Captain America may get all the glory when it comes to saving the fictional world of the Marvel Universe, but our real world desperately needs saving too. And it’s going to require more than an indestructible shield. To save our planet, we’re going to need science.
That’s why Marvel Studios, in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange, has just announced “Girls Reforming the Future,” a challenge geared toward girls grades 10-12 who want to use science to make the world a better place. From now until March 26th, interested girls can submit a short video demonstrating a transformative science idea and explaining its potential.
Although there’s no obvious reason to think the hotly-anticipated Captain America Civil War movie is going to have a strong science theme, the challenge is clearly a tie-in intended to drum up excitement for the film. (And, you know, to show that Marvel cares about women kicking ass in science, as much as it cares about them kicking literal ass.) As Civil War star Elizabeth Olsen put it, the goals of superheroes and visionary scientists are one and the same: “to safeguard humanity, protect the earth at all costs and make the world a better place for future generations.”
NASA has also been championing the science fiction tie-in competitions recently: last month, it launched a Star Trek Replicator Challenge, which called on kids grades K-12 to design 3D printable hardware needed to grow food and eat civilized meals in space. For NASA, the point seems to be tapping into franchises everyone loves to get people jazzed about the real-world science the space agency is doing. It’s quite interesting to see Marvel taking this the other direction.
And hey, if one of these science gals ends up inventing a kickass new weapon to add to Tony Stark’s collection? I’m sure Marvel won’t complain.