EUMETSAT welcomes visitors for Girls’ Day

EUMETSAT opened its doors to a group of 21 young women for Germany’s annual Girls’ Day. The participants, aged 11 to 14, spent the day at Headquarters in Darmstadt, learning about the organisation’s role in providing weather and climate data from space.

Girls’ Day is a German event to encourage women to become involved in workplaces that have traditionally been dominated by men. The visit to EUMETSAT, led by interns not much older than the group, was designed to give the girls an idea of what a career at EUMETSAT might be like, and how they might enjoy working with satellites and data.

Interns Esther Heinisch and Bianca Sousa Dias introduced EUMETSAT’s satellites, Metop, Meteosat, and Jason, using the scale models outside the building.

The tour had a much more relaxed atmosphere than school classes and gave the interns a chance to share their enthusiasm for space and to explain who we are, what we do, where our satellites are located, and the importance of the data they send to us. Fortunately the bright sunny day allowed lots of time for questions about the different missions, and how the various instruments operate on each satellite.

Intern chatting to visiting girls.

In the afternoon, the girls took the opportunity to experiment with infrared (IR) temperature sensing. After a quick presentation, they got into laboratory mode, using handheld IR thermometers to monitor a change in temperature in real time.

Like EUMETSAT’s satellites, they had to be consistent in their measurements, checking the change in temperature in three different bowls of water over  a period of 20 minutes. They had one bowl of water with ice, one whose surface was disturbed with a desk fan, and one control, which was just plain water.  The experiment demonstrated, amongst other things, the latent heat of ice melting and a calibration jump in the instrumentation.

EUMETSAT proved a popular choice with all of the visiting spots for this year’s Girls’ Day snapped up in quick time. Perhaps the participants will return soon for a longer stay  – through an internship or a long-term job.


About the Author

Valerie Barthmann

Valerie Barthmann

Learning Zone Writer