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Wednesday
Nov302011

Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 Inspires Girls to Study Science

 

On Saturday, 26 November 2011, over 250 schoolgirls from Brussels descended on the International School of Brussels, host to the second annual Greenlight@Brussels Day, an event promoting science, technology engineering and mathematics ("STEM") to 11-15 year old girls.  With over 100 hands-on workshops run by role-model scientists, engineers and technology experts, and a Fun Lab full of the latest high-tech gadgetry and science experiments, attendees were exposed to a wide array of exciting activities to inspire them to pursue technical studies and careers.  The event was also officially part of EU Robotics Week and the International Year of Chemistry 2011.

The feedback shows an impact:

In a follow-up survey to the event, a full 94 percent of girls who attended Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 said the event encouraged them to pursue science subjects, and this from some who are not currently enrolled in science studies.

"We are amazed and excited that the feedback from the girls is so positive," says greenlight for girls European Director, Cheryl Miller.  "We hope for this kind of outcome from the events we do, but to see such a big impact in practice is really great," she adds.

Just getting started: 

"In our first year, greenlight for girls has run over fifteen free events in Europe, the US and Africa," says greenlight for girls Founder, Melissa Rancourt.  "In 2012, we plan to build out our 'daisychain' network in Europe, India and Africa, and South America too," she says, "and we're really looking forward to seeing such success repeat itself around the world."

More positive feedback:

Further testimony from the hundreds of event volunteers and participants at Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 attests to the variety of activities held and the excitement the event generated.  A sampling of feedback when asked about their "favorite part of the day" includes:

  • seeing girls carrying worms around
  • getting dirty from the big bang theory workshop
  • all their questions about the Solar plane
  • seeing girls participate in the Mars ESA mission
  • learning the science of beauty and the engineering of fashion design
  • being live news reporters and photographers during the day
  • discovering life in a test tube
  • being a part of a global water experiment
  • shooting a rocket outside
  • guessing the magician’s tricks
  • painting their labcoats with designs and messages about girls and science
  • making daisies change colours
  • linking music to science
  • building the internet
  • programming robots
  • designing my dream home

The greenlight for girls Foundation and their Board Members in Brussels, Cheryl and Melissa, express their gratutide to everyone who contributed to the success of Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011, including Keynote Speaker Annie Chen from Google, and a vast list of partners and sponsors.  More information on the event itself, including photos, video and workshop output, will be shared here in the coming days and weeks.

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