Girlsday in English

Eleven thousand girls learn about technology during Girlsday 2018

Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ingrid van Engelshoven will kick-off Girlsday 2018 together with 75 girls on Thursday April 12th. They will do this using a HoloLens. This will mark the start of Girlsday activities throughout the Netherlands. On this day, more than 11.000 girls from elementary and secondary school visit companies involved in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

This year, the kick-off will take place at the construction site of the Rotterdamsebaan highway of construction company BAM in The Hague. The girls will design a school there using the latest BIM (Building Information Modeling) technologies. They will see how the HoloLens - ‘mixed reality’ goggles that combine the real world with virtual information - is used for digital work instructions in building projects. The girls will also learn about other technological innovations in construction work, such as ‘self-healing’ concrete, roads producing renewable energy, and the use of drones. Finally, they will weld optical fiber.

More than 11.000 girls (between 10 and 15 years old) will visit 350 STEM companies on Girlsday 2018. By inviting female pupils for Girlsday, companies and technical departments of other organizations want to show the girls that they are more than welcome in the world of STEM. In addition, the girls get the chance to see the multitude of career possibilities of STEM. In Leeuwarden, girls will learn to purify water, girls in Amsterdam will get the chance to be theater technicians for a day, and in Wijchen girls will assemble a Formula 1 race car. Other examples of Girlsday activities include making games, laser cutting, running flight simulations, installing bathrooms, and being a process operator.

Still too few girls choose for STEM in the Netherlands. VHTO, the Dutch national expert organization on girls/women and science/technology, wants to increase the participation of girls in the STEM domains. Girlsday is one of VHTO’s activities to introduce girls to STEM.

Girlsday is organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and TechniekTalent.nu. BAM and Bouwend Nederland are VHTO’s kick-off partners for Girlsday 2018.

About Girlsday

On Girlsday technical companies, research- and educational institutes will open their doors to young girls aged 10-15 years in order to awaken their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It is one of the activities of VHTO, the Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/ Women and Science/Technology, to increase the participation of girls in science, technology and ICT in the Netherlands. During Girlsday, organized annually by VHTO, more than 10.500 girls discover the world of science, technology and IT.

The activities that will take place during Girlsday are diverse. More than 350 large and smaller companies organize hands-on activities, tours, workshops, quizzes, contests, pitches and speed dates with female professionals for girls in primary and secondary education. All with one goal: to awaken their interest in science and technology.

Through various efforts VHTO, government, education and business, more and more Dutch girls in secondary education in the sciences. There is an increasement in STEM enrollments in the number of female students. But the shortage of well-trained scientists, engineers and IT specialists is certainly not yet been resolved. This attention is still needed.

Kick-off Girlsday 2016

In 2016 Jacqueline Prins (Director Gender Equality at The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science), Neelie Kroes (special envoy for StartupDelta) and Ans Hekkenberg (STEM ambassador) attended the opening ceremony of Girlsday 2016 at the ANWB Headquarters and Salesforce.