Children's drawings exhibited in the Globe

"Draw Me A Physicist" has been a success. Members of the public visiting the exhibition in the Globe of Science and Innovation have praised the scientific and creative balance the children of neighbouring France and the Canton of Geneva have obtained through their visit to CERN.

For a six-month period 9 to 11-year olds from the Pays de Gex, Meyrin, Satigny and Vernier have been able to enjoy a balance between science and art, through drawing and defining their interpretations of a physicist. In May, eight pairs of drawings from each participating class were selected by the schools to be displayed on the second floor of the Globe. Since the images have been put up, the viewers have enjoyed the contrast between the "before" pictures of vibrant Albert Einsteins to the "after" pictures of casual people sitting in an office.

The large room in the Globe has been transformed from a hollow shell into a room full of colour and interest. “The exhibition is the successful conclusion of a six-month process. Both the physicists and the children showed a lot of enthusiasm in participating in the project”, says Corinne Pralavorio, who is in charge of Local Communication and was the project leader. “It was particularly rewarding for the physicists to see the children's very positive response and their interest and motivation to find out more about their job".

Some of the physicists who participated in the programme by accompanying the children on a visit to the Laboratory or by presenting CERN in the classrooms were even able to recognize themselves in some of the drawings. "It was amazing for all of us to realize how the children pictured physicists, and it just shows how little people know about the job, since many confused chemistry with physics. It's good to see that, in most cases, the second drawings show that kids have understood what a physicist does”, says Corinne.

The project will have a follow-up as proposals have already been made to start a new collaboration involving primary schools with the Education Nationale in the Pays de Gex and Geneva’s Department de l’instruction publique. In the meantime, some of the drawings are pictured on the envelopes on sale in sets of ten in the Post Offices of the Pays de Gex. You can see the drawings as well as a collection of photos and videos on the programme’s website. The exhibition will move to the Main Building in the summer and then to the University of Geneva in September.

Watch the videoclip and the Spotlight on CERN (French version only)

by Elizabeth Roe