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Empowering science teachers


Matt Parker during Festival of the Spoken Nerd (Image: Mihaela Bodlovic)



This year, join us in celebrating the World Teachers’ Day 2017 with a special event at the CERN Globe of Science and Innovation on 5 October.

For the very first time, we will welcome Matt Parker to CERN. Matt is a well-known stand-up comedian and mathematics communicator, or as he likes to call himself ‘Standup Mathematician’. Matt switched from being a normal high-school maths teacher to a nomadic maths speaker, giving talks about maths in schools around the world. He will share his favourite methods for capturing the attention of teenagers and engaging them in mathematics.

A panel of experts, moderated by Matt Parker, will take his cue to discuss what CERN does to empower teachers and to promote scientific education, especially within the CERN & Society programme and in the context of the United Nations’ 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.

Education and training of the next generation of scientists and engineers is one of CERN's core missions. Through its many educational programmes, CERN contributes towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to ‘ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning’. The celebration of World Teachers' Day is part of our ongoing effort to highlight the importance and value of teachers in achieving this goal.



Charlotte Warakaulle, Director for International Relations at CERN
Edda Gschwendtner, CERN Teacher Programmes Lecturer and AWAKE Spokesperson
David Hawley, Director General of EcolInt
David Fairweather, Teacher

Moderation: Matt Parker

About World Teachers’ Day[1]

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 5 October since 1994 to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. The 1966 Recommendation constitutes the main reference framework for addressing teachers’ rights and responsibilities on a global scale.

The 2017 edition of World Teachers’ Day will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher-Education Teaching Personnel with a special focus on institutional autonomy and academic freedom to encompass this year's slogan “Teaching in Freedom, Empowering Teachers”.

About Matt Parker

Matt Parker is a stand-up comedian and mathematics communicator. He appears regularly on TV and online: as well as being a presenter on the Discovery Channel his YouTube videos have been viewed over 50 million times.

Matt originally trained as a maths teacher in Perth Australia, before moving to the UK. Having left the classroom he now visits schools to talk to students about maths as part of Think Maths and is involved in the Maths Inspiration shows. In his remaining free time, Matt wrote the book Things To Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension (Penguin, 2014). He is also the Public Engagement in Mathematics Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. Learn more at

About CERN Teacher Programmes

Every year, CERN welcomes about 1,000 teachers from all over the world for a wide range of professional development programmes to, on the one hand, keep them up-to-date with the latest developments in particle physics, and related areas, and, on the other hand, experience a dynamic, international research environment. All programmes are facilitated by experts in the field of physics, engineering, and computing, and include extensive series of lectures and visits to CERN.

Furthermore, CERN’s teacher programmes enable teachers from all over the world to meet with teaching colleagues from various countries. CERN offers teacher programmes in English or in the national languages of the teachers, lasting between 3 days and 3 weeks. Learn more at

About CERN & Society Foundation

The CERN & Society Foundation is a non-profit organisation under Swiss private law, pursuing public benefit. The purpose of the Foundation is to support and promote the dissemination, to the widest possible public, of the benefits of the mission of CERN through education and outreach, innovation and knowledge exchange, culture and art; and to support and promote any related activities. Within this scope, the Foundation operates nationally and internationally. For more information, visit

About CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research)

CERN is one of the world's leading laboratories for particle physics. The Organization is located on the French-Swiss border, with its headquarters in Geneva. CERN has 22 Member States and seven Associate Members States. CERN’s mission is to perform world-class research in fundamental physics; to provide a unique range of particle accelerator facilities that enable research at the forefront of human knowledge; to provide educational opportunities for the next generation of scientists and engineers; and to unite people from all over the world to push the frontiers of science and technology for the benefit of all. Learn more at

[1] Source: United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) -  



October 5th, 2017 5:30 PM
The Globe of Science and Innovation
Square Galileo Galilei
Route de Meyrin 385
Meyrin, GE 1217

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