The Cloud Chamber Workshop in S'Cool LAB is an extremely popular activity for high school students visiting CERN, allowing them to get hands-on, build a particle detector, observe particle tracks, and learn about physics.
After a brief introductory talk on the history of cloud chambers, students are instructed in how to build a cloud chamber by a S'Cool LAB tutor - a specially-trained volunteer from CERN's scientific community. Working in small groups of 2-4 participants each, students then proceed to build their own cloud chambers. The bulk of the workshop time is then dedicated to watching the tracks of particles made visible by the chamber, as the tutor goes from group to group to discuss the students' observations. Next comes the clean-up phase (students are taught to be responsible users of a lab environment), before a group discussion facilitated by the tutor.
The workshops in S'Cool LAB last 75-90 minutes in total.
If you are a teacher with a confirmed visit to CERN and you are interested in having a cloud chamber workshop in S'Cool LAB added to your visit itinerary for your students, please read the important practical information about the cloud chamber workshop, which includes instructions for applying.
If you do not yet have a confirmed CERN visit, you can apply for one via the dedicated form on CERN visits service application for school groups.
Cloud Chambers in your classroom
If you are interested in building cloud chambers in your classroom, have a look at our DIY manual. We also recommend using the live webcast of the permanent cloud chamber in our Microcosm exhibition.