INSPYRE – INternational School on modern PhYsics and REsearch is an international school of physics in English for students in their final year of secondary school worldwide.
The school takes place in April at INFN’s National Laboratories of Frascati and is a week-long exchange of ideas between students from different countries who will discover together the world of research and modern physics, thanks to theoretical lectures, hands-on experimental activities, and visits to laboratories.
Each year is dedicated to a modern or contemporary physics theme and involves different INFN divisions and other research institutes. Started in 2011 with 20 boys and girls, mainly from Italy, the school now hosts about 100 students from many countries around the world.
Normally, INSPYRE takes place in the classroom and features practical laboratory experiences, but the COVID-19 pandemic did not halt the activities, and the 2020 and 2021 editions took place online, involving a large number of students.
For example, the 2021 edition entailed the participation of 96 students (22 of whom were foreigners) from 55 schools throughout Italy and from various countries around the world: Albania, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States.
Researchers from the INFN divisions of Bologna, Roma Tor Vergata, and the National Laboratories of Frascati, together with researchers from CERN and the University of Southampton, took the students on a discovery of the physics of accelerators: from the origins of experiments on the atom to the discovery of the Higgs boson and the CERN experiments, from accelerators in hospitals to those in space, up to the latest frontiers in the world of particle physics research with a look at the implications for society.
Cities and INFN sites: National Laboratories of Frascati and sections of Rome 1, Ferrara, Trieste, Pisa, University of Ferrara, and University of Padua