PoL Welcomes the Next Generation of Scientists for Girls' Day

The annual Girls’ Day event took place in April, and PoL was visited by a cohort of high school students for hands-on experience and presentations by leading researchers.

A group of female students from high school surround a table with chemicals and various tubes on it. Many are holding pipettes and transferring liquids into test tubes.
8 enthusiastic students visited PoL on Girls' Day to receive insight into the daily life of our scientists © PoL / Kaori Nakashima

On April the 25th, Germany celebrated Girls’ Day, an annual event dedicated to inspiring girls and women to pursue careers in science and technology. In a bid to break gender barriers in male-dominated fields, institutions and companies across the country opened their doors to young female students, offering them a glimpse into potential careers in STEM. 

At the Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life (PoL), 8 enthusiastic students were invited to witness the cutting-edge research being carried out by scientists. Presentations made by volunteers from the Adams and Fischer-Friedrich groups showcased the exciting world of biophysics, and for 3 hours the students could gain hands-on experience and insight into the work of scientists at the institute.  On such research area was the study of tissue development, using fruit flies as a model. Receiving a theoretical overview, the girls learned about genetic inheritance, genotypes, and phenotypes, before engaging in the practical activities. Students could sort the flies by their phenotype, observe the different stages of development, and even examine fluorescent tissue under the microscope.

To conclude the event, there was a roundtable discussion where the girls could talk freely with the scientists about their daily life, and passion for research. Gina Dimari, a PhD student and volunteer from the Fischer-Friedrich lab at PoL found the experience highly rewarding, stating, “It was really nice to remember the childish curiosity that brought me to science in the first place”. By participating in Girls’ Day, she noted “When we are too deep into our daily life, we often forget how fun science can be, and sharing a little of what we do with these girls reminded me of this”.

For these young women interested in careers in science, Girls’ Day provided more than just a glimpse into research, but also inspiration and drive to pursue it. By encouraging students to explore STEM fields, events such as these pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse future for the community.

Well done to everyone involved!