High school students search for the Higgs boson at the Girls‘ Day 2013 with PRISMA PIs Lucia Masetti and Gabriele Honecker

Every year, on the last thursday of April technical enterprises, universities and research centres throughout Europe are invited to organise an open day for girls: Girl's Day - 'Future Prospects for Girls'. This open day focusses on career perspectives in traditionally male dominated `MINT' (Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences, Technology) topics. Since its first happening in 2001, the Girls' Day has continuously grown with 17 European countries participating in 2013. In the past three years, the activity has been matched by the Boys' Day for traditionally female dominated professions.

On 25 April 2013, the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz offered about 20 workshops covering a wide spectrum of activities. In the project "The search for new elementary particles" led by PRISMA PIs Gabriele Honecker (THEP) and Lucia Masetti (ETAP), eight 14-16 year old high school girls learned about both theoretical and experimental aspects of modern particle physics. The workshop included a local masterclass: the participants analysed recent LHC data searching for the Higgs boson in the W decay channel. At the end of the day, the girls had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their results with scientist Ruth Pöttgen in a live connection to the ATLAS control room at CERN.