A PHYSICS teacher is calling on schools to 'focus on science' after his recent visit to the forefront of scientific research.

John Thompson, of Stanwell School. was one of 16 teachers who visited the famous CERN in Switzerland which is exploring the origins of the universe.

Science students from across Wales are now benefitting from the stories their teachers have told them about projects like the large hadron collider.

Teachers have been using the knowledge and experience gained from the fascinating trip to inspire students and encourage them to embrace science, as well as developing resources to share with other science teachers in Wales to use next academic year and beyond.

John Thomson said: “It was such a fantastic experience to go to CERN and see the scale of this operation.

It’s a really multicultural place and brought particle physics to life. Having been to CERN and collected a number of really great resources, I’ve been able to bring my physics lessons to life and given pupils a sense of awe, and also show them how they could potentially be part of this incredible concept. My main goal now is to inspire careers in science amongst my pupils.”

Dr Lyn Evans, from Aberdare, is the former director of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project and active supporter of the Focus on Science campaign.

Along with scientists and engineers from the site, he was able to explain the facilities, functions and operations of CERN to the visiting party.

The teachers involved also attended an event at Techniquest in Cardiff where they presented their feedback from the trip to Dr Evans, and discussed how the content of the visit could be further used to promote science as a subject and career choice for today’s young people.

The visit to CERN was facilitated by Welsh Government and the National Science Learning Centre. Dr Lyn Evans is passionate about inspiring teachers and students in physics by engaging teachers directly in the work of CERN.

Minister for Education and Skills Huw Lewis said: “Enabling teachers from Wales to spend a significant amount of time with the world’s foremost physicists creates new opportunities for us to encourage more of our young people to study science-related subjects. I am sure John’s pupils will be fascinated by his experiences at CERN and inspired to consider science as a route to a potentially rewarding and fulfilling career."

He added: “Our Qualified for Life: Focus on Science campaign aims to spread the message of the value of science, that the skills and knowledge gained in science lessons are directly relevant to many jobs and industries, and that science really can pave the way to a successful future.”