CERN, the builder of the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest single machine, is launching the Science Gateway, a facility for scientific education and outreach. According to CERN, the purpose of the project is to create a hub of scientific education and culture to inspire younger generations with the beauty of science. Aimed at engaging audiences of all ages, the Science Gateway will include exhibition spaces meant to inspire, laboratories for hands-on scientific experiments for children and students from primary to high-school level and a large amphitheater to host science events.
With a footprint of 7,000 square meters, the Science Gateway building will offer a variety of spaces and activities, including exhibitions explaining the secrets of nature, from the elementary particles to the structure and evolution of the universe. The exhibitions will also feature CERN’s accelerators, experiments and computing, how scientists use them in their exploration and how CERN technologies benefit society. The immersive activities available in the Science Gateway will aim to foster critical thinking, evidence-based assessment and use of the scientific method.
"The Science Gateway will enable CERN to expand significantly its education and outreach offering for the general public, in particular the younger generations," said CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti. "We will be able to share with everybody the fascination of exploring and learning how matter and the universe work, the advanced technologies we need to develop in order to build our ambitious instruments and their impact on society, and how science can influence our daily life."
The cost of the Science Gateway is estimated at 79 million Swiss Francs, entirely funded through donations.
As part of the educational portfolio of the Science Gateway, CERN and FCA Foundation will develop a program for schools, with the advice of Fondazione Agnelli. The main goal will be to transmit concepts of science and technology in an engaging way, in order to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM.
The Science Gateway is designed by architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop, on CERN’s Meyrin site adjacent to the Globe of Science and Innovation. According to CERN, the Science Gateway is inspired by the fragmentation and curiosity already intrinsic to the nature of the CERN site and buildings, so it is made up of multiple elements, embedded in a green forest and interconnected by a bridge spanning the main road leading to Geneva.
Construction is planned to start in 2020 and be completed in 2022.