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A “Be a scientist” programme unlike any other!

Around 100 pupils taking part in the project ended the year by attending videoconference sessions


Dans la peau des scientifiques 2020 (teleconference)
The participants were able to discover the contents of the boxes virtually thanks to a short video clip filmed by the organisers (Image: CERN)

The ninth year of the Be a scientist project concluded at the end of June for around 760 budding scientists from schools in the local area.

Over six months – not four as usual, due to the closure of schools – pupils aged 7 to 12 from schools in Geneva, Ain and Haute-Savoie, came up with experimental methods to determine the contents of several boxes as accurately as possible, without being able to open or damage them. In doing so, they were following in the footsteps of CERN scientists, who carry out research on elementary particles that they are not able to observe directly.

The visits to laboratories and meetings with scientists that usually form part of the programme had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. But in spite of everything, this year’s programme still ended on a high note: around 100 pupils participated in six videoconferences from home or their classroom. On the agenda, an interview with a scientist, the big reveal of the contents of the boxes in a video clip and a discussion with the organisers about the contents.

The project, which was launched in 2011, was the result of a collaboration between the University of Geneva (Physiscope and LDES), the Department of Education (Geneva) and the Ministry of Education (France).

Are you a teacher and want to take part in a future programme? Visit https://voisins.cern/be-scientist. Registration for the 2021 event will open at the end of the summer!