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There are plenty of vacancies in the field of technology and IT. However, the number of girls and women opting for a career in the STEM fields has been low for years. Therefore, the expertise agency VHTO organises the annually recurring Girls’ Day with the aim of introducing and inspiring girls between the ages of 10 and 15 to the fields of science, technology, and IT.
Girls making brush robots at UvA on Girls' Day
Supreme concentration in making the brush robots

At various locations in the Netherlands on Thursday 11 April, companies welcomed girls from primary and secondary schools to show them something about careers in these sectors. The Faculty of Science, in collaboration with the Anton Pannekoek Institute, hosted 65 girls from the first year of Ir. Lelylyceum in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost.

Light, robots and a wind tunnel tower

Girls' Day 2024 began with an inspiring and energetic lecture by Mimi den Uijl, a PhD in Chemistry, on light. Then, the girls split into three groups. One group worked on building towers from sticks that had to remain standing in a wind tunnel, another group made brush robots and holograms, and the third group received a tour of the observatory domes. They rotated through all the rounds so that everyone experienced everything.

In between, participants could even slip into a neuroanatomy lesson to see how students analyse rat brains. There was also a delicious lunch where the young visitors could ask Mimi and other involved female role models anything they wanted.

Girls' Day participants watching a neuroanatomy practical at the UvA
Taking a look at a neuroanatomy practicum

Which team made the strongest tower?

The finale of the day was a competition: who made the strongest tower? Using the new wind tunnel at the UvA Makerspace, the towers were tested by gradually increasing the wind speed. The winning team was only blown away at 18 km/h and went home with the honour and a beautiful Science Technology & Innovation spanner!

A varied view of IT and technology

During Girls' Day, the girls gained a varied perspective on what is possible at a university and in the world of IT and technology. Overall, they were very enthusiastic about the activities offered and participated with pleasure.

The organisation, led by Charlotte Clarijs in collaboration with Bètapartners, looks back on a very successful day with a lot of help and contributions from various people and groups within the faculty.

Inspire and share knowledge

Are you a scientist interested in various science communication and outreach opportunities? Check out the AZ page on the staff website for all the possibilities via the button below.

A lecture of chemist Mimi den Uijl about light at Girls' Day 2024
A lecture of chemist Mimi den Uijl about light