Oakland Boys & Girls Clubs to Receive STEM Center With Disney Donation

Boys and girls in Oakland will have another opportunity to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math at a new center to be established with money from the Walt Disney Co.

Walt Disney is donating $1 million to establish 12 STEM Centers of Innovation in 12 cities across the country including Oakland following the success of "Black Panther," a production of Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney.

In its first three days after opening, "Black Panther" took in $201.8 million. Its opening is one of the top five all-time domestically.

Cal Stanley, president of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland said Disney's donation is "heartening. We appreciate Disney and certainly its people for having our kids on their radar."

The Centers of Innovation will provide children with hands-on experience with advanced technologies such as 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production and conferencing equipment.

A dedicated STEM expert will provide individual and group support to help children develop STEM skills.

The donation will also be used to further develop the Boys & Girls Clubs national STEM curriculum.

"I am thrilled to learn of the investment in Oakland's children through this donation to our Boys & Girls Club by the Walt Disney Company," Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. "More than just an amazing movie, 'Black Panther' has inspired a generation of young people who can look to the film's creators, including Oakland-born Ryan Coogler, as a model of how they can combine high tech skills with artistic creativity to bring characters and stories to life. Funding STEM programming thru our Boys & Girls clubs reinforces that student-focused STEM curriculum is creative, collaborative, and fun."

In a statement, Walt Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger said, "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."

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