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CERN’s Beamline for Schools competition 2016

18 March 2016

NI announces its support for CERN’s Beamline for Schools (BL4S) 2016 competition, targeting secondary schools across the globe.

BL4S is run by the CERN & Society Foundation, an independent non-profit organisation with the purpose of supporting and promoting the benefits of the mission of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, through education and outreach, innovation and knowledge exchange, and culture and arts. 

An Intergovernmental Organisation with its seat in Geneva, Switzerland, CERN is a large and respected centres for scientific research. 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 high-school students aged 16 and up. In order to participate, schools have to submit their 1000-word proposal and 1-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 (up to nine team members and two adult supervisors per team) 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. 

For more information on the competition, please visit:

To prepare today’s students to solve tomorrow’s grand challenges, NI has also developed educational hardware products that are built on the same industry-standard data acquisition (DAQ), reconfigurable I/O (RIO), and software defined radio (SDR) platforms. “To solve our most pressing engineering challenges, the systems of tomorrow must be much more capable and complex, built out of combined fundamental components, and needed much sooner than later”, said Dave Wilson, Vice President of Product Marketing, Academic at National Instruments. 

NI also supports educators, researchers and STEM students from all over the world by participating in highly educational and impactful initiatives like BL4S: NI donated copies of LabVIEW Student Edition and engineering development hours with an NI LabVIEW expert to the teams. “Both students and researchers are striving to achieve the common goal of discovery”, continued Wilson. “Researchers discover what no one knows yet. Students discover what they haven't learned yet. It’s the rate of discovery that’s important”. 

For more information on NI’s involvement, visit

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