Girls brave cold April weather
As in previous years at the end of April, MPA invited 30 girls to learn more about astronomy and what it means to pursue a career in science. This event was part of the annual Girls’ Day, an initiative throughout Germany to encourage girls to learn more about occupational areas that are still male dominated. Even though the weather did not cooperate, the girls were very active and braved the cold and the rain to visit the roof telescope and launch their “rockets”.
The Sun, stellar constellations, galaxies, the expansion of the universe – the girls were faced with a broad range of astronomical objects and topics during the Girls Day at MPA. Supported by many helpers, they could do various simple experiments and discuss about astronomical topics and methods along the way. In the digital planetarium show “Changing Skies”, they were taken on a journey from the sky above Garching to the end of the Universe; and in the observatory on the MPA roof they could visit one of the principal tools of astronomers.
The girls showed a lot of interest in astronomical topics and asked many questions, both during the programme and at the end when some female scientists briefly presented their career path and what fascinates then about their chosen topics. During this Q&A session, the girls then asked not only about more details of the objects researched and the research process, but also about the basic conditions in science, such as what they don’t like about the work environment or how much freedom an individual researcher has to pursue her own goals.