Disney’s “Black Panther” not only gave boys and girls a few new heroes to look up to: it also gave them inspiration to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math. Now, Disney is helping those kids in real life by donating $1 million of the “Black Panther” movie proceeds to Boys and Girls Club of America to advance their STEM learning initiatives in inner city centers.
In the film, the fictional African nation of Wakanda is renowned for its technological and scientific advancements. It also provides young viewers with role models: for example, Shuri (Letitia Wright), the teenager sister to T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), is a science whiz and the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
BGCA’s Centers of Innovation offer hands-on experiences with advanced technologies such as video production, robotics, computer science, and 3-D printing.
“It was thrilling to see how much the technology in the film had excited young audiences,” said Robert Iger, chief executive of the Walt Disney Company. “It’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to buIild the future they want.”
Like other afterschool programs offering STEM activities, these advancements give students inspiration to become leaders and innovators and pursue careers in STEM-related fields. Boys and Girls Clubs of America will use the grant from Disney will be used to open new STEM Centers of Innovation in the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Oakland, Orlando and Washington, D.C., to name a few.