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...

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

Gillespie news: Top Secret!

November 29, 2016


The Lab_13 committee have been chosen to be recruits of the CIA (the Children’s Intelligence Agency). We were all extremely thrilled when we saw this package, because it enclosed some very exciting documents. It included a membership card, a book, a letter, hexes (stickers to use on mission reports) and the mission cards.


The contents of the parcel




The CIA missions are designed to help with skills that are useful in life. They’ve got lots of scientific skills like investigation, questioning, design and creativity. The different missions encourage me to use the scientific skills and develop them. I am looking forward to doing the missions because they sound fun and challenging!



Our new C.I.A. badge

Written by Kiri, Y5

Posted in: Gillespie

New Recruits of the SMC of Agape Academy

November 28, 2016

The picture above has been captioned.

Hello everyone,

We are the new members of the Student Management Committee (SMC) of Agape Academy.

My name is Belinda Bekoe. I am 12 years old and came from Assin Fosu. I attend Agape Academy and we have Lab_13 Ghana science lab where I learn practical science. I like to study more Biology because I want to be a medical doctor when I grow up.

My name is Amissah Matilda and I am 13 years old. I stay with my parents, my sisters and brother. I like science because it teaches us about nature, personal hygiene and the world we live in. It teaches us how to live a healthy life.

Kuukua Koomson is my name. I am 12 years old. I come from Kroful but stay at Ahinsan Estate. I am happy to become a member of the SMC because I will learn and practice more science experiments.

Hiedi Nyame Adom Otchere is my name. I stay with my parents and two sisters at Jachie. Agape is the name of my school and I like learning Maths, Science and English. I am very happy to be part of the SMC.

My name is Widad Ali, and I am 12 years old. I come from Mali but live with both parents at Swedro. I attend Agape Academy and I am in Junior High School (JHS) One – Y7. The best subject I like is Science. I want to be a doctor and science is part of human life. We cannot do anything without science. Science is life.

My name is Anane Blessing. I am 12 years old and attend Agape Academy. I am in JHS 1. I am happy to be a member of the SMC. I want to be a doctor in future. Being part of Lab_13 will help me study more science.

Posted in: Ghana, Lab13, Lab_13 Ghana

Parents’ Evening Experiments at Irchester.

November 24, 2016

The Lab_13 Committee members helped out at parents evening, because we wanted the parents and children to see a bit more of what the lab is getting up to! We had a few different things to show and do. Firstly there was a guessing game: we had lots of different objects from our curiosity cupboard; like a rat’s skeleton, a human tooth, snake skin and a wasp’s nest. Lots of people were interested in finding out more about the things, we were there to do just that. Most people guessed what the snakeskin and skeleton were, but lots of people thought the wasp’s nest was a bee’s nest, and that the human tooth came from another animal.


Then, we had a reaction time experiment. We wanted to find out if women, men, boys or girls have faster reactions. The test is very simple: when the screen of the learnpad changed from red to green, they had to touch the screen as fast as possible, and the learnpad recorded how long it took. We managed to test over 120 people!

The winners of the categories were: for the children, Tommy and Keiron who took 0.306 seconds and Lucy with 0.313 seconds; and from the adults Carl and Zoe who drew with 0.293 seconds. The overall fastest group was women with an average reaction time of 0.390 seconds. Boys and girls had almost the same average reaction time, women were slightly faster than men, and adults were much faster than children. We made this graph of all the results:



Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Gillespie news: Planet Earth II & computer building

November 22, 2016

Super Science Video Club

Last Monday, in a dark room filled with people excited about watching Planet Earth II, there was anticipation filling the Y5 and Y6 children that came to Lab_13 at 12.55pm. We won’t tell you too much about Planet Earth II because it would spoil it and you could watch it yourself or you could watch it with your family on BBC iPlayer. Whilst we were watching it there was a sudden fright when there was a race between the marine iguana and the snakes. The narrator said that if the iguana didn’t make it to the rocks by the ocean in time it would get eaten. Everybody’s heart was pounding. I heard a gasp around the room when one of the marine iguanas was swallowed down by the snakes. Except one of the marine iguanas managed to escape quickly. After the two iguanas were safe everyone felt calm but it was sad that only two of the four survived. They are vulnerable after they hatch because their mother isn’t there.


Everyone with their eyes attached to the screen

We showed Planet Earth II episode 1 (the Islands episode) in our Super Science Video Club because it was really interesting and it was related to science as well. After we talked about it in assembly and showed everyone the trailer of Planet Earth II we told them that they could sign up but suddenly there were too many people! The names were all around the piece of paper. There were 27 children in total.


Island facts


  • Madagascar is the oldest and largest island
  • Some types of lemurs live in the forest part of the island which is like a desert because it hardly rains. They feed on baby leaves because they are the only source of water and food.Lemur hanging onto a tree eating leaves
  • Komodo dragons are mainly competitive around each other. The female komodo dragons come into heat one month a year. Only the most powerful male komodo dragons are allowed to mate and size does matter.

Computer company?

Eight Gillespie scientists and two adults created a computer with our trusty computer man, Lee. We learnt that if we touch a computer that is plugged in we are actually connected to the Earth. Making a computer made me feel quite impressed, proud of myself and happy. I’d never touched the inside of a computer before, or made a computer before or made anything like that. IMG_3316.JPG

Written by Choi Ying (Y6) and Reiss (Y5)

Posted in: Gillespie

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