CERN women expand horizons for future female scientists

32 women working at CERN contributed to the fifth bi-annual "Expanding your Horizons (EYH) - Geneva" event at the University of Geneve


CERN women expand horizons for future female scientists

The girls learnt about many aspects of science, including superconductivity (Image: Guillaume Megévand / EYH, 2013)


Last month, 32 women working at CERN contributed to the fifth bi-annual "Expanding your Horizons (EYH) - Geneva" event, which took place at the University of Geneva. The EYH Geneva organisation is part of the EYH network that is dedicated to promoting gateway science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) amongst young girls, to spark interest in STEM activities and careers. ​

450 girls aged between 11 and 14 from the local area attended this free one-day event. The girls could register for three of 31, 90-minute-long workshops in different domains: chemistry, physics, biology, geology, engineering, mathematics and technology. In between the workshops, the girls could enjoy the ‘Discovery Fair’, a group of stands with interactive activities and science related attractions.

The dynamic, interdisciplinary group of women from CERN designed and ran four of the workshops. The first offered the girls the opportunity to explore the effects of liquid nitrogen on a variety of everyday objects. In the second the girls built their own particle accelerator inside a salad bowl. In the third the girls built their very own particle detector, a cloud chamber, from scratch and compared their observations with data taken with a state-of-the-art particle detector, MediPix. The last workshop was created specifically for this fifth EYH Geneva event: the girls were introduced to the basics of programming using hands on exercises developed in the Minecraft gaming world.

CERN volunteers also designed and led the largest stand at the Discovery Fair. On a visit to the CERN stand the teenagers could embark on a virtual reality visit to the CERN data center, participate in live guided visits of ATLAS and CMS, prepare proton beams for collision in the Large Hadron Collider, discover what particle best suits their personality by taking an interactive test, and take selfies to remember the day, thanks to our very own photo booth. The volunteers on the stand brought plenty of enthusiasm and supporting material to answer questions and stimulate the girls’ curiosity.

To learn more about the EYH Geneva visit: