CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

Teaching the Standard Model with charges and interactions




This article outlines the teaching approach of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt which focusses on charges and interactions rather than particles. It can be used as an inspiration for the teaching of and communication on particle physics.


This article is part of the proceedings of the GIREP-MPTL conference 2018. It describes the key ideas and argumentation steps of the teaching approach developed by Netzwerk Teilchenwelt for the introduction of the base concepts of the Standard Model of particle physics, namely charges, interactions and particles.

This approach is the basis for the four-volume teaching material of Netzwerk Teilchenwelt which to date is unfortunately only available in German. Therefore, this article might be useful for all non-German speakers. Additionally, the article shortly discusses the perception of teachers on the material and in-service trainings which are carried out using this approach



Introducing an innovative approach of teaching the Standard Model of particle physics at high school


The role that is assigned to elementary particle physics in high school education differs all over the world. Even within a single country like Germany there are major differences in the depth of discussion. To help teachers to address the fundamental concepts of elementary particles and their interactions and to reduce the subject didactically with respect to the given general conditions, Netzwerk Teilchenwelt has developed teaching material with an innovative didactic spiral approach that points out connections to common contents of physics curricula and is focused on the fundamental interactions of the Standard Model of particle physics and the charges that generate them. This concept is being presented and discussed during in-service trainings for teachers all over Germany. Since 2017, roughly 290 teachers have been trained in at least two-day courses and enabled to teach this approach.


The article can be downloaded here:

A comprehensive collection of teaching material following the described approach is accessible at

Post date: Fri, Jul 24, 2020 — 00:23
Updated date: Tue, Jul 28, 2020 — 02:10

Learning Topics

Conservation Laws
Standard Model