"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, they make the decisions and create a novel research project. Mentors and experts provide advice to help students develop their research, but ultimately the students are the scientists and drive their own research.

Check out the Projects tab to see just how far reaching SotB is!

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.

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 this possible.

Important Dates
  • Spring 2021 Shut Down  
    March 22, 2021 - May 20, 2021
  • Next Education Proposal Submission
    March 15, 2021
    For groups hoping to come in 2021/2022 or 2022/2023 school year
Step One

Attend the Canadian Light Source Teachers' Workshop
*** Next Teachers' Workshop TBD

Teachers are required to have training before applying to participate in SotB. This training is delivered through the annual Canadian Light Source Teachers’ Workshop. This 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.

Step Two

Submit an Educational Proposal
*** Next submission date is March 15, 2021

The Educational Proposal focuses on the expected education outcomes with an accompanying science idea. 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. 

There is limited amount of beamtime, science mentorship support, and funding, which results in participating in SotB as a competitive process. 

How To Apply

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.

Educational Proposal Guide

  • The guide provides information on how to fill out the application form. 
  • There is a rubric at the end of the guide 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.

Educational Proposal Application Form

  • Only this 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.

From All Across Canada

Since 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!

2020 Project Highlights
Investigation into Peas, Soil, a Herbicide, and Runoff
Meadowridge School
Maple Ridge, BC / Kwantlen First Nation and Katzie First Nation Territory

Curiosity stimulated by conflicting research reports about how commercial herbicides work, these students applied herbicide to snow peas in varying concentrations to examine the chemistry involved in the soil, roots, stems, leaves, and resulting runoff using the IDEAS beamline.

Effect of Bioaccumulation of Lead and Zinc on Flax Plants
Balmoral Hall School
Winnipeg, MB / Treaty 1 and the Homeland of the Métis

Students from Balmoral Hall were interested in finding a way they could remove heavy metals, in particular lead, from their local soil. They used soil with various concentrations of lead and zinc and using the IDEAS beamline they were able to examine the impact their solution had on heavy metals in flax roots, stems, and leaves.

Are Mussels Good for our Muscles?
Halifax Grammar School
Halifax, NS / Mi’kma’ki Territory

Blue Mussels or Mytilus Edulis are a common part of many Canadian diets and these high school students from Halifax Grammar School are interested in the chemistry of the soft tissues of these organisms. The students used the BioXAS beamline to map out the edible parts of mussels to see if there was any presence of heavy metals linked to poisoning.

Looking for More Projects?

These are just a few examples of the projects that student groups have developed in 2020. 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!

We host an annual Students on the Beamlines Scientific Poster Competition in the 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. 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.


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

Poster Winners

The Canadian Light Source recognizes the following student projects as winners of our annual Students on the Beamlines Judges Poster Competition. Our past winners include:


Hold The Salt!
Bishop Carroll High School
Calgary, AB / Treaty 7


Analysis of Selenium in Earthworms
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


Sprouting from Ashes: Effects of a Forest Fire on Sulphur Soil Chemistry
Bishop Carroll High School
Calgary, AB / Treaty 7


Chromium and Arsenic in the Oil Industry
Bishop Carroll High School
Calgary, AB / Treaty 7


Seeing Through the Eyes of a Snack: Analysis of Garter Snake Spectacle Scales on the Mid-IR Beamline
SHAD, University of Saskatchewan Campus
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


Chemical Analysis of E-Cigarette Emissions
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


Elements in the Sediments
Notre Dame High School
Calgary, AB / Treaty 7


The Effects of Ascorbic Acid on Iron and Bread
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


Investigation of Selenium Speciations in Lentil Plants
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


Chemical Analysis of Tree Core, Soil, and Lichen From Area
La Loche High School
La Loche, SK / Treaty 8 and Clearwater River Dene Nation


Chemical Properties of Coal
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


Interaction of Bacteria with Nanosilver Particles in Band-Aids
Evan Hardy Collegiate Institute
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis

Effects of Acid Rain on Soil
Centennial Collegiate
Saskatoon, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis


A Taste of Honey
Lloydminster Comprehensive High School
Lloydminster, SK / Treaty 6 and the Homeland of the Métis

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If you’re looking for information on how you can use CLS techniques in your research program, please contact us using this form.

Example queries may include: Feasibility around a potential experiment? A scientific problem we can help you solve? Is your question related to a specific technique? Do you want to know more about how to apply for beamtime?