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Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel Studios is looking to inspire young girls into pursuing STEM through its annual STEM Challenge.

“Thor: Ragnarok” STEM Challenge Inspires Young Girls

Marvel Studios’ annual event helps to keep these aspiring engineers interested in STEM education and future career paths.

Have you discovered your superpower? If you haven’t, Marvel Studios wants to help. Since 2013, the company has hosted an annual science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) challenge geared toward young girls.

report from CNN this past February noted that young girls start to become highly interested in STEM around the age of 11, only to start losing that interest around age 15. A survey commissioned by Microsoft highlighted the key reasons why: “Conformity to social expectations, gender stereotypes, gender roles, and lack of role models continue to channel girls’ career choices away from STEM fields,” explained Martin Bauer, a psychology professor with the London School of Economics.

These five girls (pictured with Benedict Cumberbach) were the finalists at last year’s Doctor Strange STEM Challenge.

The survey found that 6 out of 10 girls would feel more confident pursing STEM if they already knew women were equally employed in STEM fields. Having more mentors and more STEM experience outside of the classroom would also help drive the interest among young girls. The survey found that four out of 10 girls say they do not get enough practical experience with respect to STEM education.

The goal of Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” Superpower of STEM Challenge is for young girls, ages 15 to 18, to use their STEM “superpower” to create and share an original DIY project to help their families, communities, or the world. Intended to help people feel safer, healthier, and happier, the project’s complexity and form can range from simple mechanical devices to smartphone app or robot assistance. The only requirement is that the project must harness the power of STEM.

Here are the rules:

  1. Think of a DIY project that could be used for the good of others.
  2. Make your project.
  3. Create a 7-minute (or shorter) video in which you demonstrate your project and tell us how you used your superpowers of STEM to design and complete it.
  4. Submit your application.
  5. Submit your 7-minute (or shorter) video.

The contest submission deadline is September 23. Five finalists will be selected, and will receive an expenses-paid trip to Hollywood to present their completed projects in front of a panel of experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and/or math. They will also walk the red carpet at the premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Ragnarok.”

One grand prize winner will be selected from the five finalists to attend an immersive three-day mentorship in New York City with Disney Imagineering to build her STEM story, creating a professional-level video teaching other young people how to recreate her Challenge winning project. The winner will also have the opportunity to demonstrate her Superpower of STEM project live to the Nation with a brief appearance on “Good Morning America.”

Good luck to all those who enter!

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