With a new edition of the CERN Beamline for Schools Competition (BL4S) just around the corner, we hear back from one of last year’s UK winners, Max Raven.
In 2016, Max was a member of ‘Relatively Special’, one of the two winning teams in the BL4S 2016. Together with his team, he was invited to perform their experiment using the Proton Synchrotron at CERN over the course of two weeks in September. This was quite the experience for him:
“Throughout the duration of my stay at CERN I was surrounded by distinguished scientists and engineers who treated us with respect and maturity. As a student this was both refreshing and appreciated. We were assigned responsibilities for ensuring both the safe operation of the T9 experimental area as well as the successful completion of our experiment. Working alongside professionals who had an all-around knowledge of the experiment we proposed was extremely useful and I learnt a great deal of new skills.
The abundant opportunities we were afforded during our time at CERN has definitely helped me to decide on my future career as an Engineer.”
Image: Max during the Safety Awareness training on his first day at CERN. (Credits: Markus Joos/CERN)
Max also shared with us fond memories of the collaborations he developed at CERN.
“In my opinion, the most beneficial impact of BL4S has been the strong team-working and communication skills I developed. Every member of the English and Polish winning teams were encouraged to engage in collaborative projects, and we thrived on the friendships that were forged. We worked, dined, and interacted with scientists from across the world, all the time discussing our learnings and discovering new ideas. This invaluable experience has been instrumental to developing my interpersonal skills, which are vital for a successful career in Engineering.”
Image: BL4S 2016 UK winning team “Relatively Special” at CERN premises, Meyrin. (Credits: Relatively Special)
What in Max’s words was an invaluable experience turned out to be holding an even bigger opportunity for his future:
“On my return to England, the confidence, curiosity, and excitement that flourished during my time at CERN convinced me to pursue my dream of studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am convinced my experience at CERN has been instrumental in helping me to craft my successful application to study Undergraduate Engineering at MIT, and I am incredibly grateful for the amazing staff and generous sponsors of BL4S, all of whom helped to make my dream a reality.”
Wishing the best of luck to Max and all ex-BL4S participants for their future endeavours, we are looking forward to welcoming the 2017 BL4S winners, “Charging Cavaliers” from Canada and “TCO-ASA” from Italy, this next September.
More news will come on their stay here at CERN, in the meantime, don’t forget that registration for BL4S 2018 has already opened. Be sure not to miss this unique opportunity!