Girl’s day

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On the 25th of April the Max-Planck for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching in collaboration with GalileoMobile, hosted a group of around 30 girls as part of the Girl’s Day national program (http://www.girls-day.de/) to encourage young women to pursue technical or scientific careers. GalileoMobile provided resources as well as manpower to carry out solar observations and astronomy-related activities. We first started with the initial part of the GalileoMobile documentary, a five-minute cartoon movie where the girls could learn about the history of Astronomy, when and where it originated and about the different civilizations that contributed to its development.

Both tutors and students introduced themselves and split into groups of around 5-6 girls to perform the activities. These were selected from the GalileoMobile Handbook and included the construction of a spectrograph to observe the spectral lines of the Sun or a 3D model of Orion and a planisphere to understand constellations. Also, theoretical explanations about gravity, the cycle of the Sun, the morphology of Galaxies or Nebulae were offered to the students, which showed great interest in discovering the processes that occur in the Universe. They asked very interesting questions about physics and chemistry and seemed very curious about how the lives of scientists, specially females, are.

At the end of the session, books and beautiful posters and postcards kindly provided by the European Southern Observatory (ESO), were distributed among the girls. The tutors, most of them PhD students or post-docs at MPA, found very enriching the experience of working with young students and explaining them facts about general Astronomy and about their own work. The girls also had a great time with us, some of them even said they would like to go for a scientific career in the future!

Sandra

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