In an amazing attempt to help promote STEM awareness for girls, Disney and Marvel held a nationwide “Ant-Man Micro-Tech Challenge” in which they accepted applications from girls, ages 14-18 from May 21-June 11, 2015. They partnered with Dolby Laboratories, Visa Signature and Raspberry Pi . The girls were asked to design and build a DIY project using at very least one readily available micro-technology component. The projects could by useful, artistic or something fun. The girls then had to submit a short video demonstrating the project, how it works and how it would inspire other girls in the areas of science, technology, engineering or math. Each girl’s hometown will be selected to re-create instructions for the problem and the winners will have the opportunity to lead a workshop to build the project.
The winners each received two round trip tickets to Southern California, hotel accommodations and a chance to be on the red carpet for the World Premiere of Marvel’s Ant-Man (today), as well as a special “The Evolution of Technology” Workshop where they get a chance to meet Disney Imagineers.
The five winners are:
Age 16, from Kaysville, Utah
Allison created a water usage limiter for shower heads, which visually notifies the user when they are exceeding their water usage limit. Allison acquired skills in electrical circuiting and programming while working on her project. She feels her project could help people throughout the world better manage scarce water resources.
Age 14, from Portland, Oregon
Anna turned a plush toy into an interactive character with voice recognition, face detection features and a graphical user interface. Anna learned many new skills while creating her project, including three coding languages and how to use AMP stacks to run a dynamic web server. She is looking forward to adding real-time health detection features to her project, so it could be used with youngsters who may otherwise be scared by basic health procedures.
Age 16, from Columbus, Georgia
Ashita combined her love of art and engineering to create a robotic arm that draws images created on a computer screen. Ashita learned two coding languages and refined her robot-building skills for this project. She describes her project as a stepping-stone to the integration of art and design into STEM, thereby making STEM more attractive to a wider group of girls.
Age 17, from Durham, North Carolina
Elizabeth brought her sense of whimsy to the contest by creating an automated bubble maker shaped like an octopus. This project taught Elizabeth how to program and work with micro-controllers and servos. Elizabeth is excited about sharing her project with other girls because she believes it can show them that science can be fun and that they can be creative while using STEM.
Age 18, from Boulder, Colorado
Maxine created a sound-actuated lantern. Maxine taught herself a new programming language and how to use pwm pins to vary LED light levels for her project. She feels her project is perfect for a STEM workshop because it is easy to recreate and could give girls new to STEM a boost of confidence when they finish the project on their own.
Great work and have an amazing time with your winnings!