NI supports CERN’s BL4S competition 2016

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

National Instruments (NI) has announced its support for CERN’s Beamline for Schools (BL4S) 2016 competition. Now in its third year, BL4S is a competition for secondary school students from around the world to win the chance to design and perform a scientific experiment on a CERN accelerator beamline.

The competition is open to teams of at least five students aged 16 and up. In order to participate, schools have to submit a 1000 word proposal and one minute video by midnight (CET) 31 March 2016. CERN scientists will evaluate all proposals and select two teams for the final prize: the winning teams will be invited to CERN for 10 days to carry out their own experiments on the beamline. In previous years, competition winners have tested webcams and classroom-grown crystals in the beamline and had the opportunity to study high-energy gamma rays and how particles decay.

NI is donating free copies of LabVIEW Student Edition to the BL4S competition as well as engineering development hours with an NI LabVIEW expert to the winning teams.

The aim of the competition is to create the world’s largest cosmic-ray detector. Each team that takes part in the competition will receive a Cosmic Pi detector that uses a Raspberry Pi computer to attempt to record cosmic rays hitting the Earth. The information recorded by these devices will be studied by CERN scientists to learn “meaningful information about our universe”.

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