Physics Trip to Geneva

On Wednesday 21st March 2018, 19 Year 12 and 13 students, under the ever-watchful eyes of our physics teachers, flew over to Geneva, Switzerland, for a few days of physics and cultural enrichment.

Day 1:

The first day began with a few mishaps whilst checking-in (involving Mr Jones repeatedly stating “no water means no water” and one Year 12 student turning up at Birmingham Airport slightly late!).  We then boarded what was to be a relaxing flight to Geneva. After touchdown and a short train journey, we headed through the main town, taking time to enjoy the much fresher Genevan air, a departure indeed from Birmingham.  We became acquainted with the city sites that we would come to love over the next two days. Arriving at our hotel, we were given time to wind down in our rooms – which were some of the more spacious encountered on school trips – before heading out to eat at an Italian restaurant, previously reserved by Mr Jones. Here, we were treated to authentic Italian main courses, from pizza to spaghetti carbonara, with tiramisu for desert. We were then given some free time to explore the twilight streets before returning to the hotel to turn off the lights at 11pm local time.

Day 2:

The day began with a continental breakfast being brought to our rooms, before we set out on our physics-based adventure. Whilst most would have taken their time to take in the Genevan sights, Mr Jones marched onwards with his band of quite merry Sixth Form students towards the boat which was to take us to ‘Le Musée d’histoire des sciences de la Ville de Genève’. It was great to see some of the older exhibits, ranging from microscopes to solar system models to equipment used by Genevan Scientists.

Following our trip to the Science Museum, we travelled to CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider and, in general, all things physics! We were greeted by exhibits explaining breakthroughs in physics, current mysteries within particle physics and a video demonstrating the discovery of the Higgs Boson. We were also given talks about the structure of the establishment and shown components that make up the particle accelerators.  We even – albeit briefly – crossed the border into France (which came as a surprise to some). We finished the day by dining at the ‘Holy Cow’ restaurant before being given more time to take in some of the exciting night life before heading to bed after a much more exhausting day.

Day 3:

With a slightly later start to the day than previously, we took the time to visit ‘La Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Genève’, which holds cultural significance as it became the base of John Calvin, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Here, we ascended the Church Tower for a grand view of the city. Looking towards Le lac Léman (Lake Geneva), we could see Le Jet d’Eau (the famous water jet) working for the first time during our trip, providing a scenic look to the port; we also had a good look around the old town. We then headed to Le Musée d’art et d’histoire, which had an interesting set of artefacts and a fancy café. We spent our last few hours in Geneva having our money extorted from us to pay for souvenirs and chocolate before heading home.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip and it would be great if our Physics teachers Mr Jones and Mr McCarron ran this trip again in the future.

Brandon Masih, Year 12



Click here to see more photos in the gallery.