Star pupil off to CERN for a work place­ment


ADETERMINED star gazer has landed an out of this world work ex­pe­ri­ence place­ment at the fa­mous CERN par­ti­cle­physics lab­o­ra­tory.

Han­nah Ruskin wrote to the world-fa­mous fa­cil­ity in Switzer­land to help her re­alise her dream to be­come a as­tro­physi­cist.

After three at­tempts the King’s School pupil didn’t re­ceive any re­ply.

But the de­ter­mined 14-year-old didn’t give up and after the fourth let­ter she was in­vited to visit the lab near Geneva.

For a week next June, Han­nah, from Poyn­ton, will be in­volved in projects con­nected to the Hadron Col­lider, a gi­gan­tic ma­chine that sci­en­tists hope will help them un­der­stand the uni­verse.

Han­nah said she hopes the visit will be a step­ping stone in her am­bi­tion to be­come a lead­ing astro- physi­cist.

She said: “Since I can re­mem­ber I have al­ways looked up at the stars and asked those most im­por­tant ques­tions about what is out there and how it all works. I have lots of as­tron­omy books in my bed­room and sim­ply love the Brian Cox pro­grammes which I watch again and again.

“So I just de­cided to write to CERN. I tried three times but didn’t get any­where but then in the fourth email I made a break through.

“I sent them a lit­tle story about my­self, a CV if you like, and that was when I got a re­sponse and was asked a few more ques­tions about my love of sci­ence and as­tron­omy. They said how im­pressed they were and in­vited me to go out next June. It was sim­ple re­silience.”

Han­nah will travel with her mum, Fran, a med­i­cal sec­re­tary. She said: “I do be­lieve there is in­tel­li­gent life out there some­where. “It might not be in our re­gion of the Uni­verse and we may never come face to face with it; the Hu­man Race may well wipe it­self out be­fore we have that op­por­tu­nity, but for me it is like rolling dice. If you roll the dice of­ten enough, you’re go­ing to come up a dou­ble six and there is so much yet that we haven’t dis­cov­ered or ex­plored.

“Our knowl­edge of the uni­verse is very much in its in­fancy.”

Han­nah’s physics teacher Stephen Car­pen­ter said: “I am ex­tremely en­vi­ous and very im­pressed. When Han­nah told me she was go­ing to write to CERN, I en­cour­aged her to have ago, but pri­vately I thought you’ve got no chance. I have never heard of any­one this young get­ting this op­por­tu­nity es­pe­cially ap­ply­ing in­de­pen­dently. How­ever Han­nah is a lot more in­tel­li­gent than me. She re­ally is a star stu­dent.”

●● Han­nah Ruskin

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