CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Cascade Projects in Slovakia


To encourage high school students to consider particle physics as a subject in future schooling


International Particle Physics Masterclasses (MC) have become a phenomenon. 8000 high school students from 22 countries evaluate real LHC data at 99 universities across the world every year.
From my point of view it is an extremely successful event. However, it is only a one day thing. We motivate the students and let them go.I always felt that we should offer something to them that would take them deeper into the realm of particle physics. At least those who want.
We tried a few things but nothing seemed to work very well.
Then we tried Cascade projects.
In the Cascade competition teams of 2 or 3 high school students make 20 min presentations at their schools. Presentations are on topics from particle physics and cosmology.Teams then send videos of their presentations plus .ppt files to organizers. Jury selects best teams and invites them to Grand Final. The best team in the Final wins the trip to CERN.
The format seems very successful. Students love to work in teams and present things. Number of teams rose from 4 in the 1st year to 16 in the 3rd year of the competition.
Masterclasses (MC) seem to be a good spring board for Cascade. MC are a 1 day thing, in Cascade we invite curious minds for a deeper adventure.
Cascade is relatively easy to organize. The first round (presentations at schools) does not require presence of the organizers nor judges. Grand final
is jointly organized by a high school and a university.
Best Cascade presentations have the qualities we had hoped for. Solid scientific content and fresh, entertaining presentation which is a real treat to watch. Team members are interested in pursuing scientific career.

Post date: Tue, Aug 16, 2011 — 09:19
Updated date: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 — 04:23

Learning Topics

Life as a Physicist
Process of Discovery