What a fantastic day! CEPLAS participated also in this year’s HHU Girls‘ Day program and hosted 10 interested young girls in one of its labs. Prof. Ilka Axman and her lab-team offered the opportunity to explore a field of research that might someday be their own: plant research.
Depending on the education background of the own families, science as a field might often seem too abstract or even out or reach for many. The focus of today’s activity was on getting young girls familiarized with the lab environment and also involving them in some hands-on activities. This will hopefully spark their interest in science and the fascinating discoveries they could contribute to.
Equality important were the interactions with established female academics in an informal setting, and the insights into what this leadership role might entail. Introducing young girls to the field early on and exposing them to potential role models can serve as an inspiration to follow in their footsteps, and also as a way to challenge gender stereotypes in science.
Finally, all students were asked to write down what they associate with plant research. The results were very different, but also showed that the girls had already gained many impressions in the few hours they had spent in the lab.