CERN and TEMI together to solve the mystery of the missing mass

A new collaboration between TEMI Italy and CERN has been successfully established and a new challenging TEMI-like activity about the Higgs boson is under development. The suggested activity is addressed to the teachers attending the CERN Italian Teacher Programme scheduled in September 2015 and will be delivered in eight hours of intense structured inquiry. The activity will be based on four workshops: Electromagnetic induction; Eddy currents induced mass; Superconducting currents, massive photons and massive particles; Higgs boson detection.

The fascinating mystery at the base of the programme can be summarised by two questions: “What is the mass? Why do things around us have a mass?” These questions are so deep and fundamental  that they are  difficult to grasp for most of the students. For this reason, it’s important to create a context that gives sense to the these issues and, at a second stage, tackle the answers given by the standard model, the spontaneous symmetry break leading to the idea of the Higgs field and the detection of the Higgs boson.

The activities, that will follow the 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate) cycle  at the core of the TEMI project, will make use of lab-hands on activities and games and will support  teachers to improve their observing, hypothesising and verifying skills in the contexts of electromagnetism, superconductivity and high energy physics. These topics are rarely explained with the IBSE methodology and the collaboration with CERN didactical experts is extremely beneficial.  A second activity is under development for the CERN international teachers programme…. stay tuned for updated from TEMI UK!