Synchrotron@School is an innovative educational programme which originated in 2013 as a partnership between the ESRF and the “Académie de Grenoble”.

The programme aims to make science and technology tangible for high school students and to show the diversity of careers proposed by an international facility like the ESRF. The ESRF organises a full day of hands-on activities at the facility and can welcome up to 36 students per session.

The programme is open to scientific, technological and professional high schools.

Synchrotron@School is also part of GIANT@School, which proposes different educational actions on the campus GIANT.

Scientific high schools

The aim of these days of hands-on-science is for the students to better understand how to conduct a research project, especially in an international facility such as the ESRF. In addition, the programme increases the students’ awareness of the diversity of careers in the area of science and technology.

The day starts with a challenge for each group of students: they have to manage their own research project. Throughout the day they need to find solutions to questions based on the science curriculum and the work done at the ESRF through some hands-on experiments.

  • BRAGG project: students learn more about diffraction, how it works, and how we can benefit from it.
  • NOBEL project: students discover fluorescence and phosphorescence, and use spectroscopy techniques.
  • WIEN project: students investigate heat transfers within different materials with the help of an infrared detector.

At the end of the day the students present a poster and a slideshow highlighting their conclusions.

The day also includes a visit to one or several of the ESRF’s 43 beamlines or experimental stations.  Informal chats with staff allow the students to exchange views and seek advice.



Technological high schools

The schedule and hands-on experiments are similar to those designed for the scientific high schools. The main difference is that the students visit some of the ESRF’s highly specialised labs instead of the beamlines.

Professional high schools

The aim of this programme is for the students to understand the role of technology and techniques in such a facility. The day is split into two, with the first half consisting in a technique-oriented presentation and a visit of the synchrotron. The second half is focused on meeting technicians and visiting their labs or workshops in order to better understand their job at the ESRF.

The ESRF hosts a great variety of labs, all of them necessary for the vast range of science that is carried out at the institute, for example: optics, vacuum, metrology, mechanical machining workshop, detector systems, …

After the visit of the labs, each group of students is asked to make a short presentation of the lab they visited.

Get in touch! Contact Yannick Lacaze, public outreach officer at the ESRF.

Educational files

These PDF files are intended for teachers. Please download our educational files to prepare your class for their visit.

BRAGG: English - French

NOBEL: English - French

WIEN: English - French