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Higgs Boson at the Science Café

On Wednesday 4 July 2012 the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem held a study day for teachers entitled: “Science and Technology – Only for Boys?!” to deal with gender equality in the classroom and lay the groundwork for promoting science and technology.

The teachers met with three young female scientists from different fields of science: Dima Azaiza specializes in medical science, Tali Guttman in computer science, and Adi Ashkenazi in experimental particle physics. 

That same day the world became aware of an important scientific discovery, the particle known as the Higgs boson or, as it is more popularly known, the ‘God particle.’ Fortunately for us, Adi Ashkenazi is one of the researchers participating in an international LHC (Large Hadron Collider) particle acceleration study at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, situated on the border between Switzerland and France. Adi discussed this exciting discovery and talked about her research. 

Apart from the brief and informal meeting with young female scientists the program included:

  • A chat with TWISTY – a witty virtual character who challenges visitors about their preconceptions regarding women and science.
  • Voting in a Polling Station: What's your opinion? where participants express their opinions about stereotypical claims regarding gender and science.
  • A tour of the Science Museum, with special emphasis on groundbreaking discoveries by women.
  • A lecture – A Teacher from the Movies – Hidden Messages in Education (Noam Feinholtz)
  • A moderated discussion: Gender Equality in the Classroom – from Hidden Messages to Awareness and Teaching Methods (Dr. Nurit Kirsch)
  • How Many Women Scientists does it take to make Coffee? – a satirical, thought-provoking performance by Incubator Theater, presented by the Slain Cow ensemble. 

The study day was held under the auspices of the European Union’s TWIST (Towards Women in Science and Technology) project, aimed at encouraging girls to enter the scientific and technological professions. The Bloomfield Science Museum is a partner in this enterprise, together with European science museums and other European organizations. The purpose of the project is to raise awareness about the importance of appropriate representation in the fields of science and technology among young people, their parents and their teachers.

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