Students from Heart of England Sixth Form have had a weekend away in Geneva and visited the world-famous CERN science facility as well as taking in some of the sights of what the city has to offer.
The trip took place from Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 of January and after a rest overnight in the hostel the group set out after breakfast for the park and a tour of the UN Geneva. They also visited the cathedral catacombs and enjoyed spectacular views of the city from the cathedral tower.
Saturday was an early start for the main visit to CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire – European Organization for Nuclear Research) the hi-tech science research facility which works to uncover what the universe is made of and how it works. They do this by colliding particles together using accelerators and it is where ground-breaking discoveries are made such as the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
After a presentation with three other schools, our group took a coach and travelled for about 30 minutes to the opposite side of the world’s largest particle accelerator the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) to visit one of the detectors. This involved a further vertical trip of 100 metre underground to where the detector was. Science teacher Jerry Crawford said: “The experience was made all the more intense with the donning of hairnets and helmets and the guide needing to provide finger print and retina scans to open the lift doors.”
After the tour the students went to the ‘Microcosm’ and ‘The Globe of Science and Innovation’ exhibitions.
Back in the city after CERN the group caught a lake taxi to the Jet D’eau, the world’s biggest water jet which proved a wet experience for some students! The evening was spent enjoying local cuisine and a try on some traditional instruments.
The trip to Geneva with its highlight of visiting CERN has proved very popular with students for the last few years. It certainly seems like a weekend well-spent!