Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ Celebrates Science with “The Magic of STEM” Competition Finalists

     October 31, 2016

doctor-strange-stem-competitionMarvel’s Doctor Strange may be all about the magic, but their science-based competition “The Magic of STEM” is anything but. The program, which has just announced the grand prize winner among a handful of finalists, “sought to inspire young girls to work with a mentor to explore the wonders of science and technology and, in turn, to teach and inspire others.” Girls nationwide, ages 15 – 18, in grades 10 -12, were invited to think of their favorite, or most vexing, scientific or technological question and then to find a mentor to help them explore the secrets and mysteries behind their questions. Each applicant was asked to submit a short, science vlog-style video, which shared with others what she had learned from her mentor.

Five finalists then attended the World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange.  Each finalist received two round-trip tickets to Southern California for herself and her parent or guardian, which included scheduled meals, ground transportation to and from organized activities, and hotel accommodations; $1,000 deposited into a high-yield savings account from Synchrony Bank; a tour of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California; and more.

Ashley Qin, the grand-prize winner, was selected from the five finalists and will be mentored by The Walt Disney Studios Digital Team to learn how to produce her very own science vlog episode, from story development through production and presentation.  The vlog episode she creates with the Walt Disney Studios will be shown via a Walt Disney Company media platform.

Check out the video announcement below!


Ashley Qin, Age 16, from Arcadia, Calif.

Ashley’s question: How do non-invasive glucose monitoring wearable biosensors work?

Ashley used fast-draw animation to creatively teach her viewers about wearable biosensors and how they can function as non-invasive glucose monitors.  She explained how this technology will allow diabetic patients, especially young patients, to easily and inconspicuously monitor their glucose levels, thereby maintaining a healthy lifestyle without embarrassment or the need for cumbersome monitoring equipment.


Navya Annapareddy, 16, Haymarket, Va. 

Navya’s question: How do upper-limb prosthetics work?

Navya’s vlog presented an engaging and easy to understand history of prosthetic devices beginning with the first known device, a toe found on an Egyptian mummy, and continuing to fully articulated modern-day devices that can be controlled by a person’s brain activity. Navya showed how advances in prosthetic design have taken the idea of regaining the use of a limb from the magical to the practical.

Maggie Chen, Age 16, San Diego, Calif. 

Maggie’s question: How can antibiotic treatments be made more effective and safe?

Maggie, through the use of engaging imagery and demonstration, explained how nanotechnology can be used to enhance the effectiveness and safety of antibiotics. Maggie enthusiastically shared her interest and fascination for the exciting possibilities of nanotechnology biomimic applications in healthcare

Imani Porter, Age 15, Bolingbrook, Ill.

Imani’s question: Why are some people more susceptible to hair loss than others?

Imani’s vlog answered her question by introducing her audience to the fascinating field of metagenomics through the use of clever animation and personal presentation.  Imani used a novel self-awareness approach in her vlog, which not only enabled the viewer to easily understand her topic, but also assured young girls that it is okay to feel conflicted about their abilities in STEM and encouraged them to keep following their interests.

Amanda Zong, Age 17, Bronx, N.Y.

Amanda’s question: How does computer vision software work?

Through a combination of fast-drawing animation, video annotation and demonstration, Amanda explained how facial recognition software, a form of computer vision technology, distinguishes a face from other similarly shaped objects, and can further distinguish specific facial features from one another.  Amanda also explained how advances in computer vision software allows self-driving cars to identify road signs and assists physicians in the diagnosis of diseases.


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