HIgh School students conducting their own experiment at CLSHigh School students from Indigenous Communities doing research at CLSHigh School students as part of the immersive Students on the Beamline program at CLS
"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. You can check out our SotB Corner for a table with previous group examples, along with additional helpful info!

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.

NSERC provides funding for the CLS Education Programs

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 - June 2021
  • Next Education Proposal Submission
    October 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.

CLS Education Proposal Guide to allow students to do science research at CLS

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.

Example of CLS Education Proposal for students to do research at CLS

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.

CLS Application form for the Students on the Beamline Program

High School students prepping their own samples for their research at CLSHigh School Students participating in Students on the BeamlineHigh School Students conducting their own experiment on the IDEAS Beamline
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!



2021 Project Highlights
Deeper than just Polymer: A Study on the Absorption of Metals by Plastics
Pensionnat du Saint-Nom-de-Marie
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.

Brockhouse, 'Bee'mlines, and Beeswax, Oh my!
St. Thomas More Collegiate
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.

What's Really in our Water?
North Park Secondary School
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.


Looking for More Projects?

These are just a few examples of the projects that student groups have developed for beamtime in 2021. 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 Beamline 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:


Brockhouse, ‘Bee’mlines & Beeswax, Oh My!
St. Thomas More Collegiate
Burnaby, BC / Unceded Homelands of the Hən̓ q ̓əmin̓ əm ̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Speaking Peoples


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?