Students from East Norfolk Sixth Form College have been inspired by a visit to CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider.

During the visit on Thursday 2 July 2015, the students discovered how CERN is helping to answer some of the most fundamental questions; how did the Universe begin? What are the basic building blocks of matter?

Scientific breakthroughs such as the discovery of the Higgs boson require experimental machines on the large scale, and the students gained an appreciation of the technical and engineering challenges that the multinational experimental collaborations at CERN face.

Karen Dawson from East Norfolk Sixth Form College said: “The highlight of the visit was being able to actually go underground at CMS and see the immense workings and infrastructure that needs to be in place for experimental research.”

The UK has been a member of CERN since the organisation was founded in 1954. Membership allows British researchers to take a wide variety of roles that contribute to CERN’s on-going success; from recently qualified technicians and university undergraduates gaining their first taste of working in an international environment to PhD students analysing experimental data and experienced engineers and physicists leading projects or representing their experimental collaborations. The East Norfolk Sixth Form students’ visit was led by a member of the CERN community who talked from personal experience about their contribution to CERN’s research programme.

STFC’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor John Womersley said “The scale of the science and technology at CERN is awe-inspiring. There is no doubt that seeing it at first hand, and meeting the people who work on the experiments, can influence young people’s future education and career choices. My own research career began at CERN and I continue to be fascinated by its discoveries.”

Pictured - EN students exploring CERN

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