Photonics is a strongly growing sector of the economy and a major research area in Europe. In Thuringia and in particular in Jena, the scientific and industrial location is shaped by universities, research institutes and companies in the field of optics and photonics. While the number of young, well-trained female graduates is high, women who hold a leading position in academia and high-tech industry are still underrepresented.
Leibniz-IPHT hosts age-appropriate experiment days for school students, targeting the respective grade levels. In response to the high demand for such exposure, Leibniz-IPHT initiated a Young Researchers’ Day in 2011, which has been requested regularly since then by school classes (4th grade and up). Leibniz-IPHT also partakes in the national "Girls’ Future Day" (formerly: Girls’ Day) and "School Scientists’ Day", an initiative of the Beutenberg Campus e.V.
In addition, Leibniz-IPHT holds special programs such as, for example, experiment shows in schools, facility tours, and student mentoring in the form of summer school or events for students. Furthermore, Leibniz-IPHT offers school students the opportunity to write their semester thesis at the institute and accompanies them during experiments as part of the “Young Researchers” program.