A competition for budding Spanish scientists is launched

Drawing, video, photo and even a challenging news story category complete the range of options offered by the competition launched by CERN in collaboration with the “Prince of Asturias” foundation. Open to young and very young students in Spain, the first prize for six Spanish pupils of all ages will be a trip to CERN.


It's never too early to get into science.

Since 1981, the Prince of Asturias Foundation has presented awards to eminent personalities in the fields of arts, communication and humanities, international cooperation, social sciences, concord, sports, literature, and technical and scientific research. CERN, Peter Higgs and François Englert are the laureates of the 2013 award in the scientific category “for the theoretical prediction and experimental detection of the Higgs boson”.

CERN’s share of the prize-money associated with this prestigious prize will be partly used to run a competition for Spanish schoolchildren and students. “Both CERN and the Fundación Principe de Asturias wish to promote the importance of science and technology in our daily life and the importance of the collective effort to reach ambitious objectives such as the discovery of the Higgs boson,” says Isabel Béjar Alonso, one of the members of CERN’s Directorate Office and a member of the Spanish particle physics community. “Awareness-building actions such as these need to start at a very early age and this is what we aim to achieve with this initiative which will involve all schools in Spain.”

The competition is open to pupils aged 6 to 18, covering schools from primary (6-11), to secondary (12-15), to Bachillerato (16-18). The students will be asked to submit a drawing, photo, video or news article on the CERNland website. The contributions must be inspired by a theme relating to science, fundamental research or CERN itself (see box for details). A committee composed of CERN and Spanish scientists will select the top 50 for each format and age range. The three winners (one for each age range) of the drawing/photo/video category will then be selected by public vote. The online public jury will also be able to express their preferences on the “News article” category. However, in this case, the three winners will be chosen by the expert committee.

The best pieces of art will be published in CERNland and the six winners will be invited to CERN for a two-day visit. “We will organise a special programme of visits and hands-on activities for the winners,” says Isabel. “They will also receive a special award once they are here. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these budding young scientists.”

How to take part?

If you are a teacher or pupil in a school in Spain, go to the CERNland website from 1 December onwards and read the detailed rules and regulations. The competition is open to pupils aged 6 to 18, broken down into the following categories: Primaria, ESO, and Bachillerato.

The contribution can be submitted in two formats: Drawing/ Photo/Video and/or Story/News/Article.

The work should be inspired by one of the following topics:

  • How has fundamental science improved your life?
  • What is “science” to you?
  • Will the Higgs boson one day change my way of looking at the world?
  • In your own words, describe what you think the Higgs boson is.
  • Scientific progress: the catalyst of humanity?
  • How is science useful?
  • How is research into fundamental subjects, such as particles or genes, useful?
  • When I grow up, I want to be a scientist.
  • CERN and Me.
  • How does CERN inspire me?
  • Why is it important for society and individuals to learn how things work?


by Antonella Del Rosso