CERN Accelerating science

Educational programmes

Training and experimenting with the innovators of the future

IdeaSquare co-designs and runs more than 22 project-based student courses in collaboration with international universities from Europe, Australia and the US. The courses vary in duration - from two-day design sprints to full eighth-month product design projects. From conceptual visions to actual functioning prototypes, the undergraduate and master students all pay significant attention to tackling challenges derived from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

​​IdeaSquare’s student programmes differ from other academic courses thanks to their strong connection to CERN. Indeed, students perceive CERN as a “highly inspiring and motivating place”, and their discussions with CERN scientists and engineers “a special experience”. The fact that they can access CERN technologies in their project application phases —such as in ATTRACT projects— confirms IdeaSquare’s motto, “a licence to dream”, as a true declaration of intent. Because thinking exponentially instead of incrementally is one of the main goals of our educational programmes, the IdeaSquare team has developed its own curriculum entitled Design the Future.

IdeaSquare's forthcoming educational endeavour, IdeaSquare Planet, is taking us on a cosmic journey to an exoplanet and then back to Earth. At its core, this approach hinges on a bold question: What if humanity were compelled to start anew on an entirely different planet? How could we make choices that prioritise sustainability? Moreover, could the knowledge gained during this cosmic journey be effectively applied to real-world situations on Earth?