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CERN’s New Science Gateway Centre Will Feature an Education Programme for All Ages


CERN’s Science Gateway centre in Geneva, Switzerland, will feature a host of exhibitions and laboratory workshops for pupils aged five to 19. 

Described as “a place to discover particle physics like nowhere else on Earth”, the Science Gateway is CERN’s new flagship centre for education.

Opening on 8th October, 2023, visitors from age five and above will be able to discover their inner scientist in hands-on education labs and explore CERN and the universe through immersive multimedia exhibitions. 

There will also be a host of science shows and guided tours for school groups to see the places ‘where the science is done’. 

“We want CERN Science Gateway to inspire all those who come to visit with the beauty and the values of science.”

Fabiola Gianotti, CERN’s director-general 

The vision for Science Gateway was first revealed in 2017 with an aim to expand CERN’s extensive range of education and outreach programmes, reaching out to more and younger visitors. 

Highlights for school visits to CERN Science Gateway

  • Lab workshops, lasting between 45 and 90 minutes, will cover a variety of topics ranging from the basic principles of particle detection to the use of robots in science. They’re an ideal way for pupils to discover what it’s like to be a scientist or engineer at CERN. 
  • Three exhibitions will bring CERN to life for school groups. Discover CERN will invite visitors to peek behind the scenes at the laboratory, exploring CERN’s particle accelerators and how a global network of computers process the data collected. Our Universe will take students back in time (13.8 billion years to be precise) to discover the journey that particles took to become everything we see around us. In Quantum World pupils can become a particle and experience our world at the very smallest of scales engaging in fun activities like quantum karaoke and quantum tennis.
  • There will be a selection of science shows covering states of matter, superconductivity, particle detection, engineering and big data. These will be shown in a 900-seater auditorium.  

CERN Science Gateway is a striking addition to the site in Geneva, Switzerland, featuring five different spaces as well as two laboratories, an auditorium, shop and a restaurant. A glass bridge suspended six metres above the ground connects the different spaces and the centre is set to welcome between 300,000 to 500,000 visitors every year. 

About CERN

Physicists and engineers at CERN, which was founded in 1954, use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – fundamental particles. 

The instruments used at CERN are purpose-built particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before the beams are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator

Fabiola Gianotti, CERN’s director-general said: “Science brings people together and shows what humanity can achieve when we put our differences aside and focus on the common good. Science gives hope and trust in a better future.

“We want CERN Science Gateway to inspire all those who come to visit with the beauty and the values of science.”

Previously CERN’s learning lab and education research facility could only accommodate young people aged 15 and over but now there’s a tailored education programme for those aged five to 19. 

There will be a host of resources for teachers and EVCs including materials enabling them to learn more after their visit and content and courses for those who aren’t able to visit Science Gateway in person. 

Source: School Travel Organiser

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