memorabilia that chronicle the history of The Coca-Cola Company and also provide a retrospective of pop culture as portrayed through advertisements dating back to the late 1880s. The Coca-Cola Loft and Milestones of Refreshment are two key areas of the attraction where teachers will find many opportunities to engage their students in discussion.
Included in the collection of more than 1200 pieces of memorabilia on display are two original Norman Rockwell paintings. The smaller of two paintings, “Barefoot Boy” is one of the most valuable items on display. It is found in The Coca-Cola Loft area where students may also see the original letters that spelled out “The Coca-Cola Company” on the headquarters at North Avenue from 1919 until 1979. The dings and dents caused from being exposed to the elements for 60 years are quite evident.
The other Rockwell painting, “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” is quite large and is located in Milestones of Refreshment. This area highlights the company’s history in chapters or vignettes that offer teachers many opportunities to connect the historical elements on display to several subject such as English/Language Arts, History, World Geography, Social Studies, and Marketing and Art, just to name a few. One of the largest and oldest elements on display is a magnificent soda fountain that dates back to the early 1880s, before Coca-Cola was even invented. The soda fountain weighs 1.5 tons and is constructed of Mexican alabaster, onyx and marble. A framed photograph mounted on the wall adjacent to the fountain shows it in its previous location, a family pharmacy in Toomsboro, Georgia, where Coca-Cola was just one of the many beverages served at the fountain. Other notable items on display in this area include the original document executed when Asa Candler sold two businessmen from Chattanooga, Tennessee the rights to bottle Coca-Cola for $1. Close by, a 1939 Chevrolet® panel van from Buenos Aires, Argentina was installed prior to the walls being put into place, making it a veritable “ship in a bottle.”
Also located on the lower level of the attraction is a fully-functioning bottling facility that is the smallest and slowest in the company’s bottling system. Bottle Works produces Coca-Cola in 8 oz. glass bottles so each guest may take one home as they leave the attraction as a memento of their visit. The bottles are not sold or distributed elsewhere.
On the upper level, students are sure to enjoy “In Search of the Secret Formula,” a 4-D theater experience that will take them on a wild trip around the world to explore what it is that makes a Coca-Cola so special. Motion-based seats accompanied by wind and water effects make this one of the most popular experiences at the World of Coca-Cola. The entire back row remains stationary throughout the movie to accommodate anyone who would rather not have their seat shake, rattle and roll.
One of the latest additions to the attraction is the Live Positively® Portrait Wall, located just outside the 4-D theater. This is a dynamic, motion-activated, media experience where students can hear about 14 individual stories describing how the Coca-Cola system has affected people’s lives and communities around the world. This area provides context around how The Coca-Cola Company supports the communities in which it does business.
If teachers happen to lose a student or two along the way, it’s likely they will find them in Taste It, the sampling area with more than 60 different beverages produced around the world by The Coca-Cola Company. It’s no surprise that this final experience within the attraction is tops with everyone. Since drinks are arranged roughly by continent, teachers may tie in elements of Geography as well as flavor preferences showcased by the wide range of tastes with the international beverages. Note that the sampling cups used in this area are produced from a corn starch derivative and once discarded, are composted and used as landscaping mulch, further supporting the attraction’s Gold LEED certification as an environmentally responsible facility.
In early December 2011, the World of Coca-Cola will unveil a brand new, one of a kind experience for guests to enjoy. While details are not yet available, this new element will further tell the story of Coca-Cola’s rich history in a modern and engaging way that’s sure to enhance the visitor experience. Check the website, www.worldofcoca-cola.com, in early December for more information.
Students and teachers alike are sure to enjoy a visit to the World of Coca-Cola. By using the Teacher Toolkit, educators can ensure their class’ field trip is educational as well as entertaining. What could be more refreshing than that?