Disney Junior’s MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND has lofty aspirations to not only entertain, but also to educate and inspire. The show follows 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. However, the show also provides important role models for young girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (i.e., STEM). For example, in the latest episode, big sister Loretta uses her computer coding skills to discover a hidden planet. Continue for an exclusive video to learn how MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND is helping encourage girls to go into STEM fields and translate the wonder into wonderful.
Recently, I visited Google Headquarters to meet with the creators of the show as well as a team of scientific consultants including Google Engineer Angela Navarro, NASA Astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle, and Software Engineer Isis Anchalee (pictured below). We chatted about space and science – as well as adventure and family, and how MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND tries to break stereotypes in the show. There’s no one right way to be a coder or programmer or engineer, and it certainly does not have to be boys who pilot the ship or program the computers.
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.
Software engineer Isis Anchalee said she, “didn’t really see images like her as a coder as a kid,” and it was refreshing for women and girls to be represented. Google engineer Angela Navarro added, “Google research suggested the #2 reason girls don’t continue into STEM fields is because of the perceptions of scientists represented on TV.” The creators of the Disney Junior show intentionally sought to change those perceptions. Less than 20% of all computer science graduates are women, and it was important for the show creators to create an episode where the young girl creates the computer code that finds the planet.
Sascha Paladino is the creator and executive producer of MILES FROM TOMORROWLAND, and each episode features two 11-minute stories as Miles, Merc and the Callisto family explore wondrous and diverse new worlds, taking young viewers and their families on a futuristic journey that fuels kids’ natural interest in space, and at the same time reminding them of the importance of what lies close to home – the family bond. The series features a phenomenal voice cast with legendary science & science-fiction guest stars including Mark Hamill as Gadfly Garnet, Bill Nye as Professor Rubicon, George Takei as Spectryx, and Wil Wheaton as Commander S’leet.
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. For more family entertainment news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.