A TEACHER has just returned from a week in Switzerland where he spent time learning more about what makes our universe tick.

The head of science at Haydock High School, Alan McKeegan attended a conference at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research.

Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the universe is made of and how it works.

Alan told the Star: “I was selected to attend the week-long conference at the particle accelerator in Geneva.

“The purpose of my visit was to learn about the search for the Higg’s Boson, which is often referred to as the God Particle.

“CERN is involved in researching the origins of the universe.

“It aims to achieve this by accelerating protons around a 27-kilometre loop called the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, and then smashing them together to see what they are made of.

“The course involves teachers from across the world working together to understand how CERN works, and more importantly, to plan how to bring the cutting edge physics into the classroom.

“The plan now is for Haydock High School pupils to research the LHC and then take part in a video conference later in the year with ‘real life’ researchers from CERN.”

Alan’s visit proved an invaluable experience which allowed UK teachers to work alongside some of the world’s best scientists, including several Nobel prize winners.

Alan said: “Hopefully the pupils of Haydock High School will reap the rewards of working at the cutting edge of scientific understanding.”