Experiencing the World of STEM

A visit to The Large Hadron Collider was among many highlights of a tour that saw Haileybury students broaden their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) knowledge in England, France, Switzerland and Germany.

The 19 students and their chaperones began in England, where they observed historic buildings and modern architecture. Highlights included the city of Cambridge and Bletchley Park, in Buckinghamshire, where Alan Turing invented the first computer and broke the Enigma cipher during World War II.

After visiting the Warner Brothers Studio, a day was dedicated to central London and the Natural History, Science and Victoria and Albert museums.

The group then took the Eurostar train, which has a blinding top speed of 300 km per hour, to France. They enjoyed quaint city accommodation, ate at boulangeries (bakeries) and tested their courage and applied their Physics knowledge on Disneyland rides.

After boarding another train through the picturesque hills of Southern France and Switzerland, the tour reached Geneva, which is nestled among the Swiss Alps and Jura mountains.

The international hub of innovation is home to the world’s biggest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider. It consists of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets with accelerating structures to boost the energy of particles along the way.

Our group toured the facility and expanded its particle physics knowledge. Equally memorable were cruises across Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and lunch on the French side.

The next stop was Berlin, with visits to museums and the DESY Physics Research Centre, where the students heard from world-class researchers about the latest innovations in the field.

These included the Ice Cube Project, which aims to deepen knowledge about the nature of neutrinos (subatomic particles). There was also time for some sight-seeing at the Berlin TV Tower.

The tour finished in Munich at BMW and the Deutsches Museum, the world’s largest science and technology museum. After observing the latest developments in science first-hand, the group meandered through the city’s scenic streets.

All those involved appreciated the opportunity to experience the latest in science and meet those at the forefront of global STEM innovation. The insights gained will no doubt enhance their studies at home.

The students also learned about the history of the countries they visited, made friends and gained a new appreciation of the dedication of their teachers, some of whom accompanied them.

Such opportunities are an important part of a well-rounded Haileybury education, which seeks to expose students to the latest in education and the wider world.

With the growing importance of STEM in education and industry, educators must ensure that they and their students are abreast of rapid changes in the world of science and related careers.

The STEM tour is part of a comprehensive Haileybury education program that ensures all these bases are covered.