Reaching the teachers

The fourth edition of CERN's High School Teachers programme welcomed 38 teachers to the Laboratory this July. For three weeks the teachers were immersed in the life of CERN, giving them a unique experience to take back to their classrooms.

Participants and organisers of the HST 2001 programme.

The pupils of the teachers who attended the High School Teachers (HST) programme at CERN will notice a difference when they meet their teachers at the beginning of next term. They'll see a new-found enthusiasm in their eyes, and this will be thanks to the three weeks they spent at the Laboratory attending the summer students' lectures and working with other teachers from around the world. 'This experience fires you up again!,' explains Wim Peeters, a Belgian teacher at CERN for the second time.
For many teachers of physics, university is a long time ago. Physics research has moved on, and there are many new things to learn. That's why CERN has the HST, so that teachers can mix with university students in the Summer Students' lectures, develop a webpage to share knowledge and experience with colleagues from other countries, and find out where the cutting edge of research is today. When they go back to their countries, HST alumni promote the teaching of particle physics in high schools in their countries. 'We want to pass on what we've learned to other teachers, mainly through courses, because particle physics is not a subject in which they feel confident,' says Jules Hoult from the UK.
Leonor De Miguel and Esperanza García-Carpintero are two Spanish teachers who are at CERN for the first time and are very satisfied with the experience at the laboratory. 'You get a lot of information and it opens new horizons,' explains Leonor, 'but it's not only the strict programme that enriches you, but also the talks with other teachers and the spontaneous chats with top physicists in the cafeteria.'
This year's programme supported teachers from 17 member states, as well as from four non-Member States - Ecuador, Ireland, South Africa and Russia. In addition, CERN welcomed four American educators, supported as in the past two years by a grant from the National Science Foundation, coordinated by Stephen Reucroft, Carol Doherty and Artemis Egloff of Boston's Northeastern University.
The HST programme is funded by ETT Division as part of its educational activity, and is organised by Michelangelo Mangano (TH) and Mick Storr (HR), with contributions to the scientific programme from Oliver Bruening (LHC), Antonella Del Rosso (ETT), Mick Draper (ETT), Guenther Dissertori (EP), Niels Doble (SL), James Gillies (ETT), Gron Jones (Univ. of Birmingham, UK), Lucio Rossi (LHC), Sascha Schmeling (EP) and Emma Sanders (ETT).