A striking Girl’s Day in Science

2 October companies, science centers and universities opened up the doors for high school girls for them to see what science and tech is all about. The Technical University of Denmark was one of them.

Today the Technical University of Denmark was part of Girl’s Day in Science. The event was arranged by Tektanken – Denmarks largest portal for school-business collaboration. 221 girls attended the 10 workshops at DTU Lyngby Campus.

47 girls – equivalent to 21 % of all the girls – enrolled in the workshop “How do we design a sustainable energy system?” which took place at Department of Electrical Engineering (DTU Elektro). The workshop activities covered a guided tour to Electric Vehicle Lab and High Voltage Lab, hands-on experience and brief lectures on the topic.

Divided into groups, the girls gained a hands-on experience as they measured the power level of an electrical car using a voltmeter and tried to steer the power flows in a 3D-model simulating the power system on the island of Bornholm.

Overall, the girls got acquainted with how to control and steer the power flows when more renewable energy resources are integrated into the power system – a key element in the department’s relatively new study programme Design of Sustainable Energy Systems.

Nerds in a cellar

Under the supervision of Professor Joachim Holbøll, the girls witnessed a lightning striking a model of a wind turbine in DTU Elektro’s High Voltage Lab. This impressed Olivia Wena Chen from Niels Brock International High School:

” I think, it was exciting to see how lightning strikes a wind turbine and what engineers can do to protect the wind turbines from being destroyed.”

She thinks energy is an exciting business, but like many young people with a lot of choices to make, she is still considering what she wants to do for a living.She is very interested in science though:

“Personally, I do not have any barriers when it comes to choosing a scientific education. It has always interested me and it runs in my family,” she says.

Olivia Wenya Chen understands if some girls relate an education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to being “nerds stuck in a cellar doing computer related stuff”. Anyway, she thinks that that prejudice is now a thing of the past for most young girls:

“Universities and companies have been very active in showing us that all kinds of people work in STEM. They have succeeded in making it look really cool and show how the abilities and skills you acquire from attending a STEM-education can be used to solve many societal problems.”

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