PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox have come together to create a new scholarship contest in the US designed to help find the next generation of female leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Working in collaboration with New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) the trio have launched "The Search for Hidden Figures", that will help discover emerging female ‘visionaries’ between the ages of 13 and 19 and professionals 20 and older in STEM.
The contest is inspired by the upcoming film Hidden Figures about three African-American women who were the unsung female NASA heroes of the 1960’s space race.
Beginning today through December 10, online entries will be accepted at www.SearchforHiddenFigures.com, after which semi-finalists will be selected in mid-December, and each will be asked to provide a video submission for continued consideration.
On 12 January 2017, two grand prize winners will be announced. Winners will receive access to the NYAS STEM skills training materials and programs, up to $200,000 in scholarships, and a trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.
"PepsiCo is incredibly proud to work with 21st Century Fox and the New York Academy of Sciences to shine a light on women and girls doing outstanding but unheralded work in science, technology, engineering and math," said Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo's vice chairman and chief scientific officer, global research and development.
"The 'Hidden Figures' story is being told at a time when advances in each of these fields are creating unprecedented opportunities to develop solutions for many of the world's biggest challenges. PepsiCo is proud to actively support the discovery of STEM talent and the development of STEM skills in the workforce."
PepsiCo and 21st Century Fox will be supporting the campaign with a national TV and digital media campaign featuring the film's lead actress, Taraji P. Henson, as well as messages of encouragement from the film's actresses and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from "Hidden Figures" on the contest's website.
PepsiCo will also be launching a collection of STEM mobile and web games, quizzes and challenges for students and fans of the film to test their skills.
The contest is part of the food and drink giant’s investment in STEM 2.0 capacity-building efforts to tackle the issue of under representation of women in STEM and the pressing need for these highly skilled workers. It recently announced a commitment to improve the lives of 12.5 million women and girls by 2025, as part of its Performance with Purpose goals.