International Particle Physics Outreach Group
Hands on Particle Physics Masterclasses
Organisation - Introduction

Within the framework of International Masterclasses each Masterclass is a one-day-activity taking place at a university or research institute. Researchers invite High school students at the age of 15 – 19 years and let them be scientists for one day. The core acitivity is a measurement with real data from CERN, provided by the experiments ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, and ALICE.

The overall agenda for a Masterclass (~ 8 hours) is the following: In the morning, students come to your institute where they are introduced to particle physics, experiments and detectors within lectures. We recommend to give two lectures, 45 min each. You could also include a guided tour to your labs, if appropriate.

After having lunch with the lecturers and staff incl. tutors, they can work on particle physics data on their own. For this afternoon activity you need a PC-pool (students work in pairs) and tutors (~ 1 tutor per ten students).

Having performed the measurements, students are then participating in an international video conference, together with three or four other institutes, according to the schedule, and moderators from CERN. The video conference goes from 4 pm to 5 pm CET. Students give their results and combine them with students from other countries. The video conference also includes discussion of results with the moderators, a Q & A session, and a quiz. Before students leave, you could hand out certificates of participation.

In summary, for a Masterclass the following is needed:

  • a group of students (aged 15 - 19)
  • an inviting institute, providing the infrastructure
  • at least 1 scientist, holding the lecture
  • some tutors for students during the measurement (1 tutor per 10 students)
  • a lecture hall
  • PC-pool (students work in groups of 2)
  • facility for video conferencing, if possible

To help you organizing your Masterclass we have created a step-by-step list you can roughly follow to put up the event in your institute.

  • Oct: register with your preferred dates and measurement when contacted by organizers
  • Nov: preliminary schedule is created by organizers - make reservations for lecture hall with video conferencing facility and PC pool
  • Dec: check your profile on, does it need an update?
  • Dec: prepare your local agenda and a link for registration
  • Jan: send invitation letters to schools and students
  • Feb: plan preparation talks
  • Feb: introduce tutors to measurement, use the material here
  • Feb: perform video test and prepare for the video conference, download the manual
  • immediately before your event:
    • print tally sheets, if required for measurement
    • print answer sheet for quiz
    • download local language version of quiz
    • print certificates of participation
  • after the event: send media coverage, photos, and lectures for our archive

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