Behind the scenes of science

Girls’ Day und Boys’ Day am Max-Planck-Institut in Münster

March 28, 2014

If one thinks of a scientist, many will think of eccentric, intelligent persons who, all alone in a room, work on complex things 'normal' people will never understand. Yet on second sight one will see that this image of the scientist who works on his own is hard to find nowadays. A modern research institute hosts many employees behind the scenes, who enable science in the first place

On March 27, 2014, the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster had opened its doors for this year's Girls' and Boys' Day to give 10 youngsters in the age of 14 to 17 an impression of the jobs at an institute for natural sciences. Six girls and four boys learned about jobs of those persons, who work behind the scenes and do jobs that are often unseen: building services technicians or animal caretakers and technical assistants, who work tightly with the scientists.

Experimenting with flatworms

During the day, the girls mostly accompanied the building services engineers. They gained insights into the technical devices and machines in the institute, that not only need to be maintained, but that are also adapted or created to meet the needs of the scientists. In the institute's own workshop, the girls could make their own mobile phone holders.

The boys got to know two jobs that are dominated by women: that of technical assistants and of animal caretakers. The boys were allowed to experiment in the lab and take care of mice themselves. They acquired varied, exciting impressions from everyday work in a scientific institute.

At the end, both participants and organizers looked back at a successful day.

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