Lab_13 News Updates

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Lab_13 News Updates

To keep up to date with Lab_13 Irchester, you can follow what we are doing on our twitter feed @Lab_13Irchester, or on the Lab_13 blog. The lab committee make regular posts to share what we have been up to!

Lab_13 News Updates

Just see what happens...

Irchester News: Terrific Scientific supertasters and a stargazing night!

February 23, 2017

On Tuesday 31st of January, we held a stargazing evening but due to really bad weather we couldn’t see any stars or planets: it was foggy and raining. Instead we learnt lots of exciting things about space. We had a stargazing group called the Northamptonshire Amateur Astronomers visit with different types of telescopes and equipment. We got to look through them even though we could only see the walls! There was a really big telescope, which was a reflector; we could see our faces when we looked down the tube. There was a finderscope on top of the telescope which is for aiming where you want to look. Everyone had a good evening watching the presentation and learning about stars and planets. Sam’s favourite fact was how many constellations there are: 71 roughly.

We have been taking part in a science experiment called Terrific Scientific. Terrific Scientific is run by the BBC, they wanted us take part in a taste test. They wanted to see how many of us are non-tasters, tasters and supertasters. We had to dye our tongues blue and count how many pink bumps there are in the area of a punched hole. If there were 11+ you would be a supertaster, if you had 5-10 you would be a taster, if you had 0-4 you would be a non-taster.

Supertasters can taste bitter things more strongly like brussel sprouts; tasters can taste things strong but not too strong and like lots of foods and non-tasters can eat a lot because their taste buds are weak. On average 25% are supertasters and 40% tasters and 35% non-tasters.

At ICPS, we discovered that  9% were super tasters,   61% were tasters and  30% were non-tasters.

by Sam and Elisabeth




Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Gillespie news: new recruit & book review

February 21, 2017

The New Recruit

Out of the blue we were sent a letter from an aspiring young scientist who wanted to be a member of our committee. This was unexpected because it is the middle of the year and the interviews have already taken place. We felt like this young scientist’s letter was very thoughtful and she had loads of experience of a lot of clubs and organisations including engineering within the school. We were awestruck by the letter and so we decided to let her in to the next stage: the interview. During the interview we asked her many questions about her commitment to the committee and her experience and skills. We asked her questions based on our aspirations for a fab committee member that we came up with in the morning:


She is very kind to others and always includes people and gets along with others. We could tell that she is a committed and hard-working scientist. That’s why we want her in the committee. Welcome Nimo!

Science book review: Itchitch

Recently I have read a book called “Itch” by Simon Mayo. It is about a boy called Itchingham Lofte who is an element hunter and is very adventurous and brave. He is very cheeky and takes many risks with his elements for example one day he takes some arsenic wallpaper into school. Page after page you will see plenty of action and adventure but still lots of humour.

Written by Daniel (Y6), Zac (Y5) and Naomi (Y5)

P.S. Next week we will be writing about our latest tool, which was donated to the lab by Zac today! Carole has tried it out and made this with it, can you guess what our new tool is?




Posted in: Gillespie

Gillespie news: Detecting Data Loggers

February 7, 2017
Measuring the temperature inside the freezer

Measuring the temperature inside the freezer

Hi our names are Nojus and Reiss. We have recently been working with the data loggers. We have seen fantastic freezing points and bubbling boiling points. Carole asked us to see which is the coldest and the hottest object in the lab. The hottest object in the lab is the radiator. We measured the radiator’s temperature in degrees Celcius. It was 40.1oC. The freezer was -9.6oC. We were surprised that the temperature went down so rapidly when we put it in the freezer. We also measured Reiss’s armpit and it was 37.5oC, and that’s as it should be.

Here is our scale of temperatures that we measured:


Written by Nojus and Reiss, Y5

Posted in: Gillespie

Irchester news: Dissecting a Heart!

January 30, 2017

Last week, year 5 and 6 completed an experiment about hearts. Not using picture in a heart2book, or a model out of plastic, but a real lamb heart! We wondered where the teachers got the hearts: we discovered you can actually get them from the supermarket, because you can cook and eat them. We didn’t do that though; instead we took some inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci and very carefully drew and labelled a sketch of the outside of the heart. It looked like a lump of meat yet it had holes through the middle of it, lots of white, fatty bits and a few tubes hanging off the top.

Leonardo da Vinci’s heart sketch

Then we carefully cut the hearts open with scissors to look inside: and even though they were disgusting it was quite interesting! The heart felt stiff on the outside and squidgy in the middle. Inside we could see some tubes coming out of the top; they are called the Aorta and Vena Cava. There were also lots of little tubes called capillaries running all through the heart meat (which is muscle), and big spaces inside the heart called  the atrium and ventricle. These are the bits which fill with blood and pump it round the body.  We also spotted some white stringy bits, they are called the heartstrings. It is a saying that sad stories “pull on the heartstrings”, but they are really there to hold the valves in the right places.


Jamie and his poster


When we heard that we were going to dissect a heart, Charlotte was really excited, because she loves the gross things about science. James was worried at first, but loved the experiment because it was really interesting. And Jamie was so interested in what he saw, he went home and did lots of research to make this amazing poster!


By James and Charlotte

Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Gillespie news: Ingenious Inventors & Materials Monopoly

January 24, 2017


On a cold Monday afternoon a club was held in Lab 13, it was called Ingenious Invenimg_42921tors. Many children came to the lab to participate. There were many different tables with many challenges and objects. We had 3 minutes to choose and complete a challenge. We used materials such as: plastic cups, foil, pipe cleaners, straws, and balloons. These activities were very fun and challenged us to think as a team/group. One of these challenges was: how can you use foil as a costume. We made a skirt, a T-shirt and trousers using foil.


On Tuesday morning, the lab committee received a parcel from Diane from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. It was a materials monopoly set! Instead of streets and properties it had materials such as: ceramic sand and steel plain carbon. It is a great set and we really enjoyed looking at it and can’t wait to play it!

Written by Naomi (Y5) and Choiying (Y6)

Posted in: Gillespie

Gillespie news: Science Spectacular

January 17, 2017

Have you heard of the Gillespie Primary School Science Spectacular? Well, it’s only the most scientific, super, and spectacular show of the year! This show is different from other science shows and also better. It is not run by adults but by a team of children – Gillespie’s Lab_13 Committee. The evening will include scientists (both adults and children) from different disciplines of science and engineering displaying their research and inventions. This spectacular spectacle is designed to inspire everyone in the hall to look further into science / engineering. There will be a scientific surprise for all who attend the performance, which may be a once in a life time experience.

Save the date: Tuesday 14th March 2017. Children from Gillespie and other local schools in our STEAM Hub are invited and will receive invitations. Anyone else can contact Carole at if they want to come and she will pass on requests to the committee for approval.

One of the main sections in our Science Spectacular will feature an interview with an engineer who is taking part in the Primary Engineer project. This project is a national competition where children design an invention and pitch it in a letter to the engineers. Children will be sharing their ideas.

Written by Naomi and Zac, Y5

Posted in: Gillespie

New Year, New Irchester Committee!

January 11, 2017

For the new year of 2017, we have four brand new committee members to keep our Lab_13 Irchester running, and to present at the upcoming 5th annual lab_13 lectures! At our first committee club of term, they wrote their first blog posts introducing themselves:



Hi my name is Ellie, I am nine years old. I have four cats, two dogs and one rabbit, and I have a brother and sister. I love science, I have loved science since I was little. I am honest and reliable, and I like Maths, English and French. I like snails because they do not bite and they leave slime behind them. I also like stick insects because they do not bite but they feel nice and tickly. I am looking forward to taking the insects home with me for the holidays, and doing lots of different experiments.




I am Ty and I am age 10. I am excited to be on lab_13 committee because I like learning new things. I am enthusiastic about all parts of science, and I am most excited about the stick insects as they are very interesting creatures. My favourite part of school is doing lots of different experiments. When I found out I got in lab-13 I could not believe it, I nearly cried with joy! I’m nervous about doing the Lab_13 lectures, but also looking forward to it!




Hello, everyone! My name is Charlotte, and I’m really excited about joining the Lab_13 committee! My favourite types of science are: biology, chemistry and physics (in that order!).  I’ve got lots of ideas for the Lab_13 Lectures! I’m looking forward to helping the younger children with any questions and looking after the snails and stick insects, because… they’re cool! Aren’t they?




I’m Sam; I’m in year 6 and very excited to be joining Lab_13. I’m into biology, physics and history. *WARNING THE LAB_13 INTERVIEWS WERE VERY SCARY…VERY SCARY. But I do recommend applying because it built up a lot of courage in me  after I did it! I would like to encourage others into science, its very fun. I do like video games, I admit, but at home I get up to all different shenanigans. I’m looking forward to looking after and fiddling with the stick insects as it will be fun… at least to me.




Gillespie news: Super  Scientists Saving the World?

January 11, 2017

It’s the year 4022. The world is close to coming to an end because pollution has poisoned our planet’s air.  Do you want this to be how our planet ends or do you want a chemist to stop this misery? Keith is researching plastics to stop pollution, he works at Imperial College and he’s a chemist.

Lizzie is a chemist too, but she does quite a few different things from Keith.  She’s always wanted to be a chemist because she read a book called the Worst Witch and she saw her making potions and was inspired and really wanted to make potions as well and she wanted to make fire. Maybe we could also ask her to help save the world?

Children asking our visiting scientists about science and their research

Children asking our visiting scientists about science and their research

Rafa said he would get people from around the world, scientists and non-scientists, to work together to save the world. Rafa studies physics and what inspired him to study physics is other scientists for example Stephen Hawking. He read his books and enjoyed them and really wanted to be like him.

There are lots more scientists that we need to get to create a team to save the world so if you find any more scientists call Carole and send them to us at Gillespie.

Written by Danny, Reiss and Nojus (Y5)

Children in Reception making jelly worms with our visiting scientists

Children in Reception making jelly worms with our visiting scientists

We would like to thank the scientists from the INSPIRE PGCE programme for visiting us yesterday. Children from Reception had a great time making jelly worms with the scientists, and the committee are delighted that they agreed to spend lunch time in the playground gathering children’s questions! The children loved meeting all the scientists, learning about their research and finding out what made them want to study science. 

Children sharing their maths work with one of our visitors

Children sharing their maths work with one of our visitors



Posted in: Gillespie

Gillespie news: Lotties & remix

December 13, 2016

Lots of Lotties?

As the ages have gone by, people have wondered “are there any alternate universes out there where super villains are good and Pokémon freely roam the street?” At the Lab_13 committee meeting this theory was proven correct! A flash of light left us all running for the door, but with a bang 2 new Lotties appeared-the robot girl Lottie and the Lottieville festival Lottie. While the portal was closing, we heard a male voice saying ‘WAIT FOR ME’ and with that out ran kite flyer Finn. So we now have bought ‘FIVE’ from the Lottie and Finn doll collection. We hope we get many more because they inspire young children to participate in being the new generation of scientists.

Our Lottie dolls getting to know each other

Our Lottie dolls getting to know each other

This section was written by Danny in Y5 of the Lab_13 Committee!

Christmas musical remix

The objects hanging neatly in their storage box

The objects hanging neatly in their storage box

The committee have created a spectacular remix of Santa Claus is coming to town. It will be performed at the end of the Christmas show and little bit by little bit it will be played during the Christmas show. We are using Makey Makeys to perform the song. When you touch an object from the show it will make the music play.

Written by Hamza in Y5


Posted in: Gillespie

Gillespie news: Dan Green and Mission Mosquito

December 6, 2016



Carole giving her talk at CultureShock, an event put on by the BSA to encourage scientists and artists to work together (photo by Jess Wade)

Special Guest Assembly

At a recent science event where Carole gave a talk about Lab_13 she talked about how we, the Lab_13 committee, helped to judge the Royal Society’s science book competition. We thought that the Rebel Science book by Dan Green should have won, but it didn’t. After the event, Carole got approached by a mysterious man. She didn’t realise who he was, but soon he revealed who he was: Dan Green! He was a man on a mission, to be the greatest author of children’s science books in all of the Universe! And he agreed to come to our school to be a special guest of the old Lab_13 committee’s assembly.


The old Lab_13 committee are ready to interview Dan Green during our assembly

There’s only one thing the old committee wanted to do: interrogate him to find out everything about his books and being an author. We found out that as a child he loved science and book writing. His second name is Green and his first name is Dan. We discovered that for the past years his favourite scientist has been Madame Curie because she was the first person to ever get TWO Nobel prizes – in Physics and Chemistry.


Dan wrote us a special message in our copy of Rebel Science. We will Dan Green, we will!


Lucy and Matt, the entomologists who brought their mosquitoes and taught us about them

Mission: Mosquito

Yesterday everyone in Y5 took part in a workshop run by scientists who work at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. I was most surprised by the close-up picture of a pupa. I thought it looked disgusting. What I really liked was watching the real pupa specimens because they were doing front flips. The most important thing we learnt to do is to avoid or prevent mosquitoes from biting you because you might get Malaria or Zika or any other sort of disease in some countries.


The picture at the bottom is of the pupa, which I think is disgusting

[Message from Carole: next term we will be starting a research project to investigate mosquito populations in our local area. We will keep you updated on that…]

Written by Danny (Y5) and Hamza (Y5)

Posted in: Gillespie

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