Marvel Helping Girls Become Superheroes With New STEM Program

Thor: The Dark World

Everyone excited for Thor: The Dark World as much as us? It’s yet another film featuring a lead female character who has a job in the STEM field, that is science, technology, engineering and math.

Natalie Portman’s character of Jane Foster is an astro-physicist. It’s a great example for all the young girls out there who are constantly bombarded with barbies and pretty pink princesses. While it is ok to play make-believe and fantasize as a young girl, it’s important they are exposed to real life superheros and get a realistic idea of career paths they can choose as they grow older. How can they become who they can’t see?

Sandra Bullock playing the lead role of an astronaut and scientist in Gravity is another huge example of women who are setting the bar high for female fans.

Marvel see how relevant and important the character of Jane Foster is and decided to go above and beyond to help their young fans. They have launched a program called the Ultimate Mentor Adventure where they are “seeking the next Jane Foster”. They are trying to reach girls in grades 9-12 across the United States, and give one of them a chance to meet with some brilliant female minds in the STEM industries, in the hope it will ignite the spark inside them to follow their own adventure in one of these categories.

The campaign ends October 20, and at this stage is only open to girls in the United States. But we hope that they will consider doing programs like these elsewhere if it proves to be so popular!

According to the New York Times, there still aren’t enough women in the science field, and they say employers are still more willing to hire males and women in the STEM industries make almost $4000 less than their male counterparts. Somewhere along the way the trend has to change, and initiatives like Marvel’s will hopefully go a long way into changing the gradient curve of women to men ratio. Sorry, we couldn’t resist nerding out a bit there!

Great job Marvel for taking the initiative to encourage young minds in an intelligent direction. They are offering this initiative with the help of Underwriters Laboratory, Dolby Laboratories, and the National Academy of Sciences to give them an experience money cannot buy.

Natalie Portman spoke to Elle Magazine about her ideas of feminism. She thinks it should have a more progressive definition than when the term originally came about in the 60s and 70s. Feminism should be defined in multiple ways, and being part of this new campaign with Marvel shows her dedication to the cause.

Natalieportman

“The truth is I really love science. And this role gave me the chance to explore science and all its possibilities.” says Portman in the video promoting the campaign.

She helped launch the program and hopes young women will be excited at the opportunity to meet some amazing scientists and mentors. This means girls will be able to ask these successful women how they got to where they are and how they can follow in their footsteps. Aside from meeting amazing minds from California, the program will also help girls find STEM mentors within their own community so they can continue to be helped in their own adventure.

On the website they offer tips for how to contact people in the STEM industries whether you win the competition or not, and for those girls who have no idea of the massive scope of what the STEM industries include, take a look at this comprehensive list and let your imagine run wild!

Thank you Marvel and Co. for offering a great opportunity for young female minds to be expanded in ways that go above and beyond this media driven society and looks-obsessed culture. Thank you for teaching girls that using their minds is going to take them much further in life than appearing on a trashy reality TV show or basing their entire worth on physical appearance.

Looks like they just threw down a challenge to all other movie studios. Let’s hope the rest of these big powerhouses follow suit and choose to take an active role in the lives and development of their fans by offering something that goes beyond just what they see on the screen.

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Marvel Launches Program For Young Female Scientists In Anticipation Of The New 'Captain America' Film - GirlTalkHQ

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