Following the record-breaking success of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, and given the touching final scene of the movie, The Walt Disney Company has announced they’re donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help expand BGCA’s youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, which will include a STEM Center of Innovation to be established in Oakland, California.
“Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is a masterpiece of movie making and has become an instant cultural phenomenon, sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so 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 build the future they want.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America will use this one-time grant to further develop its existing national STEM curriculum, and also establish new STEM Centers of Innovation in Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Harlem, NY; Hartford, CT; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; Watts, CA, and most notably, Oakland, CA.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Centers of Innovation provide youth with hands-on, advanced technologies that stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration, including 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production and conferencing equipment. In addition, a fully dedicated STEM expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help Club members develop their STEM skills and critical thinking.
“From hands-on interactive programs to critical thinking, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to providing thousands of young people with the tools they need to prepare for a great future,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Thanks to Disney’s support, we can expand our outreach and allow more youth to find their passions and discover STEM careers.”
Black Panther is now playing in theaters worldwide and has brought in over $700 million at the global box office.