Asian Students Win CERN Competition For The First Time (VIDEO)

Students from the Philippines and India have won the CERN Beamline for Schools competition 2018.

AsianScientist (Jul. 3, 2018) – High-school students from the International School of Manila, the Philippines, and R.N. Podar School in Mumbai, India, are the winners of the 2018 Beamline for Schools competition. They will visit CERN in September 2018 to carry out their proposed experiments together with professional researchers.

The CERN Beamline for Schools competition is open to high school students from all over the world who want to experience walking in the shoes of a scientist. This year, 195 teams (comprising more than 1,500 students from 42 countries) participated, up from the 180 teams that participated in 2017. The teams submitted a written proposal to address a physics question using a particle beam at CERN. They also had to produce a video to explain their proposal.

Taking into consideration creativity, motivation, feasibility and scientific method, CERN experts shortlisted 30 teams. The judges had a hard time choosing the winners but finally selected Beamcats from the Philippines and Cryptic Ontics from India.

The Filipino team consisted of three boys and three girls, which proposed using particles known as pions for cancer therapy. They suggested measuring the energy lost (technically known as the Bragg peak) by a beam of pions traveling through human tissue, which would be simulated using materials of a similar composition.

The use of subatomic particles instead of X-rays in anti-cancer radiation therapy is gaining increasing interest as it is potentially less harmful to the healthy tissues surrounding tumors. For example, CERN was actively involved in a collaborative design study that laid the foundations for two of Europe’s proton and carbon ion therapy centers: CNAO in Italy and MedAustron in Austria.

“Hard work and perseverance is the foundation on which we measure our success, and the fact that our CERN mentors identified this quality within us and our proposal was truly amazing,” said Ms. Charvie Yadav from the Beamcats team. “This is such a valuable experience for me. I hope this inspires young students all around the world.”

The Beamcats team intends to explore the use of pions for cancer therapy.

The Cryptic Ontics team comprised nine boys and nine girls, and it proposed studying the deflection of protons and electrons in a magnetic field. By exploring the interaction between charged particles and a magnetic field in the lab, the team hopes to learn about the anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field as a function of the variance of the cosmic ray detection rate.

“Winning this competition will not just help us in our studies and work, but will also teach us more about teamwork and collaboration. I look forward to visiting CERN and to learning and growing along the way,” said Mr. Satchit Chatterji from the Cryptic Ontics team.

Cryptic Ontics will investigate the interactions between charged particles and a magnetic field.

This is the first time that Asian high schools have won the competition. Previously, students from the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, South Africa, Poland, the UK and Canada were selected to perform their proposed experiments at CERN.


Source: CERN.
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