"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember.
I do and I understand." - Confucius
Students on the Beamlines (SotB) is an opportunity for 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 mentor or expert who provides 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 6 months to 2 years
Virtual and/or On-site
The Canadian Light Source is proud to offer SotB, an innovative and award-winning program, and we acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences
and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) PromoScience to make
Important Things to Consider
- A research project can take anywhere from half 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 student – we do not look at grades as a criteria or requirement to be part of the program.
- This is not only a great science research experience for the students, but also provides teachers an immersive inquiry teaching experience.
- You can check out our SotB Corner for a table with previous group examples, along with additional helpful info!
*** Next Teachers' Workshop TBD
Teachers are required to have training before applying to participate in SotB. This training is typically delivered through the annual Canadian Light Source Teachers’ Workshop. This workshop ensures that you have an understanding of 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 teachers' workshop).
Submit an Educational Proposal
*** Next submission date is Tuesday March 15, 2022 for groups hoping to come in 2022/2023 or 2023/2024 school years
The Educational Proposal, written by the teacher, focuses on the expected education outcomes of the SotB experience, with an accompanying science idea (optional to add). 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.
Please note, there is a limited amount of beamtime, science mentorship support, and funding, which results in participating in SotB as 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 Guide and the Educational Proposal Exemplar before filling out the application form and e-mailing it to the Education Team.
From All Across CanadaSince 2006, more than 110 student groups 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! Below we highlight projects from the current or previous school year (take a look at their seminars!) and explore our complete database of SotB projects.
2021 Project Highlights
Montreal, QC / Territory of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk)
One would not associate rivers as a waste collector, but in some instances, the plastics we dispose of end up in our water systems. Students from an all-girls schools were interested in examining the absorption of heavy metals in plastics using the IDEAS beamline, by comparing samples from the St. Lawrence River and samples from their own in vitro experiment.
Check out their seminar here.
Burnaby, BC / Unceded homelands of the hən̓ q ̓əmin̓ əm ̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Speaking Peoples
Various types of pests are known to decimate the honey bee population and cause hive colonies to collapse. As a result, beekeepers treat their hives with various types of pesticides and these high school students were interested in the impact these pesticides have on the crystalline structure and elemental composition of beeswax. They used the Brockhouse X-ray Diffraction and Scattering Beamline (BXDS), a first for the CLS Education Team, as well as the IDEAS beamline.
Check out their seminar here.
Brampton, ON / Traditional Territories of Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishinabek, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee, Erie, the Neutral Nation, and the Huronwendat Peoples
The motivation behind this research is to gauge the processes of wastewater treatment plants around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and compare results to Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. Due to infrastructure changes and the plants being situated in industrial areas, these students were interested in looking at what elements can be found in GTA water and the impact they potentially have, by using the IDEAS beamline.
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!
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, typically held in Spring, 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!