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Five schools on a virtual visit to CERN and IceCube

The ATLAS and CMS experiments, together with the IceCube Experiment in the South Pole, hosted a virtual visit for high-school students


Five schools on a virtual visit to CERN and IceCube

Angelos Alexopoulos and Steve Goldfarb connect with the schools (Image: CERN)

The ATLAS and CMS experiments hosted a virtual visit together with the IceCube Experiment in the South Pole for students from five different European schools on 2 October. The visit allowed the students to interact with researchers from both the LHC experiments and the IceCube experiment. The virtual visit was the second event in the Open Discovery Space project’s “Bringing Frontier Science to Schools” series.

The 380 students and 14 teachers and education specialists who took part in the virtual visit were from the John Atanasoff Sofia Vocational High School of Electronics in Bulgaria, Ellinogermaniki Agogi school in Greece, Leo Baeck High School in Israel, Grigore Moisil National College in Romania and Svetozar Marković Grammar School in Serbia.

“It was breathtaking and a great opportunity to have our questions answered by the researchers, also live via chat,” said Marco Ilic, a student from Serbia.

The hosts at CERN – Angelos Alexopoulos, Andromachi Tsirou, Zoltan Zsillasi, Noemi Beni and Steven Goldfarb – connected from three different locations: the ATLAS and CMS Control Rooms and the CMS cavern. The hosts from IceCube – Ian Rees and Dag Larsen – connected from the Amundsen Scott South Pole Station in the neutrino observatory lab. Jim Madsen and Megan Madsen also of IceCube connected from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.

“I really enjoyed hearing about the everyday life of a researcher at the South Pole. It was so cool to talk with students and scientists from all over the world,” said Guy Schwarz, a student from Israel.

The visit, which was divided into two parts featuring presentations from CERN and IceCube, also gave the students and teachers an opportunity to interact and encourage each other’s interest in science.

“It’s great to work with our colleagues at CERN to show students two different cutting-edge detectors, each with a different approach to exploring the universe,” said Jim Madsen, Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Centre.

Open Discovery Space brings millions of educational resources directly into school classrooms and empowers teachers to build their schools’ digital libraries, join communities of peers to share best practices, and connect their schools virtually with the world’s best research centres, museums and libraries.