Girls' Day 2022
Girls' Day is a countrywide event to introduce schoolgirls to disciplines and careers in which women are usually underrepresented. More information on this event can be found here.
This year, Girls' Day took place on Thursday 28 April 2022.
W2W female scientists and colleagues at the meteorological institute at the LMU in Munich offered a workshop called "Das Wetter: Wind, Wolken und Wissenschaft" (in English: "The weather: wind, clouds and research"). Nine participants between 11 and 14 years old started by playing a Monte Carlo game to learn about solar radiation, clouds, and the weather. Each participant played the role of a photon, starting from to the top of the atmosphere and aiming at reaching the ground. The photon was slowed down by clouds, and giving a wrong answer to a quiz question led the photon to being absorbed, i.e. "loosing a life". The participants then played the Forecast Factory, a game in which the participants play the role of a numerical model forecasting the temperature in Germany. Each participant is a model grid point and computes the temperature at this grid point for several time steps, communicating with neighbors to exchange information about boundary conditions. The resulting temperature forecast is then compared to the "real" model forecast. This excellent team work highlights the challenges of NWP and the effects of error growth on a forecast. The school girls then visited the instruments on the roof of the institute. After the lunch break, they visited an exhibition about role models in STEM fields. They read the inspiring stories featured in the comic book "Of course!" that were printed on posters. Hella Garny was there in person to talk about her own inspiring story. The day ended by a visit of the institute and the interview of a few scientists about their everyday life at work.
A participant wrote: "I have learned a lot about the weather today, but also that you have to go your own way, no matter what others say and no matter whether you are a man or a woman."
Girls’ Day at the LMU. Top left: Forecast Factory, bottom left: Monte Carlo game, center: participants on the roof of the institute, top right: Hella Garny talking about her inspiring career path, bottom right: interview of scientists in their office.
Thank you to the volunteers for your time and enthusiasm! The program of the workshop is available here.
W2W female scientists and colleagues at the Institute for Atmospheric Physics at the JGU in Mainz offered a workshop called "Was benötigt man für eine Wettervorhersage?" (in English: "What do we need to make a weather forecast?") to twelve girls between 11 and 13 years old. The workshop started with a presentation by Volkmar Wirth about the "Fascination of Meteorology" featuring many surprising pictures and movies of storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. A short weather discussion afterwards highlighted the variables that need to be measured to produce a weather prediction. To measure these variables, the participants built their own thermometer, wind mill, and wind vane. The calibration of the thermometers with ice and hot water was more challenging than expected, but it worked out as best as possible. After lunch the girls tried their self-made wind mills and wind vanes in the wind channel. During this experiment they experienced wind speeds exceeding 25m/s! Finally, they visited the instruments on the roof and touched clouds produced by the cloud chamber.
Thank you to the volunteers (Franziska Teubler, Isabelle Prestel and Sören Schmidt) for making this day a success! Read more about the workshop here.
Girls’ Day at the JGU. Top and center left: construction and calibration of a thermometer, top right: visit of the instruments on the roof, bottom left and center: cloud chamber, bottom right: wind channel.