Once again, the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth as well as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiated the nationwide Girls’ and Boys’ Day. On this day, students have the chance to get a glimpse of different professions and disciplines, especially those that counteract gender specific prejudices.
Dedicated to this cause, the Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU), German Research Center for Health and Environment, joined in to promote this great initiative. On March 28, 2019, the Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC, part of the HMGU) invited 12 motivated young girls to reveal the exciting occupation of a scientist in the field of medical research. Program
Following an introduction to the institute and safety in the laboratories, the girls had the opportunity to do some hands-on lab work and experiments. They did not only perform DNA extractions from fruits, they also got insights into cell culture of healthy lung cells and abnormal cells from lung fibrosis. They could experience latest microscopy methods with virtual reality glasses. As a highlight, the girls created their own ice cream with the aid of liquid nitrogen. In a final round with all participants, the young scientists took advantage of the possibility to ask everything about the institute, career options, the different paths that can lead to medical research and more. The wide range and large number of questions proved the girls’ enthusiasm and interest.
All CPC scientists that participated in this year’s Girls’ and Boys’ Day greatly enjoyed spending time with the motivated girls and were happy to pass on some of their knowledge and keenness in the exciting, fast-moving field of natural sciences and biomedical research. We hope the girls relished this opportunity as much as we did. The CPC is already registered for the next Girls’ and Boys’ Day in March 2020 and trusts that the following years will be equally successful!
By Sabine Behrend, Student Representative.