Read the headline. Now re-read it. Yes, that’s right, Marvel!
The Raspberry Pi Foundation and Marvel, in association with the Ant-Man movie, have launched a competition in the US, the prizes for which include tickets for the Ant-Man premiere in California and also an engineering workshop at Disneyland. Ant-Man, of course, is all about how someone who is very small can make a difference. I guess they found a certain poetic satisfaction in teaming up with the tiny Raspberry Pi!
Here’s what the Foundation says about the competition:
We’re looking throughout the United States for girls ages 14-18 in grades 9-12 to create and share micro-technology-based DIY projects they have built using readily accessible and found materials. Upon completion of the contest, build instructions for the winning projects will be provided to a STEM-based girls program in the winners’ home community. Each winner will have the opportunity to lead a workshop in building her project for the selected program in her community.
This competition, because of its high profile, is undoubtedly going to raise the long-running question of gender equality. By making it for girls only, it is clearly going down the lines of positive discrimination. There is going to be a lot of disappointed boys out there! However, we must see this positive discrimination in a wide context. There is a lot of negative discrimination against girls and women in tech education and in the I.T. workplace so there is always going to be a need for positive discrimination to re-balance the situation. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has made no secret of their opinion that girls and women need more encouragement, and again, you could argue for and against this.
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this in the comments!