CERN opens its doors for high school students

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

The Large Hadron Collider provides a space for unimaginably small particles traveling near the speed of light to crash…. and become even smaller!

Any high school students out there with a passion for physics? If so, now’s the time to put your best foot forward; the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN) is opening its doors for 30 bright students with the best research ideas.

In case the name sounds familiar, CERN is a physics and engineering organization focused on understanding what physical forces hold matter together. In fact, their facilities house the most advanced scientific instruments for experimenting with different particles that make up everything in the world.

Researchers at CERN study protons by accelerating particles near the speed of light via beams and then crashing the two beams together. The results are even smaller particles ripe for a closer look. These experiments are carried out in the Large Hadron Collider, which provides a place for the Super Proton Synchrotron and the Proton Synchrotron beams to collide.

Now, these scientific tools are going to be available to 9 teams with a total of up to 30 students and 1 adult coach. If any young scholars are interested, they have to submit a 140-character statement by January 31 explaining why their experiment idea should be selected. Then, the applicants have until March 31 to lay out the design of their proposal and elaborate on the project details.

The lucky winners will receive an all expense paid trip to the CERN facilities around July or August and have a full week to carry out their experiment.

Featured image courtesy of µµ on Flickr. Image of particles courtesy of Lucas Taylor on Wikipedia.