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APPEAL-4

With the recent discovery of a Higgs boson at the LHC and the inroads made in the understanding of dark matter and dark energy…

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The 4th annual APPEAL event (APPEAL-4) teachers' conference took place in the department on Saturday 15th of June 2013, organised by the University of Oxford and JAI in collaboration with CERN. This one-day school gave A-level teachers an opportunity to learn about the phenomena and scientific challenges that connect astrophysics, particle physics and the physics of particle accelerators.

Participating teachers had the opportunity to learn more about the acceleration due to Earth’s gravitational field and connections between astronomy, cosmology and particle physics. The school addressed questions such as "What is the origin of the Universe and of matter?" "What are the fundamental particles and forces?”, "How do the LHC or other particle accelerators work?" "How are the LHC experiments connected to astronomy?" and "What are the applications of particle accelerators in our daily lives?"

Participating teachers gave us some great feedback which will further motivate our efforts for next year’s event. “Many thanks for organising a great Appeal day on Saturday. The content was terrific: stimulating and helpful.” (Teacher, d’Overbroeck’s College). “Thanks for organising what is one of the best CPD days available!” (Teacher, Bedford School).

This year’s APPEAL got an international visibility – we had a guest from the Dynasty Foundation, the first private non-profit foundation supporting science and education in modern Russia. We are looking forward to develop further connections with this organisation, which runs many programmess and projects for the support and popularisation of science and the development of formal and civic education.

APPEAL-4 built on earlier successful events – starting from the first APPEAL which we ran in 2010. Every year, the theme of APPEAL is focused on one of the most exciting event of the year. For example, last year’s APPEAL-3 was devoted to the transit of Venus.

Around 20 teachers attended the event this year. During the day teachers attended a series of lectures on physics topics, visited Jesus College Oxford, and had an opportunity to participate in small group activities measuring the Earth acceleration g in the laboratory at the University of Oxford, which gave the teachers and their students the methodology for generating a map of the local variations of the acceleration around the UK.

The detailed programme and material are available here. The collage of photos shows the moments of lectures and of the laboratory group activities.