Particle Interactions

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Research in particle physics came into sharp focus in July 2012, with experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announcing the discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson, the particle linked to the origin of mass. This discovery was front-page news around the world, and became a top trend on Twitter. As an STFC Public-Engagement Fellow, Cristina Lazzeroni aims to share the excitement of this type of research. She will do this by creating interactions - between University researchers, school children, their teachers and the broader public - and by presenting studies by the school children on an equal footing with results from the LHC. During each of the three years of her Fellowship, Cristina will invite Year 9-11 pupils from a different set of six schools to carry out a real particle-physics research project. Most of the projects are expected to be studies of cosmic rays, but projects involving computer simulation, and analysis of data collected at international experimental facilities, are also possible. The projects will be pupil-led, but will be closely followed by Cristina, working in collaboration with the pupils' physics teachers. Pupils will have the opportunity to present results to their peers at a schools conference, to be held at the University of Birmingham, and to the general public at Science Festivals. Broadening the scope of her Fellowship activities, Cristina will also give interactive talks at around 40 schools not involved in the project work, and will organise a series of particle-physics masterclasses for teachers.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Artwork for exhibitions 
Description Several artworks produced for 6 consecutive years of exhibitions at the Royal Society Science Exhibitions from 2011 to 2016 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact artwork was reused for several other events, and for publicity, even by CERN 
 
Title Demonstrations for exhibitions 
Description Several demonstrations of particle physics concepts and methodologies. From 2011 to 2016. 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Demonstrations were reused by several partners. Increased visibility of particle research, and increased visibility and leadership of creators. 
 
Description This grant is to enable me to spend 20% of my time on Public Engagement. There are 3 projects, all aiming at creating or re-inforcing interactions between students/public and scientists. The first project concerns exhibitions and large-scale events where I organise and stage particle demonstrations and displays, in collaboration with local universities; in doing so, I introduce and train when necessary more scientists to outreach activities. The second project is focussed on schools, that have the chance to join real research in cosmic rays as part of an international collaboration of schools. The third is about teachers training in Particle physics topics.
Exploitation Route Hopefully these activities will inspire others. They will have a long-lasting impact on students and teachers, and inspire the general public towards fundamental research.
Sectors Education

 
Description More teachers and organizations, like IoP and Phillip Allen, are interested in my teacher programme. I submitted an EU grant in collaboration with CERN and other EU nations on teacher training as part of Horizon2020 which would enhance the reach of my activities. The outcome from school projects and exhibitions have been used to continuosly improve outreach activities and scientists training in outreach in several universities across UK.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description summer studentships
Amount £4,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Birmingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description HiSPARC and IRIS 
Organisation The Institute For Research In Schools
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Collaboration with IRIS to make HiSPARC a wider project on the national level
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration with IRIS to make HiSPARC a wider project on the national level
Impact HiSPARC project has become part of IRIS portfolio and IRIS is supporting teachers and students in the project
Start Year 2017
 
Description Science Museums 
Organisation Brighton Science Festival
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Collaborator Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Impact several events, demonstrations, and artwork, and literature material
Start Year 2011
 
Description Science Museums 
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Collaborator Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Impact several events, demonstrations, and artwork, and literature material
Start Year 2011
 
Description Science Museums 
Organisation Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Collaborator Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Impact several events, demonstrations, and artwork, and literature material
Start Year 2011
 
Description Science Museums 
Organisation Princes Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Collaborator Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Impact several events, demonstrations, and artwork, and literature material
Start Year 2011
 
Description Science Museums 
Organisation Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Collaborator Contribution Several events for general public, schools and teachers organised together
Impact several events, demonstrations, and artwork, and literature material
Start Year 2011
 
Description Brighton Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Particle physics stand and demonstrations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cafe scientific 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 40 people attended and had a wide discussion

people were much more interested in particle physics afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Cheltenam Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact exhibit on cosmic rays
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Daytime entertainment talk at Royal Society Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact about 400 people attended talk and discussion afterwards

very positive feedback received by audience, who was enthusiastic
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Exhibit at British Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact about 100 students tried the game and liked it a lot, and gave us feedback for improvements. Teachers said they would be willing to play game at school as educational tool.
Students also enjoyed the large variety of other demonstrations we offered and engaged with us about particle research.

students said they would be willing to pay and buy the game. teachers said they would be willing to use game at school as educational tool for particle physics and business studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2014
 
Description Exhibit at the Royal Society Exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We were flooded by interested people at our stand (around 15,000 every year).

Several members of the public contacted us afterwards for more information. I was asked to bring the stand to many other national science events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description HiSparc Research for Schools 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Research activity for schools on cosmic rays. Build a detector and analyze the data
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Institute of Physics: Physics in the City event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibition on cutting edge particle research at Birmingham New Street Train Station, co-organised with IoP Midlands
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lectures at IoP CPD event for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 15 teachers training per year per workshop. Three workshops.

After my talk, I discussed with the IoP and we decided to enlarge the scheme. Several teachers decided to hire my equipment and my teaching resources.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Lectures at Teacher CPD event on Modern Physics, organised by Philip Allan Events, part of Hodder Education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 15 teachers training

The teachers agreed that they knew more after the lectures; they asked for more resources to be provided to them via a website; some invited me to give talks at their schools; others decided to hire my equipment for practical demonstrations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Manchester Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact exhibit on particle detectors and matter-antimatter at the Manchester Science Festival
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Manchester Science festival, Brighton Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibits on particle physics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description Particle Physics Workshop for teachers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Particle physics workshop for teachers at CERN
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Pint of Science 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Pint of Science debate on particle physics at ThinkTank Museum in Birmingham
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research at the Heart of Brum 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact part of exhibition on cutting edge research performed at the University of Birmingham. The event took place at New Street train station
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Royal Society MP and Civil Servant pairing scheme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I had a week each with MP and Civil servant in Parliament

i am still in touch with MP and Civil Servant for discussions on science and science related subjects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Sessions for teachers at ASE annual conference on quark model and feynman diagrams; and on particle detection with cloud chamber and cosmic telescope 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 13 teachers from europe every workshop and every year. three workshops every year

several teachers asked for my resources to be used in their class teaching
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015,2016
 
Description Talk and exhibit at British Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 200 people attended the talk, asked question and had discussion afterwards. same number visit the exhibit.

schools asked about borrowing detectors for school demo. teachers invited me to give further talks at their schools.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2014
 
Description Talk on Mysteries of the Early Universe, general programme, British Science Festival 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk was followed by very lively discussion session with many questions from the audience

I have submitted a similar format event for consideration at other science festivals and events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Talks at local schools (around 10 yearly) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Talks always sparks lively discussions and questions.

I got more and more invitations, and a few schools approached me to do after-school science projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016
 
Description participation to Big Bang Fair (2017) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Particle physics exhibit on antimatter
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description radio interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact radio interview for italian channel

audience was high and I got good review
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description talk at Science week at school in birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 50 students attended and had discussion afterwards

school asked me to visit regularly to have a extra-curriculum science activity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009