Outreach and educational activities of the ALICE collaboration during the COVID pandemic

1 Sep 2021, 17:10
Talk in parallel session Outreach and Education Discussion Panel Outreach and Education


Despina Hatzifotiadou (INFN Bologna)


With the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020 all outreach and educational activities with in-person participation had to stop. The ALICE collaboration adapted to the new situation and continued reaching out to the public using the multitude of online tools and platforms available. We will focus here on two of our main outreach activities, virtual visits and masterclasses.

With the cancellation of all in-person visits to the underground installations, virtual visits became the only way to explore the experiment. ALICE had already been offering virtual visits for remote audiences with equipment installed in the ALICE Run Control Centre (ARC). We recently acquired dedicated mobile equipment for the virtual visits to the cavern and developed a scenario which includes both the cavern and the ARC as well as a Q&A session. In this way, visitors from many countries have the opportunity to interact with scientists and to see parts of the experiment that they would never be able to see during a real visit.

ALICE has been participating in the International Masterclasses (IMC) programme ever since measurements based on LHC data were introduced in it. The packages used had been developed by simplifying the ALICE event display and were based on ROOT. With the spreading of the COVID pandemic the 2020 IMC programme was interrupted. In 2021, with most activities taking place remotely, it was obvious that web-based versions were needed. The implementation of such versions allowed us to hold remote masterclasses for high-school students, thus ensuring the continuity of this important outreach activity of our community. In addition we reached new countries and also involved high-school teachers in this global effort.

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