Girls Day at Knorr-Bremse: Firing youthful enthusiasm for technology


Mechatronics engineer, IT specialist, machinist… these are just some of the many exciting career opportunities awaiting discovery at the Girls Day event organized by Knorr-Bremse. For the 20th year in a row, the Company is inviting schoolgirls (in fifth grade and up) to come and find out all about the wide variety of technical apprenticeships on offer.

This year’s Girls Day is scheduled for April 28. As ever, the event aims to inspire young women to pursue careers in STEM subjects (sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics). Knorr-Bremse’s Munich office first took part in Germany’s nationwide Girls Day event exactly 20 years ago.

Experimenting together

This year, 20 participants have already signed up for Girls Day at Knorr-Bremse in Munich. After a preliminary safety briefing, things really get started. First, the young visitors explore the training workshop and the Knorr-Bremse development center. Then they settle down to do experiments. Using an unlikely mix of ingredients – including screws, staples, wires and a lemon – the girls learn how to generate electricity. Then, in a second experiment, they work together to assemble the world’s smallest electric motor. Finally, once they have been introduced to the many vocational apprenticeships available at Knorr-Bremse, they take part in an exciting quiz.

The Knorr-Bremse site in Aldersbach is also hosting a Girls Day event full of experimentation, tinkering and inventive fun. Located to the east of Munich, not far from the Czech border, the facility is due to welcome 10 technology enthusiasts. The day’s program includes building a binary electromechanical clock, after which the girls will be shown around the training center and encouraged to discuss their technical questions with the apprentices there. “Experience shows that schoolgirls particularly enjoy doing experiments together, with help and support from our apprentices. Many of the girls who attend Girls Day are so inspired that they go on to apply for internships or apprenticeships with Knorr-Bremse,” says Andreas Schinhärl, Head of Training in Aldersbach.

Encouraging talented young people at Knorr-Bremse

Getting young people excited about technology is not, of course, something that only happens on Girls Day. Knorr-Bremse organizes briefing events and roadshows several times a year, and offers internships all year round. The Company is always seeking to motivate schoolchildren, trainees, apprentices and students to take up careers in technology.

“At Knorr-Bremse, we give our apprentices a range of excellent practical skills, and we help them prepare for their classes and exams,” explains Florence Bröcheler, Head of Training in Munich. “But we also offer a broad selection of advanced training and language courses, and reimburse some of the travel costs. In principle, it’s also perfectly possible to arrange international internships or school visits abroad. We regularly organize various other events to let young people know about development opportunities at Knorr-Bremse, such as our Girls for Tech camp. This gives girls with an interest in technology an opportunity to work on technical projects at Knorr-Bremse and then present the results of their efforts,” she adds.

Since 2004, Knorr-Bremse has also been a staunch supporter of the mentorING network, which arranges for experienced mentors to assist women students at Munich Technical University with their personal and professional development. Another initiative in which Knorr- Bremse is involved is “MINT 4 Girls” (MINT = math, IT, natural sciences and technology), a long-term program that aims to interest schoolgirls in technology and encourage more women to study STEM subjects.