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Physics Ladies' Day boosts girls' enthusiasm for science

On 28 October 2016, prospective female students explored the natural sciences at the annual Physics Ladies’ Day. This event, specially for girls in the final two years of high school, was being held for the third time. 'You don't necessarily have to be top of the class.'

During the Physics Ladies’ Day the school pupils were introduced to different aspects of the Physics programme, and learned about the job prospects for graduates. They attended talks by current students of the programme, met women professionals from the world of physics, did some experimenting themselves and ended with a high tea.

Serafine & Anna (year 6)

During the lunch Serafine and Anna talked enthusiastically about the event: ‘It's well organised and we've been kept busy the whole day.' When asked what they had learned, Anna replied, 'I've always wanted to study Astronomy, but today I learned that you can combine it with Physics.' Serafine discovered that Physics is a broader programme than she imagined: 'During the speed-dating I heard that the programme also has an element of communication. That's good to know because that's also a subject I'm interested in.' 

Serafine and Anna

Raishna & Uma (year 5)

Several of the attendees mentioned the difference in self-confidence between boys and girls. Raishna explained: 'Today has boosted my confidence and I've become more motivated about studying Physics. You don't have to be top of the class.' Uma agreed, but was particularly keen on another aspect of the Physics Ladies' Day: 'Talking to professionals gave me a clearer idea about what you can do with a degree in Physics.' 

Uma and Raishna

Nalini & Kirsten (year 5)

Nalini, too,  said that the Physics Ladies’ Day gave her a better idea of the job prospects: 'When I was asked to write down five professions that are possible with a degree in Physics, I only got as far as astronaut and researcher. Now I know that there are a lot more options.' Kirsten liked the personal contact with the students. 'Hearing them talk gave me a much clearer picture of what it is that they do. And you could ask them all your questions during the speed-dating.'  

From l  to r: Jessy, Kirsten, Maaike and Nalini

The photos are on the Facebook page of Leiden Science

The Physics Ladies’ Day is organised in cooperation with the VHTO, the national expertise centre for girls/women and science/technology. The VHTO works with partners to organise different activities for girls to promote the participation of girls and women in the world of science, technology and ICT. 

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