74 | Girls' Day: Schoolgirls discover EPP

Girls' Day is the largest career orientation project for girls worldwide. This year, approximately 103.000 schoolgirls peeked into jobs typically perceived as "for men only" and discovered their technical, engineering and natural science talents.
Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH (NMB), a member of EPP Forum, was one of the companies that opened its doors to a group of bright and interested schoolgirls. The 15 girls were accompanied by Bayreuth's Lord Mayor Brigitte Merk-Erbe, who declared herself in favour of more "Frauenpower" in the industry, in technology and in IT companies. In NMB's particle foam laboratory the schoolgirls learned the basics of plastics and metals. They also investigated machines such as autoclaves and moulding machines - machines that are being used in industrial companies. Tomorrow's researchers got in touch with our innovative material EPP, too: they witnessed its manufacturing process from polypropylene granulate to EPP foam pearls. Visibly intrigued and engaged, the schoolgirls asked many questions about EPP. They were especially interested in the many ways that the material can be moulded. The schoolgirls were thrilled about the EPP piggy banks that they were presented with and which will always remind them of the Girls' Day and their field trip into the world of particle foams. As an added bonus, the piggy banks also illustrate topics such as energy efficiency and lightweight construction. We are certain that the girls are going to tell family and friends a lot about particle foams, modern manufacturing processes and other exciting impressions of their project day. And we at EPP Forum were able to introduce the versatile and efficient material that is EPP to an even bigger group of people.

Both the schoolgirls and NMB were beneficiaries of the Girls' Day. Young women who are well trained and qualified are introduced to future-proof professions and they are encouraged to choose a career that might have been rather unusual in the past. And this is already happening today: 30 percent of all employees at the Department of Polymer Engineering at the University Bayreuth - chaired by NMB's General Manager Prof. Dr.-Ing. Volker Altstädt - are women.

At any rate, the Girls' Day has proven one thing: technical innovation and research in the fields of materials development and application don't have to remain a male domain. And NMB as well as EPP Forum are looking forward to introducing a new group of schoolgirls to the fascinating world of particle foams at next year's Girls' Day.