High school student wins KNAW Education Prize 2024 for school research project about wire chamber

1 July 2024

Leon Verreijt of the Augustinianum in Eindhoven has won the KNAW Education Prize 2024 for his school research project for which he built – partly at Nikhef – a self-designed wire chamber.

Leon Verreijt is one of 12 winners chosen by the jury for the KNAW Education Prize 2024. He won the first prize in the category Science & Engineering. The winners have creatively answered their research questions, the jury said. Sometimes in documentary form, sometimes by developing a complex device. The jury was particularly surprised by the high level of output.

Together with a team of five students from the Augustinianum, Leon Verreijt won CERN’s Beamline for Schools competition in 2023 with the same project.

About the school research project by Leon Verreijt (Augustinianum, Eindhoven)

Designing, building, and testing a multi-wire proportional chamber – The development of a homemade particle detector

Every day, we are bombarded by countless invisible particles from space and our environment, which form our daily reality. Leon’s fascination with these particles led to the desire to make them visible. He is therefore developing a high-quality and affordable particle detector, so that hobbyists, research groups and schools can become more actively involved in experimental particle physics and instrumentation. In doing so, Leon hopes to inspire the next generation of physicists.

About the KNAW Education Prize

For this year’s KNAW Education Prize 2024, the KNAW received 294 entries. With this annual prize, the KNAW aims to stimulate scientific thinking at the vwo level. Winners will receive a contribution towards tuition fees for their first year of college. On 25 June 2024 was the festive award ceremony.

Source: KNAW