A group of Year 11 students from Blacon High School flew to Geneva to visit CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, where physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe, using the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the laws on nature.
Following a short introductory lecture our group was taken by a mini-bus into France to visit the control room for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). The AMS is on the International Space Station and is controlled from CERN, which then analyses the information sent back from space. The next stop was the LHC detector, where a lift took students 80m underground to see the detector; the sheer scale of which amazed everyone. In the afternoon, the group had a guided tour of the United Nations sitting above one of the assembly halls and watching an assembly meeting discussion Human Rights around the world.
Stephanie Chinchen (16), explained “Every machine we saw was huge. It’s strange to think that all of them have been built so far underground.”
On the Saturday students visited and had a guided tour of the Museum of the Red Cross and Red Crescent exploring how the organisation works to tackle human rights issues around the world. They then had the opportunity to picnic by the lake before having a walking tour of the Old Town area of Geneva and the parks.
Georgia Owen (16), said “The trip was great. We got to learn so many things just from one visit.”
Sunday morning was more relaxed, as students visited the Natural History museum before catching the ferry to the botanical gardens and the Museum for the History of Science, with its wonderful views across to the snow-capped Alps.
Head of Science, John Lacey said “We packed a great deal into three days: science, culture and history. It was an excellent opportunity for students to see how science is being used to help understand nature. All students and staff involved returned with great memories of a fantastic trip.”