Natalie Portman has teamed up with Marvel to announce the Ultimate Mentor Adventure, a mentor program/contest that gives girls the opportunities to interview women working in science, technology, engineering and math.
Eligible girls (must be U.S. residents, in grades 9-12 and at least 14) must find a woman working in a STEM field in their area and interview her about her job and experiences in the field. The contest site gives helpful tips on interviewing and introducing yourself as well as resources for finding women in STEM fields within their areas. Post-interview, girls are to make a five minute video talking about their interview experience, why they love science and what they need to do to have their own STEM career.
The big prize is a trip to Los Angeles to attend a screening of Thor: The Dark World on opening day where all the winning videos will be made into a documentary short that will screen before the film.
Perhaps the coolest thing about the contest (if that's even possible) is that Portman's character, Jane Foster, in Thor was the inspiration. Her character is an astrophysicist and Portman speaks at length in the video on the site about Jane, her talents and the importance of science. As of late Portman has openly spoken out about the need for more female
characters in the Marvel Universe and about feminism in the industry. It's great to see her team up with Marvel to highlight a female character who could merely just fade into the background, get girls motivated about exploring science and giving them the resources and incentive to do so.
Learn more about the Ultimate Mentor Adventure here.