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On the completion of the Build-a-Plane project at Marling School, the next extra-curricular activity to catch the eye of Marling School’s Head of DT, Mr Berry, is the ‘High School Particle and Cosmic Ray Project’.  Securing funding of £6k from our local engineering industry sponsors, LB Bentley (part of the Severn Glocon Group), he is helping Marling and Stroud High School students to build a cosmic ray detector from a kit with support and guidance from the University of Birmingham.  This is enabling our students to participate in a ground breaking international research project with the aim of getting school children involved in researching a phenomenon that has puzzled physicists for many years.  


What is a Particle and Cosmic Ray Detector?  It is basically a mini version of the detectors used on the Large Hadron Collider at Cern to record muon activity produced by cosmic rays hitting the upper atmosphere of Earth.  (A muon is an elementary particle similar to an electron).   It will enable our students to record, share and discuss their data findings with schools both nationally and internationally.  Our Year 12 students are already building servers to handle the data that will be collected.  

In addition to this project, Marling School has been involved in Rutherford Laboratory’s ‘Nutron Beam Project’ and the resources developed at Marling School have now been rolled out to 40 other schools nationally after our students presented their finding to Rutherford Scientists.  

Projects such as these provide fantastic opportunities to enthuse our students from Y7s through to Sixth Form.  Recently, one hundred Year 7 students from Marling and Stroud High Schools took part in cloud chamber workshops led by members of the schools’ Particle Physics Group.  A visit to the Large Hadron Collider at Cern, Switzerland has also been organised in Spring 2015 to enable members of this Group to consolidate their knowledge and understanding of particle physics.

“The opportunity for our students to work in project teams where safe, supportive and challenging activities are undertaken really develops their confidence and enables them to communicate very effectively in a professional adult environment.  Success is not guaranteed, the work is the students’ own and when they experience failure this has increased their motivation and resilience”.  Mr Berry, Head of DT, Marling School.


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