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Children, aided by scientists from Fermilab, learn about electricity during a Naperville Public Library program June 23. The program was about positive and negative charges, how to make electricity with a chemical reaction using a lemon and how electricity can pass through bodies.

This isn’t your average field trip. This month, more than 6,000 high school students participating in Hands-on Particle Physics Masterclasses will have the chance to form national or international scientific collaborations, just like real particle physicists do.

In 1979, then-Director Leon Lederman of the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory decided he wanted to do some teaching again, to regain the contact with young minds he had enjoyed as a professor at Columbia University. The resulting Saturday Morning Physics program at Fermilab has spread immeasurable benefits among some 6,000 high school-aged students over the past 25 years.