Did you know the United Nations proclaims October 4 – 10 as World Space Week? Over 1,000 events in dozens of countries utilize the theme “Discovery” to celebrate the benefits of space and excitement about space exploration. Wondering how to get your preschooler involved in World Space Week? Sit down and watch Disney Junior’s show MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND with them. Recently, I visited Google Headquarters to meet with the creators of the show as well as a team of scientific consultants including NASA Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle (pictured below). We chatted about space, adventure, and family, and I was impressed with the lofty aspirations for the show.
DISCLOSURE: I was hosted by Walt Disney Studios on an all expense paid trip to San Francisco, California including airfare, hotel accommodations, transportation, and meals to attend this press event and learn more about Disney’s films and shows. All opinions expressed are those of the author.
We previously interviewed Sascha Paladino, creator and executive producer for MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND, prior to the release of the show. During this visit to Google, Sascha mentioned how he was always really into space, but not science. He brainstormed with Disney about ideas for a show, and how family adventures are always the best adventures. They created an animated series about one family’s adventure as a way to satisfy Sascha’s own curiosity about space. NASA Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle chimed in, “it doesn’t do any good to prepare to go to space if you don’t look out the window once you get there.”
Like World Space Week’s theme of “Discovery,” curiosity and discovery are central to MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND as the show follows the outer space missions of Miles Callisto and his family – mom and ship captain, Phoebe; mechanical engineer dad, Leo; tech-savvy big sister, Loretta; and best friend pet robo-ostrich, Merc – as they work together to help connect the galaxy on behalf of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Each episode incorporates unique space and science facts into the storyline, developed in consultation with experts from NASA and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Space Tourism Society and Google.
Tune in to this Saturday’s (October 10th) Halloween-themed episode of MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND at 8:30am ET/PT on Disney Channel. In “Ghost Moon” – The Callistos are sent to investigate eerie sightings on a dark moon, and…
in “Stormy Night in a Dark Nebula” – The Callistos enter a dark nebula and find some spooky inhabitants.
I commend Disney Channel and Disney Junior for their commitment to encourage kids’ interest in space, science, and technology in a fun way and at such a young age. And, the title character from MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND may be a boy, but there’s plenty of strong female role models in the show as well. We’ll have more from our visit to Google in the future, and how the series creators are working with scientists to encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM). In the meantime, to find out more about the events of World Space Week and find one near you, click here.