HiSPARC

HiSPARC is an outreach, educational and research experiment on cosmic rays detection, which was initiated in the Netherlands in 2004. It brings together secondary school students and teachers, undergraduate students and university researchers in the quest to understand the origin of the most energetic particles in our universe. The Earth is constantly being bombarded by a flux of particles from outer space called cosmic rays. The energy of some of these particles is so high that we do not know what physical phenomena was capable of producing them. Local Utrecht secondary schools and UCU host stations to detect the cosmic rays which are the focus for the experiment. The HiSPARC project facilitates UCU involvement in the surrounding Utrecht community via the collaboration with the secondary schools. As a result, the secondary school students have an opportunity to have first hand contact with many aspects of the working life of a modern physicist, use of technology, experiment design, data analysis, theoretical modelling and networking between research institutions. For UCU students, it provides several opportunities for research at undergraduate level and a way to become familiar with the type of data analysis tools that are being used in many leading astronomy and particle physics experiments.