"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember.
I do and I understand." - Confucius


Students on the Beamline (SotB) is an opportunity for eligible educators to enable their high school students to “DO” science. As they go through the scientific process, the students themselves make the decisions and create a novel research project. Each group is paired with mentors or experts who provide advice to help students develop their research, but ultimately the students are the scientists. They conduct the experiment, make sense of the data, and present their own research. Check out the Projects section to see just how far reaching SotB is!

High School (students aged 14+)

From 1 to 2 years

Virtual and/or On-site

In order to participate in SotB, teachers must receive training through CLS Education. Check out our Professional Development to see when the next workshop/training is or feel free to email the Education Team if you have questions.


NSERC (logo in image) supports Student Programs and travel with the CLS Education Team.The CLS is proud to offer SotB, an innovative and award-winning program. We acknowledge that the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience has made development of this program possible.

Important Things to Consider

  • A research project can take anywhere from a year to two years to complete. Each group is unique.
  • The research project is a team effort. The group should be made up of diverse students that bring with them various skills and talents.
  • Students must be 14 years of age or older.
  • The research project is for any curious student – we do not look at grades as a criteria or requirement to be part of the program.
  • While initially created as a great science research experience for the students, it has proven to be an immersive inquiry teaching experience, and deeply affects teachers participating.
  • You can check out our SotB Corner for a table with previous group examples, along with additional helpful info!

Getting Started

Attend the Canadian Light Source Educators' Workshop
*** Next Workshop TBA

Teachers are required to have training before applying to participate in SotB. This training is typically delivered through the annual Canadian Light Source Educators’ Workshop. This workshop ensures that you understand what the Canadian Light Source is, how the atmosphere and environment at the Canadian Light Source may impact your students, understanding our guiding philosophies, and you have an opportunity to connect with the Education staff.

We also sometimes offer one-day training to those teachers that are eligible (have connected with Education programs in the past or attended a virtual Educators' Workshop). Subscribe to our mailing list to stay in the loop.

Submit an Educational Proposal
*** Deadline to submit a proposal is April 30th, 2024 for 2025/2026 participation.

The Educational Proposal, written by the teacher, focuses on the expected education outcomes of the SotB experience, with an accompanying science idea. As always, part of our goal is to ensure that the selected mentors and Canadian Light Source staff support the uniqueness of the student group by providing guidance, as well as advice on the scientific process as students develop their research project. Take a look at our guides for additional support and examples to view. Proposals are accepted from educators who have an established relationship with the education team. Please contact us to receive the application package. 

Please note, there is a limited amount of beamtime, and science mentorship support, which results in a competitive process. Be sure to take a look at the operations schedule to see when CLS has beam available (you will be looking for green day shifts). We cannot guarantee you will receive the time you ask if your proposal is accepted but having a sense of the time frames that would work best for your student group will help us in scheduling. 

To better understand the criteria we are looking for, we encourage you to take a look at our Educational Proposal Information Package and the Educational Proposal Exemplar before filling out the application form and e-mailing it to the Education Team.

Educational Proposal Information Package

  • The document provides information on the application process.

Educational Proposal Rubric

  • Here is the rubric which is used to score the submissions and determines which applications are accepted.

Educational Proposal Exemplar

  • This exemplar demonstrates what an application with a score of 2 looks like.
  • A score of 2 is average and is accepted to be reviewed.
Education Proposal Exemplar

Educational Proposal Application Form
**Deadline to Submit is April 30th, 2024

  • Please email the Education Team if you are looking for the Application Form.
  • Only the sent out form will be considered as a submission. If you have technical issues or questions, please contact the Education Team as soon as possible.
  • If a completed form is submitted prior to the deadline, feedback can be provided.
Please Contact



From All Across Canada, and Globally!

Since 2006, 128 student groups and more than 1000 students have been immersed within the scientific community and have partaken in SotB with the CLS. These groups have come from all across Canada, including British Columbia, Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon. Since 2021, we have now expanded SotB internationally! Below we highlight the more recent student projects and encourage you to take a look at their seminars as well as explore the complete SotB project database.


Recent Project Highlights

Calgary, AB / Treaty 7

Students from Our Lady of the Rockies School investigate how dwarf sunflowers can be used for remediation. They decided to see how the dwarf sunflowers handled being subjected to treatments of low concentrations of calcium, cobalt, copper, zinc, iron, and potassium salt solutions. Using the IDEAS beamline they were able to see relative concentrations of the transition metals and do imaging maps on the leaves of their sunflowers. 

Check out their seminar here.


Burnaby, BC - Unceded territories of hən̓q ̓əmin̓əm ̓and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nations

Students found in their preliminary research that salmon have historically played a vital role in British Columbia’s ecosystem, history, and economy. They are native to BC waters and are culturally important for Indigenous communities. BC’s mining and agricultural industries produce various types of chemical waste that drain into waters. Since salmon typically migrate around three thousand kilometres in their lifetime, the students believe that the salmon samples they will be working with may reflect whether or not the fish has taken in any harmful runoff throughout their journey. For the experiment this group will be working on the Bio-XAS beamline and looking at salmon eye lens’ for any harmful chemicals, after using the otolith (ear bone) to judge the age of the salmon. With all the combined information, and data students will be able to observe whether or not the chemical waste of British Colombia’s agricultural and mining industries have a major impact on the salmon.

Check out their seminar here

Winnipeg, MB / Treaty 1

Students from Fort Richmond & Nellie McClung Collegiate are interested in the impact and remediation of metal contaminated water in the Canadian prairies. In their preliminary literature search they have found that the use of fungi spores, specifically the type of white rot, can uptake the metals present in their environment.

They have been conducting research of their own which mimics metals in aqueous solutions to determine if the mycelium will uptake these metals. These students are using the IDEAS beamline to investigate further if Copper (II), Zinc, and Nickel (II) elements will be taken up by Ganoderma Lucidum mycelia.

Check out their seminar here.

Looking for More Projects?

These are just a few examples of the more recent projects with our Students on the Beamline groups. There are more projects, media communications, and even videos on the various previous projects completed this year and through out the years. Take a look!

Poster Competition

Our Students on the Beamlines program gives an authentic and immersive science research experience for students, which includes communicating experimental findings with a scientific poster. We host an annual Students on the Beamline Scientific Poster Competition, either in the spring or fall, for student groups who have conducted research at the Canadian Light Source within the last year. There are four competitions: Judges' Vote, Peer-Review, Staff Pick, and Public Vote. The winner of the Judges' Vote receives a trophy that they can display at their school and the winner of the Peer-Review receives a plaque they get to keep. 

Looking for ways to enhance the design of your scientific poster?
Click below to find resources that can help you out!