ESH Secondary student in ICT

Last week, the European Patent Office hosted an online event for Secondary school-aged girls that aimed to increase their interest and awareness in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and covered the most important inventions of all time. The programme guided students through the exciting world of innovation and the protection of inventions, in a fun-filled, interactive and informative way. Many thanks to the staff at the European Patent Office for organising this valuable and inspiring experience for our girls, and to Katerina and Anna for sharing their experiences with us.

Katerina (S4)

During the 2021 International Girls’ Day event organised by the EPO, we talked about the process of examining a new invention to determine whether or not permission should be granted for the creator to produce the product. We started off by watching the official kickoff on a live stream. I quite enjoyed the live stream, it included small interviews with women with interesting jobs, the aim was mainly to show girls that jobs don't have a gender and we can become anything we want to as long as we study for it to gain the necessary skills and put effort into it. After the kickoff we attended a lecture which had a lot of new information to me. We were then transported to breakout rooms where we completed exercises about inventions with EPO staff. I quite liked this part too since we got to meet new people.

Anna (S4)

I participated in the International Girls’ Day event organized by the European Patent Office this year. Due to corona, it was of course an online event. In the beginning we watched a kick-off video made by the national expertise bureau for girls/women and science/technology (VHTO) in Dutch. This kick-off included an interesting quiz and fun digital escape room.

Through videos, interviews and anecdotes from the participants we learned about successful women working with climate change, electricity, construction and of course patent examination. What I found most inspirational was an interview with Principal Director of Administrations of the EPO, Edda Franz, who taught us that in this male dominant world we women can still rise to the top. We also learned a bit about the patent examination procedure from the different examiners, who were all successful women with a great education and interesting jobs, which they fought for and now can inspire us with.

I learned a lot and I believe the experience encouraged many girls to follow a career in science, technology or really anything they want to be.