ATLAS and CMS virtual visits: Bringing cutting edge science into the classroom and beyond

Marzena Lapka, Steven Goldfarb, Lucie Aguirre, Ewan Hill, Claire Adam-Bourdarios, Angelos Alexopoulos, Noemi Beni, Michael Hoch, Achille Petrilli, Zoltan Szillasi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


Advances in information and communications technologies (ICTs) have given rise to innovative uses of web-based video tools for global communication, enhancing the impact of large research facilities, including their outreach and education programmes. As an example, the Virtual Visits programmes developed by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at CERN, use videoconferencing to communicate with schools and remote events around the globe. The goal of these programmes is to enable the public, especially young people, to become engaged in and understand the field of particle physics through direct dialogue between ATLAS/CMS scientists and remote audiences. ATLAS and CMS collaborations enhanced the Virtual Visits concept in different ways, but still with the same objective, which is to break down geographical barriers and allow more people to enter the world of science, physics and particle physics. This supports local education and outreach activities. Both collaborations have hosted Virtual Visits for thousands of people from each continent with participants connecting from locations such as Kathmandu, Rio de Janeiro, Ghana, Riyadh, and even the South Pole. Audiences were mainly made up of high-school students and their teachers, but also included policy makers and the general public. This paper gives an overview of the educational, technical and organizational aspects of both programmes, with their unique added value. We also present feedback collected from participants, followed by recommendations for future development envisaged for creating sustainable tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number349
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Event23rd European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics, EPS-HEP 2015 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: Jul 22 2015Jul 29 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Lapka, M., Goldfarb, S., Aguirre, L., Hill, E., Adam-Bourdarios, C., Alexopoulos, A., Beni, N., Hoch, M., Petrilli, A., & Szillasi, Z. (2015). ATLAS and CMS virtual visits: Bringing cutting edge science into the classroom and beyond. Proceedings of Science, 22-29-July-2015, [349].