Girls’Day record: 68 participants at GSI and FAIR


GSI/FAIR set a new record for participation in the nationwide day of action Girls' Day campaign in 2023. A total of 68 girls between the ages of eleven and fifteen took part in the event and informed themselves about the accelerator facilities and experiments, about research and infrastructure, and especially about the career opportunities at GSI and FAIR. That is more than at any other Girls'Day event previously held on-site. The girls took advantage of Girls'Day to gain insight into the wide range of activities at an international research institution, especially in professions in which women have especially in professions where women have seldom been represented so far.

Following a welcome by the organizing Public Relations department and the head of the Human Resources Management, Tobias Gottschalk, the girls first went on an accompanied discovery tour to some stations on campus. They took a look at the experimental storage ring ESR, visited the treatment site for tumor therapy with carbon ions and marveled at the large detector setup HADES. The program also included a walk to the viewing platform of the large construction site for the future FAIR accelerator.

Afterwards, the girls learned more about individual work areas on campus in small groups. These included science activities in materials research, atomic physics and at the ALICE experiment, as well as numerous infrastructure facilities such as electronics departments, workshops, target laboratory, detector laboratory, cryogenics, construction, facility management and IT. In a special FAIR construction offer, some of the girls were also able to get a glimpse of construction activity on the large-scale site, getting up close and personal with excavators, cranes and lots and lots of concrete. In biophysics, even a small group took part in Girls'Day in English.

“We were very happy about the enormous popularity and the lively participation. For us as the organizing department and, of course, for our colleagues in the scientific and technical departments, this is a confirmation of the attractiveness of our offer,” explains organizer Carola Pomplun, who is a physicist herself and works in the Public Relations department at GSI and FAIR. “Many groups built or made something small on campus that could be taken home. To get into personal contact with our colleagues on site, to see the work ‘live’ and to ask and answer questions directly, allows the participants a deep insight into the different fields of work.”

“Besides the possibility of working at GSI and FAIR as a student, there is also the option to do your bachelor's, master's or doctoral theses with us. In addition we offer a variety of apprenticeships as well as dual study programs,” says Tobias Gottschalk. “If the girls liked it here, I’d like to invite them to apply for those, or for a voluntary or compulsory internship as well.”

Girls’Day is a day of action all over Germany. On this day, businesses, universities, and other institutions all over Germany open their doors to schoolgirls from grade 5 and above. The participants learn about courses of study and training in professions in the areas of IT, natural sciences, and technology — areas in which women have rarely been employed in the past. GSI and — since its foundation — also FAIR have been participating in the annual event since the early days of Girls'Day. (CP)

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