28 February 2017
Pupils from three, local schools have been invited to work with Particle Physicists from CERN in Geneva and the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham to develop a Minecraft replica of CERN's ATLAS detector, where the famous Higgs Boson was discovered. The group from Abingdon, St Helen's and Fitzharrys schools joined scientists at Oxford University's Physics Department to launch the project and to discuss ideas for constructing an accurate replica of ATLAS, with embedded tasks and games to help young people learn about particle physics in a fun and engaging way. As well as having introductory lectures on particles and the detectors at CERN, by project leader Professor Cigdem Issever, the pupils were able to speak via video link with scientists working in the ATLAS control room in Geneva. They then discussed their own ideas with project team members Dr Steve Worm and Dr Mark Pickering and were set tasks for each school to work on before the next review meeting in a few weeks time. All the pupils left feeling very excited and enthused by the idea of using Minecraft as an educational tool and by being part of such a prestigious and, potentially, high profile project.