Marvel Studios and Raspberry Pi announced May 21 that they have teamed up (along with Dolby Laboratories and Visa) for a STEM challenge for teenage girls. The Ant Man Micro-Tech Challenge is a DIY competition for high-school aged girls, looking for projects that involve a component of micro-technology for any purpose: education, functionality, or all out fun. It is a national competition, unfortunately limited to the United States, and will culminate in some pretty snazzy prizes:
- A trip to Hollywood, California for the winner and her parent to walk the red carpet at the World Premiere of Marvel’s Ant-Man on June 29, 2015.
- Attendance at a special “The Evolution of Technology” workshop on June 30, 2015 at the Disneyland® Resort where they will meet Walt Disney Imagineers who will introduce them to the broader scope of technology and how innovation is inspired during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Disneyland® Resort.
- A tour of the Walt Disney Studios.
Raspberry Pi is an organization that has developed numerous endeavors to get young people interested in engineering and science. Their most well known creation is a small computer that takes minutes to put together, allowing a user to hook it up to any monitor and run limited computer programming. Teachers in underfunded schools have taken advantage of the low cost resource in order to provide more computer access on a low budget, and to teach coding at an earlier age. It’s big that they have the chance to collaborate with a big partner like Marvel, and it will reach far more people and has gained far more traction than any of their other projects, even in the week since its launch.
Marvel and Raspberry Pi both hope that such an endeavor will contribute to a greater interest and acceptance of that interest in STEM for teenage girls, one of the slower-rising groups entering academic and professional programs in the maths and physical sciences. There has been muttering about the fact that this competition is only open to girls, when boys would be interested, too…but if colleges can make the decision to create scholarships for a red-headed, left handed person born on a Wednesday in July, Marvel can run a science competition just for girls.
Watch the intro video to the competition from the Challenge’s official website, featuring Evangeline Lilly:
Applications will be accepted until 9PM PDT, June 11, 2015. With the chance to meet real Disney Imagineers, who wouldn’t go for the win?