The Leonardo da Vinci Scientific High School in Florence is one of the two winners of the CERN “A Beamline for Schools” (BL4S) competition. Ten students from the Florentine "Leo4G" team, along with their colleagues of the South African "Accelerating Africa" team, from the St John's College and Barnato Park High School in Johannesburg, will go for a week to the Geneva laboratories in September. At CERN, just like the professional physicists, they will be able to directly test their project, implemented with the consultancy of the researchers of the Florence section of the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the Laboratory of Nuclear Techniques for Cultural Heritage (LABEC). The Italian proposal, called “More than a webcam: Low-cost particle detector”, was recognised, as that of South Africa, for the student motivation, credibility, feasibility and ability to follow the dictates of the scientific method. The students of the Florentine Leo4G team will use a particle beam, made available by one of CERN's accelerators, to calibrate a particle detector built using common, low cost materials, such as a customised web-cam. “From the outset I believed and bet on the positive effect that the involvement in this experience would have had on me and my students - said Manuela Lima, teacher at the Leonardo da Vinci in Florence. We worked hard, also outside school hours, and everyone contributed to the best of their ability." The Italian students had to pass a strict selection, beating the initial competition of 212 entries from 40 countries worldwide, including 18 Italian, and more than one thousand students. A selection based on criteria similar to those faced by scientists for research collaborations. “It was a race against time - continued the Italian teacher - because we had very little time to prepare our project.” The students are looking forward to going to CERN with great enthusiasm. “The opportunity given to us is unique. We believe that this experience will help us grow a lot, allowing us to get to know one of the most advanced research centres in the world,” said Sabrina, a student at the Leonardo da Vinci. “I am sure - concluded Manuela Lima - that none of us will ever forget this fantastic experience and this important achievement.”

Per maggiori informazioni:

Il video di presentazione inviato al CERN dal liceo di Firenze

La mappa mondiale degli istituti che hanno partecipato alla selezione 2015

Il Laboratorio di Tecniche Nucleari per i Beni Culturali (LABEC) di Firenze

I dettagli della competizione sul sito del CERN

Sull’ultimo numero della rivista dell’Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN) “Asimmetrie”