Girls’ Day 2024

On April 25, 2024 we welcomed five 9th grade students, who participated in our Girls’ Day Workshop “Entdecke die Welt der Kunststoffe!”, organized by the CRC 1333 and the Institute of Polymer Chemistry at the University of Stuttgart.

After an overview of the basics of plastics production and processing along with some insights on the work done at the Universiy of Stuttgart by Prof. Dr. Michael Buchmeiser, the girls were met by three of our CRC 1333 doctoral students: Boshra Atwi, Patricia Sonnenberg and Patrick Probst. 

Prof. Dr Michael Buchmeiser
Patrick Probst & the Girls’ Day participants

They showed the girls around in our different laboratories and hosted the hands-on part of our workshop.

After watching doctoral student Patrick Probst perform a cyclopolymerization experiment in the glove box, the girls were able to get a feel for the day-to-day work of a chemist by trying their hand at working in a glove box.

Doctoral student Boshra Atwi showed the girls how to make polyurethane foam by mixing polyol with water and then adding hexamethylene diisocyanate. The girls were able to stir the mixture with a wooden stick until the reaction started and after about ten seconds and the foam was created.

CRC 1333 doctoral student Patricia Sonnenberg showed the girls how to perform the “nylon thread trick” and make polyamide. Hexamethylene diamine, water, and phenolphthalein are mixed in a beaker. The solution is then carefully overlaid with a solution of sebacic acid dichloride in cyclohexane. The skin that forms at the phase boundary is removed with tweezers and attached to a glass rod. The girls were then able to wound a “nylon rope” onto the glass rod by twisting.

The day was rounded off with snacks and talks with our CRC 1333 doctoral students about the study programs at the Faculty of Chemistry and career opportunities. The day was a complete success and we would like to thank all participants for the great workshop.

We are already looking forward to Girls’ Day 2025!

Girls’ Day is an initiative to motivate female students (and those who identify as female) to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) by giving them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in these fields.