16-19 January 2018
Zurich, Switzerland
Europe/Berlin timezone

The “Beamline for Schools” competition at CERN

17 Jan 2018, 10:10
ETH HG E 1.2 (Zurich, Switzerland)

ETH HG E 1.2

Zurich, Switzerland

Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich, Schweiz


Mr Markus Joos (CERN)Ms Sarah Aretz (CERN)


In 2014 CERN has started to organize “Beamline for Schools” (BL4S), an annual physics competition for high-school students aged 16 and up. In the competition, teams of students from all around the world are invited to propose an experiment to CERN that makes use of a secondary beam of particles with momenta of up to 10 GeV/c from CERN’s Proton Synchrotron (PS). The students have to describe their experiment in a document of up to 1000 words and complement their application with a one-minute video. CERN provides a number of various detectors, magnets, readout electronics and other components to the students and allows them to bring their own equipment. In the first four years of the competition, 6900 students from all around the world have participated and in total eight winning teams have been selected and invited to CERN for 12 days each. Every year, two dedicated support scientists prepare the winning experiments and operate them together with the winners. We will describe the challenges linked to the Beamline for Schools competition, focussing on the detectors and software that have been developed by the BL4S team, the technical implementation and operation of the experiments and the overall project structure. We will also report on the impact of the competition on the students. Finally, we will present an outlook for the future of the BL4S competition, taking into account the shutdown of the accelerators at CERN in 2019 and 2020.

Primary author

Mr Markus Joos (CERN)


Ms Sarah Aretz (CERN)

Presentation Materials