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Mount Girls Visit CERN Large Hadron Collider

Sixth Form scientists from The Mount travel to Switzerland this week to visit the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the United Nations (UN).

The Mount’s Head of Physics, Matt Cannon, said today that the trip is, “an opportunity to see modern day physics at work, to see modern equipment at work and to converse with researchers who are at the cutting edge of major global developments.

“There are currently scientists from 21 different countries all working at CERN. Not many British school students today necessarily appreciate that science is a very international field at this level. They don’t tend to take advantage of all the international research and resources that are out there, nor to use them in school.

“The pupils will have the opportunity to see what an ethnically diverse, functioning scientific community looks like. They will get to experience what it’s like to have many different cultures all in the same workplace at the same time. It’s not always a smooth operation, running a highly complex organisation where there are 21 different cultures, but hopefully the girls will be able to see how the scientists come to a common ground,” said Matt.

After CERN, the group will visit the UN in Geneva, another ethnically diverse community, to get a taste for the “political side of life”.

We’re immersing our pupils in Swiss culture by taking them to see the architecture around Geneva and look at how it has evolved over time,” said Matt.

He explains how he got the idea of taking a school group to CERN. “When I was an undergraduate, I went over to CERN as part of my final year dissertation. It is the very pinnacle of physics. Even though the facility is so close to the UK, it strikes me as strange CERN is not much used by British schools as a resource.”

Adrienne Richmond, Principal at the all-girl Quaker school in York, said, “A Mount education breathes life into academic study which is how our pupils develop a natural love of learning. Matt Cannon’s initiative to visit CERN and let the pupils appreciate how crucial international cooperation can be in STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) careers is a brilliant opportunity to inspire young minds.”

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