Pop Culture

Marvel Rolls Out New Initiative to Inspire Young Women in STEM

Marvel Rolls Out New Initiative to Inspire Young Women in STEM
Image credit: 360b | Shutterstock

The Marvel Universe is filled with weird science -- radioactive spiders, Hulk-inducing gamma rays, interdimensional travel and more. Now, in conjunction with the heroic marketing push behind the May 6th release of Captain America: Civil War, the company wants to highlight the real-life scientific achievements of its young female fans.    

To do so, it’s hosting a competition for girls aged 15-18 in grades 10-12 interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to find an idea that can change the world. The grand prize? An internship with Marvel.

Related: Why we need more women in STEM

Applicants can either create a new project or submit one they already completed in their spare time or made for a class or science competition. A five-minute video demo of the project -- which outlines how STEM factored into its creation, and any lessons learned from the experience -- must also be included.

Five finalists will be flown to Los Angeles, where they will present their work to a panel of industry leaders, get a tour of Walt Disney Studios and Dolby Laboratories (both companies partnered with Marvel to sponsor the contest), and attend the world premiere of the film. The submission process is open starting today and will close at 9:00 p.m. PST on March 26.

Related: Marvel Comics' Stan Lee on Success, Creativity and Following Your Passion

While it’s great that Marvel is reaching out to young women, you won’t find too many of them in its movies. Despite a rapidly growing list of Marvel Universe superhero movies, which have grossed more than $9 billion dollars worldwide at the box office, the studio has yet to release a film headlined by a female character. The first solo lady hero to get her own title is Captain Marvel, although she’s not scheduled to arrive in theaters until 2019.