This year we have partnered up with The Institute for Research in Schools, offering our students a chance to get involved in genuine, ground-breaking science projects.
This year we have partnered up with The Institute for Research in Schools, offering our students a chance to get involved in genuine, ground-breaking science projects. Through this scheme, we can borrow detectors used on satellites, science research vessels and even at CERN, and have access to data collected on Mars and the International Space Station. See http://www.researchinschools.org/index.html for more information on these and other projects.
In September a team of Y11, Y12 and Y13 students embarked on a hunt for a new particle, named the ‘Baby Higgs’. Using unprocessed data collected in the ATLAS detector at CERN, they have started looking for tracks detected that could indicate the presence of this, as yet undiscovered, missing link in our understanding of where mass comes from. The team have worked hard, meeting once a week to teach themselves how to make sense of the huge .csv files and how to start looking for patterns in the data.
In recognition of the work they have been doing, the girls were invited to speak at the CERN@School Symposium held at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Oxfordshire on Thursday 16 November. The day began with an introduction to the work carried out RAL by Professor Stephen Haywood, and a tour through the history of particle detection by Dr Michael Campbell from CERN. Elika (Y12), Sula and Maxine (Y11) then did an excellent job of explaining the Higgs Boson particle and introducing the Higgs Hunters Project to the crowded hall and credit should also be given to Elona (Y11) and Lila (Y13) who contributed to the presentation but were unable to attend the symposium itself. Professor Becky Parker, the Director of IRIS, was particularly impressed with how well the girls knew the science and how much work they have done so far, especially given that they were the youngest students asked to present.
The students who attended were also inspired by the other school presentations on how their students have been using the TimePix detectors in their own projects. Some thoughts from the Y12s who came along:
Thomas Y12: It was really interesting listening to the talks by other schools. I’m looking forward to getting involved in this real research now myself.
Kalle Y12: I really liked hearing how other students have been using the data for their EPQ research - especially one student who looked at the chance of death for an astronaut on a trip to Mars using data he had collected from a satellite and the International Space Station. I think it’s really great that CSG is now giving us the chance to do similar things ourselves. It really was inspiring.
The speeches were recorded and hopefully will be uploaded to the YouTube channel soon; in the meantime, check out last year’s conference at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzOHSX6gCeezzgBOKuxomVg .
If you want to know more about the research we are doing here at CSG or want to get involved, come and see Ms Goldsmith, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org