The Italian Teacher Programme (ITP) is a five-day intensive training course intended for teachers from Italy who wish to keep up to date with the latest developments in particle physics and related fields. The selected participants have the opportunity to attend lectures delivered by CERN experts, perform physics experiments and visit experimental laboratory installations at CERN.
The ITP courses aim to encourage teachers to promote the teaching of contemporary physics in high school and increase the exchange of knowledge and experience between teachers and researchers. The courses are currently divided into three levels:
-Discovery (first level): open to teachers who have not participated in previous courses
-Academy (second level): open to teachers who have participated in the first level
-Experience (third level): open to teachers who have participated in both previous levels
This year, the pilot phase of the ITP ‘Experience’ level took place from 17 to 22 November and 48 Italian teachers attended. The teachers worked with the help of the tutors on four “challenges”, which included machine learning, coding to find the Standard Model particles in real data sets, understanding Dark Matter and finding out how big is big data. All the participants were expected to adapt these challenges to their own students.
On 21 November, the second edition of the prize ceremony “I Vostri successi” (your successes), took place at CERN in the presence of Professor Umberto Dosselli, the Scientific Attaché at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the International Organisations in Geneva, and Mr Lucio Pinto, Director of the Fondazione Silvio Tronchetti Provera, which has supported the ITP courses over the past three years.
The prize is awarded to the most innovative and educational project carried out by ITP teachers once they go back to their classrooms. This year, it was awarded to teachers from the Liceo Casiraghi who launched the “ConCERN” project for their school, a very successful extracurricular laboratory of particle physics for high-school students of all ages. An honourable mention for its social impact was also given to Maria Moretti, Giovanni Giuliana and Antonio Fontana, for having successfully introduced a new educational course on particle physics at the juvenile detention centre of Napoli.
The Italian Teacher Programme is one of the many CERN educational and outreach programmes that is funded by the CERN & Society Foundation via private donations. In 2019, the project was funded by the Fondazione Silvio Tronchetti Provera, Rotary Club di Roma, SAES Getter and the Fondation Golinelli.