Spending a day of the school-holidays learning about health and safety may not be many students idea of fun. But that’s exactly what the young scientists from the Beamline for Schools contest spent last Friday doing.
The two teams – Leo4G from Italy and Accelerating Africa from South Africa – had to complete their safety awareness and training before they could be authorized to carry out their experiments.
After spending the morning at a series of lectures on IT security and safety protocols, the afternoon saw the two teams thrown in the fire – literally – as one-by-one they entered into a fire-fighting simulation.
In the small, smoke-filled shipping crate (which the CERN fire-fighters use for training) the students had to make quick decisions on where the fire was coming from, what started it and which fire extinguisher they should use to prevent it spreading (all while screaming ‘Help!’ for added comic effect).
The students also participated in a cryogenics presentation, where Cryogenic engineer Torsten Koettig demonstrated the effect liquid-nitrogen has on a variety of different objects, in particular on a piece of super conducting metal.
The team’s training continues over the weekend, ready for them to begin their experiments this week.