Inspired by Wakanda, Educator and maker Netia McCray engages the next generation of designers with free software and a dynamic Black Panther series.
For many young students, STEM careers might sound like a boring nine-to-five in a stale office environment. However, MIT grad Netia McCray has been working for the past eight years to motivate and connect young students with STEM and design. In early 2018 she and Erica Nwankwo launched a four-part Black Panther–inspired series on YouTube. Each episode includes tips for re-creating some of the lm’s exciting artifacts, such as Queen Ramonda’s crown and Nakia’s ring blades. Highlighting the many intersections between art and technology, the projects and interviews inspire kids to design with technology.
As the founder and executive director of Mbadika, Netia McCray uses partnerships and educational outreach to inspire young people in creative STEM fields. Mbadika is Kimbundu (a language prevalently spoken in the northern region of Angola) for “idea.” Though headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the nonprofit organization has provided workshops and projects all over the world, including in Brazil, Chile and Mexico. McCray’s hope is to inspire future engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs all over the world, from the U.S. to sub-Saharan Africa to Latin America. Through Mbadika, McCray aims to provide young people with “the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to transform their ideas for challenges, large and small, into solutions whose implementation can not only impact their lives, but the lives of their communities and the world.”