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Wakefield Girls’ High School

Hunting for the Higgs boson at CERN!

Girls from WGHS have been inspired by a visit to CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider.

During their visit in the Easter holidays, the students from Years 11, 12 and 13 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.

The girls' visit was led by a member of the CERN community who talked from personal experience about his contribution to CERN’s research programme. Mr Collett, Head of Physics, said, “The visit to CERN was amazing, we all thoroughly enjoyed it. The CERN staff were very keen to share their knowledge with us at a level we could all understand.”

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 ongoing 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.

STFC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Brian Bowsher 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.”

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