The Visits service has come up with the idea of replacing planned CERN school visits with virtual lectures, modelled on the measures implemented by many schools worldwide to enable pupils to continue to learn despite the lockdown.
The suspension of guided tours, which has been in force since the beginning of March due to COVID-19, is particularly affecting school groups, who represent more than half of guided tour participants.
For the time being, these virtual lectures are restricted to secondary schools that had previously registered for a guided tour. They are held over the Vidyo system, which enables classes of pupils aged 16 and above to tune in from home using a simple web browser.
The lectures, which are available in several languages, are given by official CERN guides who have received the necessary training. To make them as interactive as possible, they include not only a general presentation of the Organization, but also a question-and-answer session using the online Vidyo discussion tool.
The first lectures were held last week and the feedback has been very positive. Many more schools whose visits had to be cancelled have been contacted with a view to organising more lectures in the coming weeks.