EIROForum science goes to school

The first EIROForum school was held at CERN last week. In about four days, 35 teachers from 15 countries were able to get a flavour of the science done in four of the seven organizations participating in EIROForum. This was a chance for them to feel part of top-level European scientific research.


The 35 teachers participating in thefirst EIROForum school organized at CERN.

Inspiring teachers to motivate students: the formula is well-known at CERN. Here, more than 20 schools for science teachers are organized every year. Some of them are attended by teachers from all over Europe, others are organized for national groups.

The successful experience of CERN has served as a model to the other six international organizations that are members of EIROForum (sea box). “The title of this first common school is ‘The evolution of the Universe’”, explains Rolf Landua, head of the CERN Education group and organizer of the school. “The programme of lectures involves scientists from CERN, ESA, ESO and EFDA because the research done in these four organizations focuses on finding replies to this common question”.

This is just the first of the many teacher schools that EIROForum plans to organize. “Our goal is to organize one common school every year”, says Landua. “The next one will be held at ESRF in Grenoble and will focus on life science. In particular, it will involve scientists from ESRF, ILL and EMBL, the organizations that are not directly involved in the programme of this first school.”

The key point of these courses is to show the teachers what we know about the beginning and the evolution of the Universe, but also - and that may be even more important - how this knowledge was obtained. The lectures by scientists from different fields of physics demonstrated how the scientific disciplines work together to unravel Nature's mysteries. “The lectures were very interesting and they will be very valuable in my teaching”, says Jens Nielsen from Norway. And Svejina Dimitrova from Bulgaria and Dana Jancinova from Slovakia add: “We need to update our knowledge regularly. Such courses are very useful to us and we will be able to bring our enthusiasm to students”.

The model has clearly worked this time too. The hope of the organizers is now that “happy teachers can make happy students”, as Landua often repeats.

Did you know?
EIROForum groups together seven scientific intergovernmental organizations: CERN, EFDA, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, ILL. Its mission is to combine the resources, facilities and expertise of its member organisations to support European science in reaching its full potential. EIROforum also simplifies and facilitates interactions with the European Commission and other organs of the European Union, national governments, industry, science teachers, students and journalists.



by CERN Bulletin