On this year's Girls’Day 2023, ten schoolgirls from the Neckar-Alb region were guests in the laboratories of the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen (IMIT). Under the guidance of PhD students Franziska Höhn and Elisa Liebhart, the schoolgirls gained an insight into the work of a microbiologist. The day was organized by the Cluster of Excellence CMFI.
Together with the two researchers, the students extracted DNA from bananas and observed the activity of bacteria under the microscope.
Various everyday objects such as smartphones or their own clothing were also used by the students as objects of investigation: The girls took surface samples by means of so-called contact plates, small Petri dishes with a nutrient medium. After a few days in the incubator, the microorganisms on the nutrient medium multiply to such an extent that they become visible to the human eye. It was impressive for the girls to see how many different microorganisms colonize the surfaces.
In addition, the schoolgirls were given a tour through various laboratories at the CMFI, exchanged ideas with young female scientists and were shown possible educational paths into microbiology.
Franziska Höhn and Elisa Liebhart were able to provide schoolgirls with an exciting and interesting "day as a microbiologist" and showed them with a lot of enthusiasm what it means to be a natural scientist.
A day for the future for girls
Girls' Day is a nationwide project for career and study orientation for girls. On this day of action, schoolgirls learn about professions or fields of study in which women make up less than 40 percent. Companies, businesses and universities throughout Germany open their doors to girls on Girls' Day to introduce them to apprenticeships and courses of study in IT, crafts, science and technology. Or they can meet female role models in leadership positions in business and politics.
Girls' Day is the largest career guidance project for schoolgirls in the world.
An exciting day with positive effects
On Girls' Day, participants experience how exciting the work is in laboratories, offices and workshops. In workshops and during activities, the girls gain insights into the everyday life of companies and test their skills in practice. They receive direct answers to their questions and can make initial contacts.
In addition, the public and the business community become aware of the girls' strengths - opening up new future prospects for this well-educated generation of young women. Many young women have found an apprenticeship or a course of study in their dream job as a result of Girls' Day. And: Evaluation results confirm that Girls'Day has a positive influence on the image of technical professions among participants.