In Germany the so-called “Girls’ Day” takes place once a year. The aim is to motivate especially girls and women to choose a technical or scientific career. The girls are invited for one day to go to companies where they get the opportunity to learn about jobs in engineering, science, crafts and information technology. This should help to increase the proportion of female employees in so-called „men’s jobs“ and to reduce a shortages of skilled workers in the industry.
In my opinion one day per year is not nearly enough for the girls. As a chemistry teacher I try to give the girls very much appreciation in STEM fields because I am aware that 70% of the girls are interested in science but only a few will pursue it as a career.
One important thing for me is to have fun in lessons. Knowing that both girls and boys love to use new technologies I try to include them as often as possible in my lessons. Therefore it is important not to use them only in a technical way a boy might like to. The girls love to use it in a social way e.g. to share pictures in Social Media. So I started a little competition for my students: they should share some “Chemistry-Pictures” via Instagram, no matter if it is a selfie in the lab or a drawing of the last experiment set-up. Especially the girls (but also the boys) had much fun with this task and I hope that these positive feelings encourage them to stick to chemistry.
(The pictures are contributed by my students)