Spider-Man: Homecoming will tip it’s hat to something the MCU films have found important to highlight over the last several year. Specifically: educational programs focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
In a video on Comicbook.com of him speaking as a celebrity guest for Dell at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, actor Tom Holland notes that his character, Peter Parker (or…Spider-Man), attends a school similar to the types of STEM-focused schools the Dell corporation helps with computer and tech support. (Dell’s support of the new Spider-Man film was previously noted in this MCU Exchange piece)
Anyone remotely familiar with the character of Peter Parker knows the kid has tech street cred and, as the Homecoming trailer revealed when it was released, the school Parker attends in the film is rotten with science. There was a shot of a classroom which featured a line of famous scientists that included one Bruce Banner:
While that might not be a stretch for a science classroom, there is also a mural of famous scientists in the hallway of the school that includes the likeness of noted MCU scientist Howard Stark:
So, with Holland noting now that his school is a STEM school, we start to get some kind of idea of his level of science background and, perhaps, a suggestion that some of his equipment came from places other than dumpsters (before Tony Stark became his patron).
Interestingly enough, Holland calls the school “Midtown High” in the video and that is traditionally the school Parker is known for attending in the comics. However, in an earlier promo shot for the film, we do see that the school actually has a different name:
Now, Midtown School of Science and Technology is certainly a riff on Midtown High, but it does show that the film is going to great lengths to establish that setting for Peter. Extraordinary lengths. This is either for the story, or for the Dell product placement, or for continuing the Marvel films’ continuation of their STEM support.
Last year, Marvel Studios held a STEM-related contest surrounding the release of Doctor Strange which was officially named the Doctor Strange: The Magic of STEM Challenge and encouraged young women aged 15 to 18, to examine the miraculous in the world and find the science behind it.
The contest built off of three other similar STEM-based contests which were themed and tied to Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man, and Thor: The Dark World (and covered by MCU Exchange here). The contests have proven very successful and thousands of students have participated in them. It could be that with Spider-Man now being firmly established in the MCU, Marvel seeks to continue the focus on STEM that it has striven to build. The STEM linkage seems very strong, and very logical.
You can see the whole video noting the product placement and the STEM focus, here:
What do you think about the product placement? The cross promotion Holland is doing? The focus on STEM in the MCU? Let us know in the comments section below.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in the US on July 7, 2017!