Successful Girls’ Day in Garching

Fifty girls visited MPA and MPE to find out more about a career in astrophysics

"How do we know so much about Black Holes; have scientists sent a camera there?" "Is it only noble gases that glow in certain colours?" "Did you need much maths in your physics studies?" These are only a few of the questions asked by the girls when they visited the astronomical Max Planck Institutes in Garching.

At MPA the girls could - among other activities - watch the Cosmic Cinema in 3D and observe the solar surface.

Like in the past years, the two institutes offered a juicy and varied programme on 22. 4. 2010, ranging from lectures, discussions with women astrophysicists, a cosmic cinema in 3D, to observations and workshops, where the girls could experience different aspects related to astronomy first hand.

The Girls’ Day is an initiative throughout Germany to encourage girls to learn more about occupational areas that are still male dominated and that girls consider only seldom when it comes to choosing a career path. And even if some girls probably participated because it amounted to a day out of the classroom, most of the group was very interested in the work of the female scientists.

Apart from questions about the various research areas and instruments, this year some of the girls were also interested in alternative career paths, e.g. technician - without studying physics. This probably reflects the wider scope of schools the girls attended, not only the "Gymnasium" (8- years secondary school) but also the "Realschule" (6-years secondary school). It is not clear yet if some of the girls will come back for an internship - but the scientist might well see a known face again in November, when the German Women Phycisists Conference is being held in Munich.

PS: A similar project for boys, "Neue Wege für Jungs", supports since 2005 initiatives and institutions who organise activities to broaden the boys’ view of study topics and career paths, to introduce more flexible male role models and to further develop social skills, both inside and outside the class room.

linkPfeil.gifPictures from Girls’ Day 2010 at MPA
linkPfeilExtern.gifPictures from Girls’ Day 2010 at MPE

More Information:

linkPfeilExtern.gifGerman Girls’ Day
linkPfeilExtern.gifDeutsche Physikerinnentagung
linkPfeilExtern.gifNeue Wege für Jungs