On September 26th, the CERN & Society Foundation welcomed the supporters of the 2018 Beamline for Schools Competition (BL4S) in a special event organised in IdeaSquare, CERN's meeting spot for idea generation and innovation-related projects.
The event was hosted by Prof Emmanuel Tsesmelis, Head of Associate & Non-Member State Relations, who congratulated the winning teams and thanked the Arconic Foundation, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, Amgen Switzerland and the Ernest Solvay Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation, who made the 2018 Competition possible. Special thanks were addressed to the project team and all volunteers who worked hard for a successful BL4S. Present at the event were also representatives from DESY, the German Physics Research Center that will host BL4S 2019 due to the scheduled technical shutdown for upgrades at CERN. Barbara Warmbein, Communications officer at DESY and Marcel Stanitzki, research scientist, addressed warm congratulations to the students.
Representatives from the Arconic Foundation and the Ernest Solvay Fund had the chance to interact with the winning teams, the "Beamcats" from the Philippines and the "Cryptic Ontics" from India. The students presented their experimental proposals, their progress and experience from the first days at CERN, and shared future aspirations and career plans. Aayush Desai from the Cryptic Ontics, paraphrasing a quote from Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Indian scientist and president of India, stated the following to showh ow deeply inspiring the Competition has been for all the participating students:
Jasper van Zon, Vice President, International Communications, Arconic, and representative of the Arconic Foundation, talked about their three-year partnership with the CERN & Society Foundation in support of BL4S, pointing out that "Applicants and winners of the BL4S Competition are the future STEM leaders of the world". Gaëlle De Vos, Head of Corporate Philanthropy, Solvay, representing the Ernest Solvay Fund, congratulated the winners and urged them to maintain and further develop their passion for science. The Amgen Switzerland team, unable to partake in the event, addressed a message to the students.
BL4S students demonstrate their experimental setup at T9 to donors (Images: Julien Marius Ordan/CERN, Markus Joos/CERN)
The students also had the opportunity to guide the supporters through the T9 experimental area, where the BL4S experiments are conducted, demonstrate their experimental setups and explain the data collection and analysis process followed. This year, the supporters also met with CERN Council Delegates, who visited the T9 to congratulate the winners on their achievements. Finally, a visit to CERN's Control Center gave the BL4S supporters the rare chance to walk around one of the most pivotal points at CERN, where all major LHC experiments are operated from.
Many thanks to all the BL4S 2018 donors for supporting the Competition. Our best wishes for a radiant future to all the teams that participated.