CERN LHCreate outreach hackathon

CERN LHCreate outreach hackathon



How to have fun, learn new things and do outreach at the same time? LHCreate is the perfect event for that. This year, Helena Pikhartova participated in this CERN organized event.

LHCreate is a 2-day outreach hackathon and workshop. The aim is to create an exhibit showing off what CERN does and how, in a fun and creative way. The central theme of this 4th edition of LHCreate was to take CERN science to classrooms. As such, the goal was to design the prototype of a science exhibit which could be rebuilt by 12 to 18 year old students, in their classroom, and used to explain scientific concepts.

A total of four teams were competing, each made up of six people with different professional backgrounds (including physicists, engineers, design students) with a wide diversity of gender and nationality. The teams were given 33 hours to brainstorm ideas and put together a working prototype. Mentors were available for support at all times during the competition. Mentors were teachers from local schools, electrical experts, physicists, machinists and others.

The JAI was represented at LHCreate by Helena Pikhartova, a 2nd year Royal Holloway PhD student in accelerator physics, currently based at CERN. Helena contributed to the victory of her team which designed the "Synchro CERN Game".


At the end of the design phase, the participating teams present their prototypes to the public and to a panel of judges. The projects were noted on the basis of the scientific content, suitability an exhibit, product design and reproducibility.

As a winning project, the story of the Synchro CERN Game is far from finished. The prototype will be rebuild by professionals and will be available to visitors at CERN. A construction manual targeted at classrooms will also be written.

So if you plan on visiting CERN in the future, make sure you keep your eyes open and maybe enjoy playing the Synchro CERN Game!