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CERN Beamline for Schools


CERN will be making a fully equipped beam line available for a team of winning school students to run an experiment.






The deadline for expressions of interest is the 31st January 2014. In honour of CERN’s 60th anniversary in 2014, the laboratory is offering a chance for school students worldwide to carry out a real experiment at CERN in a "beam line for schools" competition.

This is a unique opportunity for students to

• develop skills by doing real research 

• conduct experiments on a CERN proton beam

• work directly  with CERN researchers

• experience the ins and outs of taking data at a real accelerator

• get your results published in a scientific paper

• international kudos and credit for the school

• improve exam results and be inspired to study physics 

The competition mirrors the real way that researchers bid for access to the laboratory's unique facilities. Students need to first register by the end of January, then by the end of March, submit a proposal for a research project to be conducted at the beam line. From next week, a series of live Hangouts on CERN’s YouTube channel will answer students’ questions. Follow CERN’s social media channels and the hashtag #bl4s to stay up to date.

The beam line comes fully equipped with an existing set of standard detectors that students can choose from to design their own experiment. Proposals will be judged based on motivation and creativity, and the winning team will have the chance to refine their ideas with researchers before conducting their experiment at CERN. They will then spend one week at CERN for their experiment, with the unique opportunity to join the accelerator operators in the control room and steer the beam to their experiment. The results will be summarised in a document, and –it might be published in a scientific paper.

Want to find out more? Try the competition webpage:

Or contact the competition email address If you’d like to get in touch with your local particle physics group for help and advice, contact the STFC Particle Physics Outreach Officer Elizabeth Cunningham or the UK International Particle Physics Outreach Group member Peter Watkins

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