CERN announces the fourth annual Beamline for Schools competition

CERN is pleased to announce the fourth annual Beamline for Schools (BL4S) competition. Once again, in 2017, a fully equipped beamline will be made available at CERN for students. As in previous years, two teams will be invited to the Laboratory to execute the experiments they proposed in their applications. The 2017 competition is being made possible thanks to support from the Alcoa Foundation for the second consecutive year.


The competition is open to teams of high-school students aged 16 or older who, if they win, are invited (with two supervisors) to CERN to carry out their experiment. Teams must have at least five students but there is no upper limit to a team’s size (although just nine students per winning team will be invited to CERN). Teams may be composed of pupils from a single school, or from a number of schools working together.

As science-loving mega-celebrity Will.I.Am told us: “If you’re interested in science, technology, engineering or mathematics you should sign up: if I was a kid I’d do the same thing.”

Previous winners have tested webcams and classroom-grown crystals in the beamline, others have studied how particles decay and investigated high-energy gamma rays. What would you do?

Interested? Think of a simple, creative experiment and pre-register your team in order to receive the latest information about the competition and to hear when the proposal submissions open.

Not sure if you should apply? Don’t be scared: a clever idea is all it takes to enter the competition. We can put every team in contact with experts who will help them to refine their ideas, and extensive documentation is available to both teachers and students.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity! BL4S does more than just give high school students a chance to play with real, functioning scientific equipment: it exposes a host of students and teachers to particle physics and gives them the chance to be real scientists.

You can find out more about how to apply, about the beamline and facilities, and about previous winning teams on the BL4S website. The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2017.

Take part!

by BL4S team