Saturday, November 29th marked the 5th annual greenlight for girls Day, our signature event, at the International School of Brussels - and we’re still on ‘up in the clouds’ thinking what an amazing day it was filled with broken records, fun science workshops and fantastic STEM role models. Greenlight for girls continues to grow exponentially in geography and reach with more than 75 events across 5 continents, engaging 1.200 volunteers worldwide and now reaching more than 10,000 students! This year’s event brought forth 210 greenlight girls from 39 different schools, 105 volunteers and workshop leaders and 16 different organizations.
As for the broken records, this event not only brought the highest number of volunteers & the youngest speaker & workshop leaders, but was also was the fastest “sold-out” event with the highest social media reach we’ve ever had (hashtag #g4gDayBrussels). In addition, during our evaluation process, we found that every single one of the workshops we offered was identified by students as being their favourite & most inspiring. For the first time ever, the girls also identified their most inspiring role models to be young girls their own age - we could not have been more proud by these results!
“Last year marked the very first time young girls at the mature age of +15 hosted their own workshop which inspired many of the participants at the time to do the same,” explains Jelena, the events’ project manager, “and this year you could clearly see the impressive rippling effect! The event started out with introducing special girls, such as Jackie – who created her own app at 12 years old and presented her project in front of all the girls – and Emma & Isobel, who created their own businesses already before the age of 16. We had girls that began as g4g participants, became g4g interns, and are now in high school as key role models that created and conducted several workshops of their own. We had not one, but FOUR different workshops run by Dora, Emma, Marianne, Isobel, Alix & Charlotte – who did an amazing job! They impressed the participants with a variety of subjects, such as creating a necklace holding your own DNA & showing the linkage between sports and science; as well as teaching the chemistry behind bath bombs & the science behind entrepreneurship.” The response from the girl participants this year was evident - in the evaluation process, we asked the girls who inspired them and we must admit the majority of responses identifies our young g4g role models by name - for making their own app or creating their own business or simply because they inspired them! This year also brought forth two very talented and strong-willed STEM professionals from Procter & Gamble, Stephanie & Regine, as our keynote speakers and the girls loved their stories - when asked who inspired them most, one 12 year old girl replies, "Regine, because she began with very little, but became a BIG scientist!"
The biggest hit of the event was our Physics Fun Lab, conducted by university physicists and scientists who travelled from Imperial College in London, aimed specifically to increase the take-up of girls in Physics studies in the last years of High School. We also had two fantastic chemistry and physics-related workshops run by Procter & Gamble, two very successful technology workshops run by the Cisco team, and two more run by the Microsoft & Microsoft Innovation Center team, who introduced the girls to their all new Surface-Pro 3 tablet & lead them to become coding experts J. The infamous Big Bang workshop was back this year with an extra surprise that involved CSI and fingerprinting analysis the girls loved - we hear one girl now wants to become a Forensic Scientist! EPIC Photonics was back for another year of Lights, Lasers & Optics – always a big hit and we heard that towards the end of the workshop, the girls spontaneously went to up to the whiteboard & started writing comments on the various Photonics applications – WOW! The “Girl Power” workshop was also back, which always succeeds so well in empowering and inspiring the girls to follow their dreams & passions. Finally, to add on to the diversity of the day, a big part of the workshops included social media, news, and radio!!
A lot of times we ask ourselves - how did we get here? “The story of greenlight for girls began with one email asking if there was a need to encourage girls in STEM careers,” explains Melissa, g4g Founder and Chairman, “the result brought us to today – over a thousand role models volunteering their time to do exactly this – help to encourage and inspire girls around the world and it is working. Our favourite moment is after the event when we start getting contacted (immediately) by the girls, their parents & their schools letting us know exactly how this event has influenced their desire for learning science and eventually their decisions towards university studies and their professional path.”
Some of our favourite comments this year:
∞ “It’s only been a few days but look at the ripple effect….. Santa had a new request so there will now be electronics kits under the tree for Christmas and tomato ketchup is now coming out of the bottle faster in our house.”
∞ It was wonderful to see how our 11 year old came home, took out her little g4g notebook and spent over 1 hour with GREAT enthusiasm explaining all the experiments and learnings she had collected during the day - like a little Einstein!”
∞ “My daughter has been doing further research on non- Newtonian liquids today - wow! “
∞ “Thanks for the coding links – they loved these workshops. Books and apps on coding are now on the list for Sinterklaas”
If you didn’t get the chance to see the video for the overall day, click here! We promise it will inspire you.
To take a look at our Press Release, click away here.
And finally, we’d like to mention all our sponsors and supporters as it is because of them that our events begin as a dream and become a reality.
Sponsors: Procter & Gamble, Cisco, The International School of Brussels, Solvay, and Baxter
Supporters: EPIC, RadioX, The Brussels Chronicle, Microsoft & Microsoft Innovation Center, NeoMytic, CEER (Council of European Energy Regulators), and Imperial College London.