During a S'Cool LAB Day at CERN

Schedule of a typical S’Cool LAB Day

Note:  The exact schedule of a S'Cool LAB Day at CERN depends on several factors and may vary from the example given here (see "Visit itinerary and S'Cool LAB experiment selection" in the "Practical information" section below).

8:45  Arrival & Welcome Arrive at CERN Reception before 8:45; introductory talk in S'Cool LAB.  
9:15  Guided tour 1 e.g. the Synchrocyclotron  - get up close to CERN's first particle accelerator and find out about the history of CERN
10:00  Guided tour 2 e.g. the ATLAS visitor centre - a chance to see physicists working on the biggest LHC detector and get a glimpse at the tools they use
11:30  S’Cool LAB - experiment 1  Students get hands-on in groups of 2-4.
13:00  Lunch break Get a bite to eat in CERN's cafeteria
14:00 S’Cool LAB - experiments 2 & 3 All students take part in all experiments.
16:45 Q&A session with S'Cool LAB tutors A chance for students to ask any remaining questions, find out about careers in science, etc
17:00 End  Free time to explore the Microcosm exhibition and/or CERN gift shop


CERN Tours

Guided tours of CERN’s research facilities are a highlight of the S’Cool LAB Day schedule.


A range of locations within CERN are available for tours, from particle accelerators and magnet test facilities, to experiment control rooms and data centres.

The exact itinerary depends on a number of factors (e.g. group size, availability of a site, etc) and is determined at the discretion of the S'Cool LAB team and the CERN visits service.

S'Cool LAB Days at CERN do not include visits to CERN's underground installations.



Tours of CERN are led by volunteer guides from CERN’s international scientific community. Every effort is made to recruit and train guides who speak a variety of languages, and to match them to the requirements of visiting groups. However, this is not always possible, so tours must sometimes be offered in English instead. 


Additional CERN tours

A S'Cool LAB Day at CERN is part of a physics education research programme, which must take place in controlled conditions in order to generate meaningful data. As such, the S'Cool LAB team goes to great length to ensure as consistent an experience as possible for participating groups. Therefore, we ask that successful applicants for S'Cool LAB Days at CERN refrain from attempting to make additional visit arrangements at CERN for the same trip (with the exception of CERN's permanent exhibitions).

S'Cool LAB experiments

Students working in S'Cool LAB Most of the schedule of a S’Cool LAB day at CERN is dedicated to giving students the chance to get hands-on with particle physics.


During these sessions, students work independently in small groups (2-4 students) on a total of three different experiments, supported by volunteer tutors and easy-to-follow instruction and exercise worksheets produced by the S'Cool LAB team.

Each experiment session lasts about 75 minutes.

Over the course of the S'Cool LAB Day, all students rotate to take part in all three experiments.



Experiment sessions in S'Cool LAB are delivered by S'Cool LAB tutors, who are specially-trained volunteers from among CERN's international scientific community.  Every effort is made to recruit and train tutors who speak a variety of languages, and to match them to the requirements of visiting groups. However, this is not always possible, so experiment sessions must sometimes be offered in English instead. 

S'Cool LAB worksheets are offered in English only.



Our experiments include: build-your-own cloud chamber; visualising X-Rays; manipulating electron tubes, with more in development. Find out more on our experiments page.


Research commitment

S’Cool LAB Days at CERN are a unique opportunity for school groups to get hands-on and spend a whole day at CERN. They are organised primarily by PhD students in physics education. In return, participating teachers and students are expected to engage with our research projects by completing several questionnaires before, during and after their S’Cool LAB Day at CERN.

Practical information

Visit itinerary and S'Cool LAB experiment selection

The exact schedule of each S’Cool LAB Day depends on the group size and other factors. Tours are subject to availability and are arranged at the discretion of the CERN visits service and other relevant CERN parties. S’Cool LAB Days do not include visits to underground installations at CERN.

The exact selection of experiments offered to each group is at the discretion of the S’Cool LAB team and depends on students' age, prior knowledge, and their teachers' preferences. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure the availability of all scheduled experimental sessions. However, on rare occasions, unforeseeable circumstances mean that certain sessions must be altered or cancelled without notice.



CERN unfortunately cannot offer school groups any space for pick-nicks. School groups taking part in S'Cool LAB Days are expected to buy lunch in the CERN cafeteria, where there is a wide range of options to suit all tastes and budgets.



CERN is an open laboratory and we encourage all visitors to take pictures. Several S'Cool LAB experiments are quite photogenic, and we encourage students to take pictures of their work and share them with others #SCoolLAB #CERN.


What to bring

The S’Cool LAB team provides all the necessary equipment for the experimental workshops. Students may wish to bring their own pen & paper, although these are not a requirement.

All CERN visitors are encouraged to take pictures during their visits and workshops (see “Photography” above). As such, participants on S'Cool LAB Days at CERN may wish to bring a camera or smartphone.

All participants should bring photo ID and any travel documents they may require to cross the French/Swiss border.

Participating students and teachers will be asked to create accounts on the S’Cool LAB online learning platform to prepare their visit and should bring their login details with them on the visit.


What not to bring

CERN does not allow visitors to bring luggage on-site.

Schools should not bring their own lunch (see “Meals” above).

Snacks and drinks are not allowed in S’Cool LAB itself. However, breaks for refreshments are planned in the schedule.

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