To celebrate the new "Thor" sequel coming out in November, Marvel and Natalie Portman have partnered on a fantastic initiative/contest designed to inspire young girls to consider future careers in science. Titled the "Ultimate Mentor Adventure," the project aims to "empower girls ages 14 and up in grades 9-12 to embark on a journey that will allow them to explore their potential in the world of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics."

Portman, who plays astrophysicist Jane Foster in the "Thor" films, says in a short video that she loves science. "Today, I'm here to tell you about a life-changing opportunity for girls like you. Marvel has created a program that will give you a chance to explore science, meet amazing scientists and mentors, and even get some time in front of the camera yourself."

Girls interested in joining the program will need to first interview a woman working in STEM in their own hometowns. They'll then shoot a five-minute, unedited video of themselves explaining what they learned from the interview, why they're so interested in science, and why they're excited to possibly attend the Ultimate Mentor Adventure in Los Angeles. Winners will have the opportunity to not only meet some of the most successful women in science, but they'll also attend the "Thor: The Dark World" premiere and be publicly recognized for their career pursuits. From the release:

"The Ultimate Mentor Adventure will allow the girls to meet some of the most incredible Women in Science such as Dolby Laboratory Senior Scientists, conducting interviews and be challenged to participate in experiments. It will also include interactive events and go behind-the-scenes where the general public is not normally invited - all while having their adventure filmed."

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Natalie Portman wants to inspire next generation of women scientists
'Thor' actress teams with Marvel on new contest to connect girls with the most successful women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.