Dan and Jo, the father-daughter team behind the Personal Particle Accelerator

The Personal Particle Accelerator working model kit is available for purchase in our shop.

From there, please refer to our detailed assembly instructions.

Below is the back story to the Personal Particle Accelerator.  For technical details, check blogs.

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The Particle Accelerator Project

The project began in 2014 when my Jo came home from school.  She was 12 years old (first year of high school) at the time.

Jo: “Dad, I’ve got a project to make a model of something scientific… can you help please…”

Me: “Sure, what model shall we work on ?”

Jo: (thinking)… “You know the Large Hadron Collider ?”

Me: (thinking I should encourage my kids to shoot for the stars) “Sure, let’s do it !!”

Jo: “Oh… by the way, we get extra marks if it works !”

So began the adventure of creating a working model particle accelerator.  Yes, I know the LHC is a particle collider, but scaling back from collider to accelerator was a modest acknowledgement to the scale of the challenge…

Jo and I worked away…. hard… every Wednesday evening and every Saturday day…  we learnt (or in my case, re-learnt) the relevant principles of electromagnetism… Jo learnt lots of practical skills like design, measuring, sawing, drilling, screwing, soldering and testing…

In six months, we did it, it actually worked ! We couldn’t believe our eyes.  This was the result:

The original particle accelerator ! The lower level is packed with batteries, electronics and a small computer (Arduino microcontroller)

There were several rounds of high fives before we packed it in its milk-crate and she took it to school to demonstrate.  The feedback was incredible !  Everyone who saw it loved it !  The teacher gave it the infinity symbol – even better than full marks. And then the teacher asked to buy it !

And so, phase 2 began.  I’ve devoted all my free time since then to refine and improve, refine and improve, building up to a easy to assemble, reliable, affordable kit for everyone to enjoy.  So far, it looks like this:

For an overview of how it works, see https://awesome.tech/ppa-overall-design/

For more detailed posts on how it works, refer to www.awesome.tech/category/ppa

The spirit behind awesome.tech is to accelerate innovation in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education. There’s a lot of worthwhile initiatives to increase STEM interest and participation among students, so where does the Personal Particle Accelerator fit in ?  It:

  • encourages hands-on construction.  If students are to embrace the challenges and opportunities of STEM, they need the confidence that comes with getting hands-on
  • allows sensor data to be viewed in real time
  • aims at the top end of the class – especially senior years

As the crew at CERN discover great things, isn’t it great if we can follow along, even in a humble way ?

Our Kickstarter campaign has completed, but you can signup to be notified when the kit is available post Kickstarter.

Cheesy father-daughter high five!