A Saturday of science for girls

On Saturday 16 November, the University of Geneva's Faculty of Science welcomed 388 girls aged between 11 and 14 to take part in “Élargis tes horizons” (“Expand your horizons”). This initiative aims to encourage more girls to pursue a career in science.


The idea is to use fun, interactive workshops to pique their interest while they are at an age where they are starting to think about their future. They see, by example, that women can and already do work in science.

All the workshops were led by women representing several different scientific disciplines. CERN participated along with EPFL, UNIGE and seven other organisations, with 23 workshops on offer in total. The girls had the opportunity, for example, to programme a robot, analyse DNA and design and print a 3D object.

The 23 CERN women physicists who took part ran an information kiosk and three workshops, where the girls were invited to build a particle accelerator in a salad bowl, observe cosmic rays using their own cloud chamber and even discover the world of cryogenics using liquid nitrogen, all wrapped up, of course, with an ice cream.

by Pauline Gagnon