For four months, 30 teachers and 684 schoolchildren aged from 7 to 12 from the Geneva, Ain and Haute-Savoie regions were initiated into the scientific research process. Like scientists looking for particles that are invisible to the human eye, the pupils came up with hypotheses, collected data and conducted experiments to try to work out what was inside mystery boxes provided by CERN. All they had been told was that they mustn’t open or damage the boxes in the process.
As the project unfolded, the 30 classes taking part used a collaborative web platform to share how their investigations were progressing. They also had the chance to visit CERN and the University of Geneva’s PhysiScope. Their thinking and research was enhanced by being immersed in the laboratory environment and talking to scientists.
The project rounded off in style with a final conference in CERN’s Globe of Science and Innovation on Thursday, 11 May 2023. Pupils from three classes in Geneva shared their findings in the form of an animated film, posters and exhibition stands. After months of suspense, the pupils also finally found out what was inside the boxes.
The Be a Scientist project, which was launched in 2011, is an education programme based on a collaboration between the University of Geneva (the Physiscope and the Laboratory of Didactics and Science Epistemology), the Geneva Department of Education and the French Ministry of Education.
Are you a teacher and want to take part in a future programme? Visit https://voisins.cern/en/be-scientist. Registration for the 2024 edition will open at the end of the summer.