CERN Visit shows STEM still Inspirational for UK Prize Winners

Dr Catherine Jewell | February 2019

Last week two of Beck Greener’s partners visited CERN on STEM Learning UK’s 2018 Inspiration Awards prize-winners’ trip. Catherine Jewell, the lead on Beck Greener’s STEM: Branching Out project, and Avi Freeman, head of the physics, electronics and engineering team, spent two days being shown around the beamlines and experiment halls at CERN, enjoying a unique insight into the facilities from researchers and staff.

Visits to the data centre and control centre showed off just a few of the technical innovations developed at CERN, which is the home of the World Wide Web, and where the Large Hadron Collider produces a mind-boggling amount of data per second while observing particle collision events and their outcomes.

There were also visits to the Neutrino platform and to the ISOLDE beamline, where decaying radioisotopes are being studied for a plethora of applications, including in medicine. Meanwhile, day two included visits to ALICE and CMS where Catherine and Avi were able to see the compact muon solenoid opened up for servicing and maintenance. “Compact” though it is named, the CMS is itself the size of a very large room.

The trip was a fantastic reward for Beck Greener’s achievement in winning the STEM Employer (SME) award, and a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand the fascinating research carried out at CERN and the amazing engineering developed to support this.

We would like to thank STEM Learning UK and the Science and Technology Facilities Council for organising and sponsoring the trip, and of course, Mark Langley and Stephanie Hills for hosting us.