West High School students win international science competition

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Jane Price

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A team of West High School science students beat out 178 other teams from around the world to win the Beamline for Schools international competition.

According to the CERN Accelerating Science press release, the students were the first team from the U.S. to ever win the competition.

“I’m so excited by the prospect of working at DESY this autumn, it’s such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said August Muller from the “DESY Chain” team. “I’m proud to be a part of the first USA team to win the BL4S competition, especially because it provides access to equipment and systems I would otherwise never have dreamt of even seeing.”

According to the press release, the “DESY Chain” team from West High School focuses on the “properties of scintillators” in its proposal.

“These are materials that are used for particle detection. The students aim to study the performance of these scintillators and compare their sensitivity to electrons and positrons,” stated the release. “This may lead to more efficient particle detectors for a wide range of applications.”

The West High team was one of two winners. The other team was from the Praedinius Gymnasium in Groningen, Netherlands.

According to their website, the Beamline for Schools is a unique international competition that is open to high-school students all over the world. The students are invited to submit a proposal for an experiment that uses a beamline which delivers a stream of subatomic particles to any given set-up, making it possible to study a broad variety of properties and processes in various scientific disciplines.

Since Beamline for Schools was launched in 2014 almost 10,000 students from 84 countries have participated. This year, 178 teams from 49 countries worldwide submitted a proposal for the sixth edition of the competition.

In October, the two teams will carry out their proposed experiments together, along with scientists from CERN and DESY at the DESYresearch centre in Hamburg, Germany.

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