21st Century Fox and PepsiCo, in partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), announces “The Search for Hidden Figures” – a new scholarship contest designed to help uncover the next generation of female leaders in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is inspired by the highly-anticipated feature film “Hidden Figures”, in theaters nationwide on January 6, 2017 (after a December Oscar-qualifying run in a limited number of cities), starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, and Jim Parsons. The film tells the ignored story of three African American female NASA mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960’s. This contest will support today’s emerging STEM visionaries by awarding over $200,000 in scholarships and other prizes to over 20 winners.
“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.”
Beginning today, November 14, 2016, through December 10, 2016, online entries will be accepted directly at www.SearchforHiddenFigures.com. Semi-finalists will be selected in mid-December, and each will be asked to provide a video submission for continued consideration. Top video submissions will then be judged by a notable panel of judges that include: “Hidden Figures” Producer Pharrell Williams; “Hidden Figures” Producer Donna Gigliotti; Fox 2000 President Elizabeth Gabler; and President of the New York Academy of Sciences Ellis Rubinstein.
On January 12, 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.
“We are honored to have the opportunity to share the story of Katherine Johnson and her peers whose contributions have remained hidden for too long,” said Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox. “At 21CF, we believe in the power of storytelling to inspire the next generation of talent to dream bigger and unlock their full potential, and through The Search for Hidden Figures contest we are excited to give young women across the country the encouragement to pursue those dreams.”
To help encourage participation, 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. To further discussion around STEM, 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 mobile and web games can be found at http://searchforhiddenfigures.com/stem-challenges/
“Hidden Figures,” directed by Theodore Melfi, is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
The film was written by Allison Schroeder and Melfi, and is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly.
The film opens wide on January 6, 2017.