Hank Pym may be the the one who created the shrinking technology in Ant-Man, but now there’s an opportunity for the youth of the United States to show off their own miniaturization skills. Months before the tiny superhero film hits theaters, Marvel has joined forces with Dolby Laboratories, Visa, and Raspberry Pi for to stage a contest for girls ages 14-18 in grades 9-12 to show off their technology talents. It’s called Marvel’s Ant-Man: Micro-Tech Challenge.
Each participant in the contest will create a micro-technology based DIY (do it yourself) project using “readily accessible and found materials.” Whatever each girl ends up making, her creation must include at least one “inexpensive and readily available micro-technology component of her choosing.” As the Marvel folks put it, the project can be “utilitarian, artistic, or just plain fun.” Upon completion, the applicants will submit a video showing how the project was built. The winning projects’ building instructions will be provided to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)-based girls program in the winners’ hometowns, and each winner will get to lead a workshop in building her project in her community.
If showing off how you accomplished this feat isn’t enough of a prize, not to worry, there are plenty of other goodies being awarded. Each of the five winners will also will get to attend the world premiere of Ant-Man on June 29 with a parent, and that includes walking the red carpet. They will also get to attend the “Evolution of Technology” workshop at the Disneyland Resort and meet Walt Disney Imagineers on June 30. Oh, and there’s also a tour of Walt Disney Studios being thrown in to sweeten the deal.
With recent criticisms of Marvel’s films lacking female representation, this is a good step forward to recognizing the female fanbase who are just as devoted to these characters as anyone. It’s also a good way of using superheroes to promote interest in science and technology among the youth and empower them to put their creative minds to good use. My only worry is that this contest will result in one of these girls becoming a super villain and somehow using her invention to take over the world…okay, in hindsight, that might sound a little too crazy.
Check out the video below to hear Evangeline Lily, who plays Ant-Man’s Hope Van Dyne, go into detail about the contest.
Applications are being accepted until 9 p.m. PST June 11, and the winners will be notified on June 16. To learn more about the contest and its rules, visit Ant-ManChallenge.com.
Ant-Man will be released in theaters on July 17.