Lincoln UTC Cern TripJuly 8, 2016 1:30 pm
3.30am Tuesday 5th July, Lincoln UTC departed Unity Square accompanied by 36 students and 4 members of staff. All students where full of enthusiasm and excitement on the journey ahead of them to visit and tour around the world’s finest example of Physics in action.
12.30pm we landed at Geneva international airport where all three year groups worked together and ensured that all members safely got through security and baggage reclaim. We collectively made our way to the public transport station to get on the number 10 bus to take us directly to the Hotel. Every 7 minutes as promised – clean, tidy and punctual – Switzerland was looking good.
After a long morning travelling we made our way over the France boarder to seek the view from Mount Saleve. We reached the peak that stands over 1km from sea level to absorb the breath taking view. A pure appreciation of what remarkable infrastructure was taken in.
Our first full day in Geneva took us to the History of Science museum to explore how Science has developed from the first microscope to the electron gun. All students had the opportunity to be hands on with equipment older than they are. A spectacular opportunity to enable students to appreciate how technology had developed through the century and beyond.
We then had an opportunity to walk along the lake side and see the Jet d’Eau. The Jet d’Eau is a large fountain in Geneva, Switzerland, and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, being featured on the city’s official tourism web site and on the official logo for Geneva’s hosting of the 2008 UEFA Championships.
Wednesday evening took us to a delicious chicken restaurant where students were able to enjoy a taste of Switzerland style BBQ chicken, also appreciating National Chicken Day. There were no empty plates which indicated they thoroughly enjoyed every mouth full!
Thursday was the day we had all been waiting for….. CERN!!! All students where eager and waiting in the hotel reception by 9am to start exploring the world of Physics.
We started our tour in the Universe of Particles which explained how physicist have concluded their findings of the beginning of the universe and asking the penultimate question ‘What are we?’. Student had the insight from a short movie explaining how scientists have developed their understanding over the years and how CERN actually born. Students delved deep in thought as they understood the timeline of events which allowed use to discover the Higgs-Boson only 3 years ago.
Students where then intrigued to how the Higgs-Boson was actually discovered and was informed by actual researchers that the Higgs boson (or Higgs particle) is a particle in the Standard Model of physics. In the 1960s Peter Higgs was the first person to express the idea. On 14 March 2013, scientists at CERN tentatively confirm that they have found the particle. It is one of the 17 particles in the Standard Model.
After lunch students were then taken for a 3 hour guided tour of CERN and looked into the superconductors and the control centres. Students were taken over the French boarder to one of four control centres to see the activity of the day in the particle accelerator.
A very informative and mind blowingly amazing day had by all. Students were exciting in the prospect that one day they could to be working and researching alongside the professors in the discovery in the next for front of physics.
Friday saw the students with disappointed faces, sad to be leaving such a lovely city and part of the world. A part that answered so many questions yet left us asking more.
In the morning we made our way to the National History Museum and Geneva’s grand Cathedral. Students were allowed time to absorb the cultural aspect of science and religion in these two grand landmarks.
Overall, all students had an enjoyable time and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for allowing your son/daughter to have this wonderful opportunity. As a young cohort of the next generation of Physicist and Engineers Lincoln UTC science staff felt as though they have made a significant impact on all that attended the trip.
Miss Rachel Taylor
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