While the girls were a bit shy and quiet at first, they soon started to ask
questions, about astronomy, career options and the possibility of internships.
This direct contact was especially easy when the whole group broke up into
smaller teams to work on the hands-on projects. These ranged from building a
model of the solar system to visualise the enormous distances to calculating
your weight on other planets or making a star chart to orient oneself on the
Most of these “experiments” were adapted from the kid’s programme of the Open
Day and from GalileoMobile, an itinerant science education project that brings
astronomy to young people and local communities mostly in developing countries,
though not exclusively. The project aims at fostering a wish of learning
through the exciting wonders of our Universe, by organizing astronomy-related
activities in schools. Initiated in late 2008 by a team of young astronomers,
GalileoMobile continues the efforts undertaken during the International Year of
Astronomy 2009 and plans future expeditions, cooperating closely with the
“Galileo Teacher Training Programme”.
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.
For more information:
Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching
Tel. +49 89 30000-3980