Girls' Day 2024 at PIK: Exciting insights into climate research

04/25/2024 - More than 15,000 options, around 135,000 spots available across Germany, more schoolgirls than ever before: this year's Girls' Day has set new records. At the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), 19 girls from Berlin and Brandenburg had the opportunity to take an exclusive look behind the scenes at the institute.
Girls' Day 2024 at PIK: Exciting insights into climate research
One of the programme highlights: the ocean current experiment. Photo: PIK/Timea Campedelli

After a historical tour of the Telegrafenberg Science Park, where PIK is located, the students were welcomed by ice researcher Lena Nicola. She gave them an insight into her scientific career and her research at the institute. ‘You can even simulate entire Earth systems like the Antarctic in a computer model, [and] observe the movement of ice from the Antarctic, for example. This takes three to four days to calculate the developments over the next 10,000 years,’ explained the researcher. The pupils then observed the physical forces that drive the Gulf Stream, among other things, in a hands-on experiment on ocean currents.

PIK scientist Claudia Hunecke, an agricultural economist, reported on the versatility of her work: ‘I have spent four years taking a broad view of the food system. Over the next few weeks, I will be looking at specific, detailed issues.’
The climate council role play, which has been an integral part of the programme for several years, particularly inspired the students. Based on the negotiations at a UN climate conference, the participants defend the interests of their assigned country and agreed on a joint CO2 budget.

Girls' Day was organised at PIK for the 13th time and this year's theme was “ Career paths with a future”. The event is the world's largest career guidance project for schoolgirls and aims to inspire girls and young women to choose careers in maths and science. It is sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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