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...

Hello from the new Lab_13 Irchester Committee!

April 27, 2018

Just in time for spring we are being joined by four new committee members, ready and raring to go and spread science!

IMGP2912Hi my name is Orla, I’m ten years old. My favourite subjects are science because we get to make new experiments, P.E because you get fitter and English because you get to use your imagination. I’m really excited to be looking after the snails and stick insects and trying out new experiments. At home I like reading and playing with my dogs, hamster and horse. In the lab_13 interview I was really nervous and excited at the same time, then I was so excited and happy when I found out I was in the lab_13 committee!


IMGP2910Hi! My name is Saffron and I’m 10 years old.  I have 3 favourite subjects; science, art and English. I like science because you can try fun experiments. I love English and art because you can be creative and use your imagination in both. At home, I sometimes help cook dinner and I like to draw. I’m looking forward to helping in the lab and being partnered with an old committee member. I have a dog called Cherry, and 2 cats. I like to play with my pets a lot and fuss over them. At the interview I felt very nervous because there were a lot people, but when I started answering the questions I felt more relaxed.  When I found out I was on the committee I couldn’t stop smiling! It was a very happy moment for us.



Hi my name is Merkeyria and I am 10 years old. I like dancing and singing and lab_13 is fun because we get to do experiments and talk about what we are going to do. We also get paired up and clean up the snail tank and stick insects. I like it and science. I also like science because it is interesting and fun. Some of my hobbies are drawing and cooking with my Dad and Mum, I also like to exercise, spend time with my friends and do science.


IMGP2916About me:

  • My name is Sam.
  • I’m 9 years old.
  • I like climbing, exploring, making comics and playing video games.
  • When I go outside I make the most of it by exploring and doing all sorts to have fun.
  • I like my own space but I’m open to playing and working with others.
  • My favourite subjects are p.e and art because I’m really good at them and they’re always interesting.
  • I’m thrilled to be part of the lab_13 committee and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.
Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Irchester News: Goodbye from the old committee

March 28, 2018

We have interviewed and chosen our new committee members (we think they’ll be amazing!), but sadly that means it’s time for the old committee members to leave. They wanted to say goodbye, and tell you what their time on the lab was like:

I’m sad about leaving the committee because it was a lot of fun! My favourite job was the stick insects, because I love how they crawled on my hand! My favourite trip was the big bang fair, especially the bit in the red lorry with the old console. Also, when I go into secondary school, I will know some facts in science like: different animals have certain different ages they can live to. I’m upset to leave but will remember me being on the committee! By Finlay


Unfortunately, the time has come for me to leave the committee. Lab_13 has taught me so many things, like:

-All stick insects are girls

-Snails poo from their neck and are boys and girls at the same time.

I never thought I would get on the committee, or make a rainbow tower, so I made the most of my time. I’m not completely leaving the committee, as I will become a F.lab (friend of the lab.)

Congratulations to the new committee, I wish you all the best. From Emily (Who is now a F.lab)



I’m really sad to leave the committee and I will miss the animals, but I will leave it to the new committee to carry on my jobs. I will really miss the committee but have learnt lots so good bye! From Cheryl.

It was very fun and interesting being on the Lab Committee. My favourite part was making a rainbow tower. I was glad to be on the lab but it is time for me to leave. While on the committee I have learnt to hold stick insects by the belly to make sure we don’t hurt them. By Reece



Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Dovecote at the Real Science in School Symposium

March 26, 2018

In February, the Lab_13 Dovecote Management Committee went along to the Real Science in Schools Symposium, which was held at the Council House and was part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity.

The Symposium was all about trying to get more pupils from schools across Nottingham involved in real scientific research. There were some really great speakers, Hephzi Tagoe and Becky Parker, talking about all the different ways pupils can be involved.

Lab_13 Dovecote went along with Scientist in Residence Bryson Gore to show off the investigations they do and to show their enthusiasm for being able to follow through on their curiosity about science. They demonstrated the multi-coloured slime that they made, which they also sell in little tubs to pupils in the school in order to help pay for the Lab_13! Everyone was really interested in them, and to hear about the kinds of experiments they do, especially because there will be more Lab_13s opening in Nottingham this year.

Posted in: Dovecote, Lab13

Irchester’s Science Week Floating Garden Competition!

March 22, 2018



Coming up on this week’s Lab-13 blog: our Science Week extravaganza, a VIP guest, a great day for the committee & some lovely feedback!

Last Thursday, Mrs. Tyrell, Miss Draper & the committee went to Wollaston to host a competition. But no, this wasn’t just any competition; this was a competition that could save Bangladesh!

I know what you’re thinking: How can a competition save a country? Well, in Bangladesh flooding happens a lot more than any other country in the world! In our competition, we asked schools from our local area to build a floating garden that could help people to keep their crops alive, even if it floods. A charity called Practical Action is actually helping people build their own floating gardens in Bangladesh.

We’ve been planning the competition for ages, sending out invitations to other schools to join in, getting some year 4 teams from our school together, and inviting special guests. Last week the big day finally arrived, and we all went to Wollaston Secondary School where our friend from the Lectures, Mr Sheldrick had got everything organised.

Each school team arrived, and was shown to their table where they could set up their model and display how they made it. Once everyone was set, we in the committee gave a short talk about the competition: with some more background from our research on the causes, effects and solutions to the flooding in Bangladesh.

Our VIP guest was Bren, a Practical Action representative, who was our head judge! We were extremely lucky to get her to come in, and all of us in the committee really enjoyed working with her as assistant judges.

DSCN0134The winners were:

Years 3+4: Irchester- George, Lucy, Evalyn, Ben and Leo. They  won because we liked the design and the raft held 3100 GRAMS before is sank, more than any other!


Whitefriars entry 2


Years 5+6: Whitefriars Primary School- their design was amazing, as they had thought about lots of extra stuff, like vertical planting to make the most of the space, and rainwater collecting tanks to store clean water!

Special mention to the team from Higham Ferrers Junior School: they showed great teamwork and had a fantastic plan for a dome over the top of their garden to protect it, but hadn’t yet figured out how to make it from recycled materials!

Wollaston 3 (3)Years 7+8: Wollaston Secondary School team 3- Their design was simple, but they had thought about it really carefully, and it held the right amount of weight. We gave secondary schools an extra challenge, because they were only allowed to use natural materials, so they couldn’t use tape or glue to hold their models together!

Well done too all the other teams for entering! You are all Bangladesh superheroes!

We’ve had some lovely feedback from some of the schools, saying the Lab_13 committee are a credit to the school and that they had lots of fun entering. Good to hear, and we’re sure next years committee will do something just as amazing!

By Emily and Demi (year 5)

Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Irchester News- Year 4 are starting their Primary Engineer Leaders Award

February 27, 2018

Year 4 are starting their journey to get a Primary Engineers Leaders Award . To get the award, they will have to solve a problem by thinking like an engineer. They will submit their ideas to see if get gets picked by the engineer judges to be built for real!

To get prepared and find out more about engineers, year 4 have interviewed a design engineer and a civil engineer to find out what their jobs are about. Our first Visitor was Mr Clarke, he is a Design engineer who helped year four find out more about all the many different types of engineers, as well as the process all engineers go through to to solve a problem. The year fours tried to match different names of engineers and pictures so we tried it out as well: Darcie thought it was interesting because she didn’t know there were so many types of engineer. Cheryl thought it was interesting because some of the names of the engineers were easy and some were hard.

Our second visiting engineer Mr Smith was a civil engineer, who told us about all the stages of becoming an engineer, and how he has helped to build all sort of things from hospitals to bridges!

Here are some explanations that children told us about what they learnt…

Catrina and Rosalyn: “They built a bridge in America 1940 and it collapsed because the designers didn’t think about the wind.”

Austin: “Oil can come from below the ocean, petrochemical engineers work to get it and turn it into fuel.”

Leonardo: “I enjoyed and  found it  interesting, my  favourite fact is that the first engineer was 5000 years ago and an ancient Egyptian”

Year 4 will get to interview several more engineers before they start to think like an engineer to come up with their own solution to a problem. Good Luck year 4!

By Miss Draper, Cheryl and Darcie.

Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Irchester plans: renewing and improving our wildlife area this spring!

February 6, 2018

Lab_13 has new plans for the wildlife area this spring. Over the last few years it has become a bit overgrown and tumbledown, and we have lost our lovely hedge along the back fence.


We will plant a new hedge along this fence

First we are going to clean out the pond because there is a type of weed that is taking over the pond that we don’t need. It is blocking all the light for the other plants, and it smells really bad! We are trying to figure out what it is. The animals like newts and frogs which live in the pond need some plants, but not too many!

We are going to replant a brand new hedge. The Woodland Trust is very generously going to give us some new tree seedlings to replant, to keep the wind out. Family club is going to help us out with this.

Mr Allen has been helping us a lot. He fixed the fences and the foundation stage children helped him spread out bark chippings on the path.  They did it when they were on their forest Friday, which is where foundation stage goes to the wildlife area to explore outside every Friday.

On the fences we are going to put up the pictures of the Earth, Sun and Rainbow which Family Club repainted last year.

By Finlay and Holly (year 5)

Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Irchester Committee with their Amazing Magic Magnetic Maze!

February 5, 2018

In lunch lab we have been doing a magnet maze and it was a HIT! It was the best lunch lab since the start of the year because so many children wanted to have a go!  Using magnets underneath the table, some children guided a paper clip through the maze made by Lab_13 committee members, and other children raced their paperclip around a race track while being timed. The fastest time was 1.7s!

It works because the magnetism is strong enough to move the paperclip on top of the table using a magnet from under the table, but the magnetism is not strong enough to pull the paperclip through the table, that would have to be a very strong magnet!

When you look at the experiment from above it looks like wizardry because the paperclip is moving by itself. But it’s not! The magnetic field from the magnet being moved under the table is actually moving the paperclip: Magic is just science dressed up.

This inspired us to make lunch lab this week even better: now we have a magnetic treasure hunt, and even a floating magnet! This one really looks like magic, but really it’s just because the magnets are turned round so that instead of sticking, they push (repel) each other apart.

By Oliver (Yr 5) and Archie (Yr 6)


Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Irchester goes on a shopping trip for healthier snacks.

January 19, 2018

To start off the New Year, we have launched our Healthy Snacks project! We’re working with Change4Life, to help children at school make healthy choices about our snacks. Lots of snacks actually have lots of sugar or fat in them, so we have been investigating with the Change4Life food scanner app to find out more!

First, 8 children gave our tuck trolley a brief test. The change4life scanners disapproved of the majority of the snacks on the tuck trolley you are so used to. There were some shockers in the list of BAD SNACKS; strawberry fruity bakes, Belgian milk chocolate cereal bars and chocolate rice cakes all had red traffic lights for sugar; red berry cereal bars and mini cheddars were over 100 calories. So, if your mum takes you shopping, make sure she AVOIDS THOSE SNACKS! These were bad snacks because they had more than 100 calories, and they were far too high in other things like sugar, salt and fat for you to have daily, on top of breakfast, lunch, dinner and pudding.


Can you guess which pile is healthier and which is unhealthy?

On Tuesday 16th January, a group of children went to Tesco to use the change4life food scanner to find some healthier options for school. We used it to see what the healthiest snack choices in Tesco are. They explored up and down the isles to discover, who could get the healthiest choice? The children that went are: Lucy, Richard, Jude, Ruby, and then Demi and Emily from the committee.  They had 1 basket and one device to scan with in pairs. The winners of the healthiest snack choice were Lucy and Emily; they won with McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits. Thanks to us, your snack trolley is healthily delicious. Everybody make way for your new snacks: Baked Kettle bites, McVitie’s rich tea biscuits, 2 flavours of Peckish rice cakes, Alpen light cereal bars, Healthy living bars, goodness strawberry bars, lightly salted crackers, baked hula hoops and baked fusions!

If you want to find healthier snacks for yourself, ensure that you or your parents download the change4life food scanner on their mobile phones before you next go shopping!

By Emily and Demi (Year 5)

Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Gillespie News: S.E.A. club

January 17, 2018

We want to run a S.E.A. (Science, Engineering & Art) club because we want people to know how science, engineering and art can be useful together. Engineering is really creative, so is art and science is too. If they are put together they would add up to an amazing result. We’re really looking forward to inviting other local primary schools and in the future we would love to include secondary school children.

Children in the club will have the chance to enter the Primary Engineer Leaders Award as well. Children should join the club if they want to get better at engineering and to meet engineers. So we are going to hear from David, who took part in the competition last year, “I want to enter again because it was fun and it was a good challenge.”

Engineer blog

To find out more about the Primary Engineer competition, have a look at their website.

Written by Anisa & David

Posted in: Irchester, Lab13

Irchester News: New Year, New Term and New Committee!

January 16, 2018

The end of last term was sadly time for the old committee to leave, but they are going to become f.labs forever, that means they are the friends of the lab. They wanted to write a bit for you about their time on the lab:

Josh: I am very sad about leaving because I love science and being on the committee is a once in my life time opportunity. My highlight is when I got to take the baby stick insects home for summer, I got to watch them hatch!

Libby: My favourite bit of the lab was doing jobs and stick insects. I am very sad that we are going because I have had a good time here and really enjoyed getting to help with new experiments.

Sophie: I am really sad to leave lab_13, I have really loved working with everyone and I know the old committee have done really well. The new committee had really good interviews they will be great members. I have loved encouraging others to enjoy science as much as I do. Miss Draper has been a great teacher and she is one of the best scientists. I will really miss doing the stick insects, as they are my favourite. I give good luck to all the committee next term.

To find some new committee members, first we gave all the year 5s and 6s an application form. Then we chose the best to be interviewed. We asked them lots of questions, and we wrote notes to remember what they said. We also asked them about an experiment they would like to try in the lab! At the end, each committee member voted for three names by writing on a piece of paper the people that we think will be a good committee member: and here is who we all chose!

IMG_20180116_085441Hi, my name is Holly and I am a new committee member. I like playing Minecraft and doing science. I am very excited to be in lab_13 committee. Outside of school I like going on my quad bike and motor bike with my dad. Also, I like riding my skate board in my garden. In my interview my experiment was match box racing cars. What you need to do is make two stacks of books and a piece of card board balanced on top. Then, get two empty match box cases and turn them into a racing cars, with paperclips inside. After that get a stick and attach a magnet to the end and move it under the track. Then you’re done!

IMG_20180116_085601Hi I’m Demi. My favourite subject is science and that is why I applied for lab_13. In my spare time I play Lego Dimensions what I got for Christmas. In my interview my experiment was a solar oven. Here’s how you do it: You need to get an empty cardboard box and you make a big hole in the top and make to holes in the sides for a really thin stick. Cover the inside of the box with foil, and the big hole with clingfilm. Put what you want to cook (like marshmallows) on the stick in the box, and the sun can heat the box up so foods can cook.

IMG_20180116_085743Hi I’m Archie. I’m one of 4 new committee members. In the future I would l to play football in goal for a living ( Courtois is my inspiration) . My favourite video games are Destiny and Pokémon (old games and some new games). In my spare time I like to play on the Xbox with my dad. I wanted to be on the committee to help out the school society and because I like science, I want to help everyone in school learn science! In my interview the experiment that I did was colour changing milk, where you drip some food colouring on a layer of milk in a bowl. When you add some liquid soap the colours spread out. I love animals (cats are my favourite animals).

IMG_20180116_085356Hi, my name is Darcie and I’m a new member of the lab_13 committee. I’m a dancer and I love to perform and of course I love science. I’m also smiley happy and I love to play fun games but I can be sensible and I like a challenge. I’m also an animal lover. During my interview, we all explained a fun experiment. My experiment was called parting pepper, the way you do this experiment is like this: First you take a bowl and fill it up with water and sprinkle in some black pepper. The next step is to dip your finger into the water and nothing happens. Next you squirt some liquid soap on your fingertips and dip your finger into the bowl and the pepper splits to the edges, then you’re done!


Posted in: Irchester, Lab13