Advances in information and communications technologies (ICTs) have given rise to innovative uses of web-based video tools for global communication, enhancing the impact of large research facilities, including their outreach and education programmes. As an example, the CMS Virtual Visits programme launched by the CMS collaborations at CERN, uses videoconferencing to communicate with schools and other public around the globe.
The goal of the programme is to break down geographical barriers and allow more people to enter the world of science, physics and particle physics. CMS Virtual Visits offer students, teachers and the general public a unique opportunity to explore the experimental site of the CMS detector. Through a web-based videoconference, CMS scientists interact with “remote" visitors in their native language, explain the physics and technology behind the CMS detector, and answer their questions.
Since September 2014, more than 35,000 people, from all of the world, have participated in CMS Virtual Visits. We present an overview of our experience, feedback collected from participants and discuss potential development for the future.