Nearly every year since the Fr. Louis Querbes Scholars Program began in 2010, its students have visited the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, located just outside Batavia.DSC01138

The U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory specializes in high-energy particle physics, and last month, freshmen, sophomore and junior Querbes Scholars — led by AP and honors physics teacher, Mrs. Cate Majka — all toured the facility.

“Scientists at Fermilab are on the cutting edge of determining how neutrinos may help us understand what dark matter and dark energy is and why the universe is actually expanding rather than contracting,”Mrs. Majka says. “They are currently conducting leading experiments on particle accelerators and the measurements of the cosmos and work closely with 86 research universities around the world.”

Students were divided into groups and given an in-depth tour of the high-tech laboratory before meeting with scientists for an hour-long discussion on the science taking place at Fermilab.

“It is important for students to see firsthand what scientists do for a living,” said student teacher Chris Banaszak ’10.

For these Querbes Scholars, it was their second major field trip this year. Last fall, they attended an expanded performance by the Chicago Symphony last fall in a concert that featured music of three Russian composers, including Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.

Senior Querbes Scholars attended a performance of the one-man show, “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” described as something of a fireside chat with the famous, 20th century British novelist and poet.

Querbes Scholars are highly gifted and motivated students, who are invited to enrich their years at Saint Viator through activities that foster personal growth, intellectual independence and faith enrichment.