On 18 February, high school pupils from Augstkalne, Limbazi, Preili, Talsi and Riga will go to the world's largest scientific laboratory – the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland to become shadows of five scientists from Riga Technical University (RTU). Initially, five pupils were expected to go to CERN, but, owing to the provided support, six pupils will be granted the opportunity to travel to Switzerland.
The 11th Form pupil of Limbazi Regional Gymnasium Edvards Francs and the pupil of Vidzeme Vocational School of Technologies and Design Jurģis Plazio will shadow the CERN research associate, Director of RTU Centre of High Energy Physics and Accelerator Technologies professor Toms Torims. The 12th Form pupil of Riga State Gymnasium No. 1 Mārcis Līvmanis will shadow the representative for the robotics field at CERN Engineering Artūrs Ivanovs.
Representatives of the Latvian Group of the CMS (The Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment - Dr. Kārlis Dreimanis will be shadowed by the 11th Form pupil of Riga State Gymnasium No. 2 Estere Agnese Tēberga, the research associate Dr. Viesturs Veckalns by the 11th Form pupil of Talsi State Gymnasium Emīlija Savuškina and the engineer Guntis Pikurs by the 12th Form pupil of Augstkalne Secondary School Samanta Anna Labalaika.
Pupils will go to CERN – the place, where global discoveries are made, for example, the Internet was invented and the existence of the Higgs boson – a particle that assigns mass to matter was confirmed, shortly after the Shadow Day on 18 February. Six pupils who will be shadowing RTU scientists have been selected from more than 60 applicants, who applied on the Shadow Day home page for the opportunity offered by RTU to go to Switzerland.
The pupils will go to Switzerland by air on 18 February and will return on 20 February. Their travelling and accommodation expenses will be covered with the support of Latvian companies Ltd. Dati Grupa, Ltd. Primekss and JSC SAF Tehnika.
The main objective of CERN operations is to ensure an international large-scale research infrastructure for research in high energy particle physics. It is also a place where different experts work together in research, technology and innovation, creating and later launching in production things and services to be later used in everyday life.
The RTU traditionally participates in Shadow Day to present daily activities of scientists and challenges of engineering sciences to pupils. Shadow Day is the world-renowned Junior Achievement career education programme for pupils of Forms 1-12 aimed to acquaint young people with the demands of different professions and industries, helping to choose the profession and get ready for the labour market in good time. On the Shadow Day home page, it is also possible to apply for shadowing other scientists of RTU who work at RTU faculties in Riga and affiliations outside Riga.