Educational experiments in cosmic ray physics
and the EEE Project
Science education at the high-school or undergraduate level may receive strong support from
educational projects involving students and teachers in a common research work, with the
possibility to follow many of the basic steps in a real scientific investigation. They include the
basic understanding of the physics items involved in the project, the planning of the experiment, the
construction of the apparatus, its use for physical measurements, the data analysis and
interpretation, and, finally, the sharing and dissemination of the scientific results.
In recent years, examples of collaborations which involve high schools, university and research
centres in projects concerning cosmic ray physics have become more and more numerous all over
the world. The main reason lies in the evident educational aspects that characterize experiments for
the detection of cosmic rays; these activities offer to school teachers and associated groups of
students the possibility to be trained in the world of experimental high energy physics, since not
only may they learn the basics of cosmic ray physics, but also stay in touch with several aspects of a
real research activity.
Over the past years many educational experiments in cosmic ray physics have been carried out in our Department,
employing simple Geiger counters and small scintillation detectors. Since 2006, our site joined the Extreme
Energy Events (EEE) Collaboration, aiming at the construction and operation of a large array of MRPC telescopes
over the italian territory.