Natalie Portman & Marvel's New Joint Project Will Benefit Young Girls In the Best Way
Well, this is awesome. Like, genuinely awesome. We have zero snark for this: Marvel announced today a program to mentor young girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and math. They're also teaming with Thor star Natalie Portman.
The program is called the Ultimate Mentor Adventure, a mash-up of contest and mentor program. It caters to American girls high school grades 9-12, and promises to match eligible girls with women in their STEM-related field who live in their area.
Portman's Thor character, Jane Foster, is an astrophysicist, and Portman herself went to Harvard, so it's no surprise that the Oscar-winner would be interested in helping out young girls interested in learning about the things they love. As she says in the video announcing the program, "the truth is, I really do love science. And the role gave me an amazing opportunity to explore science in all its possibilities.”
Girls in the program will also receive tips on networking, presentation, and interviewing. In order to be eligible for the big prize (a trip to LA for a screening of Thor: The Dark World) they must submit a video (unedited) talking about their love of their field, their interview with their mentor, and their plans on how to pursue their career.
As Oh No They Didn't's Neuers points out:
Not only is it taking one of the oft diminished characters in superhero film (the love interest) and emphasizing that her talents are useful and achievable in the real world, it’s also structured in such a way that even girls who don’t win are given resources to follow their interests, and motivation to find out a bit more about their career opportunities.
Like we said: No snark. It's really genuinely cool that Marvel is doing this; the idea of bridging their gap between the sci-fi world and making it about real-world science and getting girls into those careers? That's pretty awesome.
You can find the full details of the contest here.