Science at CERN

19 April 2021

The Ogden Trust offers funding to secondary schools in the School Partnerships programme to support the cost of a trip to CERN for students who otherwise would not be able to participate.

Currently, it is hoped that visits to CERN will be possible again from July this year. With this in mind, the Trust has now opened applications for its latest round of funding (closing on Friday 28 May) which can be used for trips being planned in the academic year 2021/22.

Please visit CERN trip funding for more information on eligibility for funding and how to apply.

“The Trust wants to make sure that inspirational educational experiences are available to students, regardless of their background or financial situation,” explains Programme Manager, Paul Sapple. “Funding for visits to CERN is now available so that schools can support pupils who might otherwise not be able to make the trip. The feedback that we get suggests that these visits really ignite the love of science for the students and their teachers as well as providing new experiences and opportunities.”

"Many trips last year were of course cancelled, and we fully appreciate that schools may not be considering visits of this nature at the moment," says Paul. "However, we wanted the opportunity to be available should any partnership schools want to apply. Trips can be taken any time within the 2021/22 academic year, and hopefully it will soon be safe for travel opportunities to open up once again."

Image copyright and credit CERN

Credit: CERN
“This was my seventh trip to CERN in total, across three different schools, over the last decade,” says Dr Steve Essex, Sidney Stringer Academy. “As always, working in an inner-city school, with large PP numbers and in an area of low social mobility, this opportunity can literally be life-changing for students. First of all, to see a new City and culture far removed from their usual surroundings can be a suitable inspiration, but to then back it up with the experience of visiting CERN, staying on-site at CERN, eating breakfast lunch and dinner at CERN, buying a limited edition Christmas CERN Toblerone – it is worth all the effort a teacher has to make to organise such a trip.

“We also tied in a visit to the science museum in Geneva,” adds Steve, “which has many excellent exhibits that relate to A2 physics - Volta's first battery, first capacitor designs, astronomy, Coulomb's apparatus, etc.

“In terms of the subject knowledge development, the students now have something tangible to use to relate topics such as magnetism, electric fields, gravitational fields, radioactivity, particle physics, energy, current electricity, materials science, astrophysics to their learning. And imperatively, so do I as a teacher.”

On trips to CERN, students learn about the astonishing particle physics research that is taking place as well as meeting some of the physicists who work at this awe-inspiring facility. Interactive museums give the students a great insight into the history and science of CERN.

Schools often include cultural excursions in Geneva too, with visits to the UN buildings, science museum and red cross museum often on their itinerary; a traditional fondue evening, has become something of a partnership tradition on CERN visits!

“As a physicist by training, the opportunity to visit a research facility such as CERN served to remind me why I have a passion for physics and renewed my enthusiasm for the subject. I hope that I may enthuse others with the same sense of awe that I feel when I teach physics, particularly ideas related to 'Big Physics'."
Joe Richardson, Energy Coast UTC

The current round of CERN funding is open until Friday 28 May. Please visit CERN trip funding for more information.

Assuming that restrictions continue to ease and the situation worldwide allows, we will resume our termly calls for CERN visit funding in the next academic year. If you are unsure of your plans and wish to discuss future opportunities for CERN funding, please don’t hesitate to contact Paul Sapple to talk about your individual circumstances.

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