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28.04.2017 | Schoolgirls find out about GSI and FAIR on Girls’Day


On Girls’Day, 32 schoolgirls from Grades 5 through 10 had the opportunity to find out what it’s like to work at GSI and FAIR. They took advantage of this future-oriented day to gain an insight into the many activities that are pursued at an international research institution, especially in professions where women have seldom been represented so far.

For the participants, Girls’Day began with a welcoming address by Ursula Weyrich, the Administrative Managing Director of FAIR and GSI. This was followed by a tour of the particle accelerator and experiment facilities on the research campus, which made the girls curious and generated many questions: How big are atoms? Is it possible to see them? How is a detector put together?

After that, the girls could gain practical experiences in various technical and scientific working areas at workshops, technical laboratories, and research departments. Many departments had prepared for the girls’ visit by creating a special program, and they provided plenty of support for their young visitors. For example, the girls were able to try their hand at milling, soldering, and programming. They were also given a tour of the construction site of the future FAIR particle accelerator, which will be unequaled anywhere else in the world. Occupational safety was the focus of all of these experiences.

After all this, the girls could look back on an exciting day during which they had achieved many practical results. For example, they had milled pencil holders and buttons for themselves, created targets — the paper-thin foils that are used as targets for experiments, equipped a circuit board with LEDs and connected it, and created their own web page. One highlight of the day was the ice cream they made themselves with liquid nitrogen.

Girls’Day is a day of action all over Germany. On this day, businesses, factories, and universities all over Germany open their doors to schoolgirls from Grade 5 and above. There the girls learn about courses of study and professions that offer traineeships in the areas of IT, the skilled trades, the natural sciences, and technology — areas where women have seldom been active in the past.

Girls'Day 2017 at FAIR and GSI: The participants with carbon targets in the target laboratory.
Connecting a circuit board with light-emitting diodes.
The schoolgirls when creating a website.
Highlight: The production of ice-cream with the help of liquid nitrogen.
Photo: G. Otto, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Photo: G. Otto, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Photo: G. Otto, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
Photo: G. Otto, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung