Marvel Studios Announces Finalists and Winner of Doctor Strange: The Magic of Stem Challenge

Disney, Marvel Studios, Dolby, Synchrony Bank, Broadcom MASTERS and Society for Science and the Public are pleased to announce the winner and finalists of the nationwide “Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange – The Magic of STEM Challenge,” in conjunction with the November 4, 2016, theatrical release of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, with Mads Mikkelsen and Tilda Swinton.

“Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange – The Magic of STEM Challenge” challenged girls to create a science vlog episode in which they answered their favorite, or most vexing, scientific or technological question. To see the winning entries, please visit
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.

“Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange – The Magic of STEM Challenge” program 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 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.