On Thursday the 25th of April 2013 technical companies, research- and educational institutes will opened their doors to young girls aged 10-15 years in order to awaken their interest in science and technology. During Girlsday, organized annually by VHTO, more than 8,000 girls discovered the world of science, technology and IT. On Thursday morning Princess Máxima officially launched Girlsday in the presence of the minister of Education at the independent research organisation TNO-the Hague.
I was invited to participate in Girls Day 2013, via Skype, at ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) in the Netherlands. My role in this was to chat with 2 pairs of young ladies for an hour on Skype and to tell them about my work in astronomy. They were also encouraged to ask personal questions (not too personal! i.e. are you married, have kids, how old are you) so that the girls would see the astronomers as real people. I was very happy to answer their questions, and they indeed seemed to be very interested in my personal life over my career, but think this is normal for 13 year olds!
It was a great opportunity to inspire a new generation of scientists and I hope the girls had as much fun as I did :)