JINR: Big Science for school teachers

On 26 June – 02 July, 2022, the XI International Scientific School for Physics Teachers was held at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

Shortening the “distance” between School and Fundamental Science, promoting scientific knowledge among a wider audience, drawing attention to the areas of JINR research – these were the tasks set by the School.

This year, physics teachers from various regions of Russia from Kaliningrad to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and from Novy Urengoy to Saratov took part in the event. Also, for the first time, 2 teachers from Armenia came to join the School. Thus, the number of participants came up to 21.

During one week, the teachers knew more about the laboratories of the Institute: they attended the exhibition dedicated to the 65th anniversary of JINR, listened to lectures on the main areas of research, visited the experimental facilities. The programme of the event was supplemented by hands-on activities in the Virtual Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and introduction to the courses "Spheres" and "Engineers of the Future" developed by the specialists of the University Centre. Also, participants in the School got a vivid impression of the JINR Library: the teachers saw the exhibition "Science in comics", which in simple terms tells about the research conducted at the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems. They also learned about modern formats of events held by the Library staff members for citizens and guests of the city. Such formats may be applied in working with schoolchildren.

The programme of the School was structured in such a way that the teachers managed to know more not only about the Institute, but also about the life in Dubna. On a city tour, the guests learned about the stages of Dubna formation as a science city, got acquainted with the history and geography of the place. Dubna University, a JINR partner in the training of highly qualified personnel, had traditionally taken part in the work of the School. The teachers learned about the areas of student training, formats of cooperation between the University and the Institute, work of the Prototyping Centre and Laboratory of Electronics and Microprocessor Technology, visited the Laboratory for Composite Materials Testing and the Sports Complex “Olympus”. At the end of the event, the participants were given a tour of the Kadyshevsky Lyceum, where they saw the equipment of the school laboratories, visited robotics and 3D modeling classrooms, and communicated with the principal and teachers of the school.

For teachers, science schools are an opportunity to touch Big Science, see the modern research infrastructure, communicate with scientists, share experience with colleagues, collect new ideas for school research projects. We expect that today's schoolchildren, getting an “impulse” from their teachers who entered into the spirit of JINR, will choose specialties in science, engineering or IT, and, perhaps, in a few years end up at the Institute as trainees and, eventually, as employees.