Girls‘ Day 2018: One day as a Max Planck scientist

April 26, 2018

On the 24th of April the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung (MPIE) opened its doors for this year’s nationwide Girls’ Day. The participants from the age of 11 to 17 gained an insight into five different research areas.

Immediately after being welcomed, the girls started their day at the laboratory. Each student could choose a research area in advance. During the workshop “One day as a nanoscientist” one group learned how  everyday objects like cell phones or sun cream, but also insects, can be examined with the help of electron microscopes down to the nanometre scale and how this analysis helps to improve for example the properties of cell phone batteries. Meanwhile, another group explored the world of 3D printing and investigated how to print three-dimensional objects with the help of a laser beam and a layer of metal powder. Afterwards, they learned about the challenges the MPIE scientists currently face in order to optimise the process of additive manufacturing.

While four girls analysed the properties of different materials in the laboratory together with the trainers and apprentices from the area of materials testing, another group discovered how physico-chemists examine material surfaces. By using their own torches and sunglasses, which they brought along, they were able to test how light can be broken down into its individual components with a spectrometer.

The fifth group of girls gained an insight into the everyday life of a constructor in the field of nano-/micromechanics. They dealt with the construction of mechanical test equipment, which the MPIE scientists  combine with high resolution electron microscopes in order to analyse the tiny structures that are employed in nanotechnology.

The Girls’ Day is a yearly nationwide event during which companies, enterprises and universities offer female students the possibility to gain an insight into professions and study programmes in which women are still underrepresented.

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