Girls' Day at PIK: A day as a climate researcher

04/28/2023 - Exciting lectures, interactive workshops - that was the 12th edition of Girls´Day at PIK. Twenty schoolgirls aged from 12 - 16 years had the opportunity to look behind the scenes of the institute for one day.
Girls' Day at PIK: A day as a climate researcher
One of the programme highlights: the ocean current simulation experiment. Photo: PIK/Timea Campedelli

Girls' Day is a career orientation project for schoolgirls that offers girls the opportunity to learn about occupational fields in which women are still underrepresented. The aim is to awaken and promote girls' interest in these fields.

This year, the program was again held on site in Potsdam, after previous years were only hosted online due to the pandemic. The schoolgirls began with a historical tour of the Telegrafenberg Science Park, where PIK is located. Afterwards, PIK researcher Annika Stechemesser gave a lecture on the topic "Quite warm here - how climate change will change our lives". Here, the girls gained insight into the effects of climate change on hate messages on the Internet.

Another item on the program was an interactive ocean current simulation experiment in which the participants were able to investigate the effects of temperature changes on the entire system. In addition, Maria Martin, physicist and scientific advisor at PIK, gave a presentation about her life and her time as a researcher. The girls were particularly interested in anecdotes and pictures about her Antarctic expedition.

The highlight of Girls' Day at PIK was the role play of an international world climate conference. Here, the participants were divided into three groups of countries, which fought for their interests and points of view. Through the simulation game, the girls  were able to apply and deepen their knowledge about climate change and its effects. Despite differing opinions, the groups finally agreed on a target that corresponds to a global warming of up to 2-4 degrees.

The participants gained an insight into the work of climate researchers and were able to engage with various aspects of climate change. The interactive workshops and lectures offered the schoolgirls a varied and interesting opportunity to deal with an important social issue. Girls'Day thus makes an important contribution to promoting girls in STEM professions and is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


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