STEM being Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Marvel have launched a campaign looking to offer a mentoring program for girls aged fourteen and over, spearheaded by Natalie Portman – with the goal being to fill the country with a whole army of Jane Fosters. The program has kicked off with a competition which you can find here.


Portman is a noted advocate for gender equality, and the campaign looks to help mentor young talents and push them one step further towards entering the world of STEM research. Candidates are required to be in grades 9-12 at school, and be US citizens – and the winning videos will be included into a documentary short which will air before the premiere of the upcoming Thor movie.

Entrants are asked to upload a five minute video of themselves, explaining who they are and why they’re hoping to move into a career in a STEM-related field. And once a winner is picked, they’ll be sent off to meet some of the pioneers in their respective fields, as well as whisked away to the premiere of Thor 2 in November.

So, yes, this is probably the coolest thing you’ll see all week. I also approve of their use of “whom” rather than “who” in the competition guidelines. Classy stuff, this! If you’re eligible, go enter! 


  1. Natalie Portman, aside from starring in many geek-friendly films, is also quite brilliant.

    Her Erdős number is 5, her Bacon number is 2, giving her an Erdős–Bacon number of 7. (Stephen Hawking is 4+2=6.)

    You can read her paper here:
    The ability to create and hold a mental schema of an object is one of the milestones in cognitive development. Developmental scientists have named the behavioral manifestation of this competence object permanence. Convergent evidence indicates that frontal lobe maturation plays a critical role in the display of object permanence, but methodological and ethical constrains have made it difficult to collect neurophysiological evidence from awake, behaving infants. Near-infrared spectroscopy provides a noninvasive assessment of changes in oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin concentration within a prescribed region. The evidence described in this report reveals that the emergence of object permanence is related to an increase in hemoglobin concentration in frontal cortex.”

    Also quite geeky… she entered the Intel Science Search in 1998.

  2. That’s great news. Good for her and Marvel. I can see now why she was attracted to the role to begin with.

  3. Hmm…I have an electrical engineering degree and I’m not wild about this. I’m of the opinion the war is already lost unless we change our infrastructure around. On the other hand, there has always been a serious lack of women in the STEM fields.

    I think we need to be more honest with what we’re selling. A STEM degree now means a lifetime in academia or a very difficult time securing employment. I think young men and women would be better off encouraged to go to a tech school and learn how to become a machinist or a heavy machine operator.

    Anyway, I need to stop being a Torsten and sharing my experience from the front lines. That’s his thing and he does it well enough to not need me stepping in!

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