Lab_13 Ghana – Scientists in Residence

To accompany our Kickstarter campaign for Lab_13 Ghana (see previous post) we are now advertising two (possibly) life changing opportunities..

hands on in Ghana  Ghana 2012

Lightyear and Ignite! are offering a unique opportunity to become the first two Lab_13 Scientists in Residence in Africa – an exciting challenge to be part of the proof of concept of Lab_13 International as a movement for development and change.

Become the first Scientist-in-Residence for Lab_13 Ghana

Bosomtwe education district, Ghana

March – September 2015

Two voluntary positions offered with costs covered

Please see the full job description that follows and contact us with any questions you may have to inform your application..

Lab_13 Ghana Scientist in residence job description

Posted in Lab13 | Leave a comment

Lab_13 Ghana

Ghana? Yes really..


we are thrilled to announce that the first Lab_13 in Africa could open next spring – if we can raise the funds via a new Kickstarter campaign.

Ignite! has teamed up with the Lightyear Foundation, a charity that develops education projects in Ghana, to launch Lab_13 Ghana.

here is the link to the Kickstarter campaign page with lots of information and reasons why..

if we can start Lab_13 Ghana next year, one of the ideas we want to develop is lots of exchanges of experiments and questions with the network in the UK.. will you help us make that dream a reality?

Posted in Lab13 | Leave a comment

Black History Science Fun and Horrific Halloween Treats

Black History Science Assembly

Today we prepared and presented a science assembly to do with black history month so that the children at Gillespie could learn about black scientists. The scientist we based our assembly on was Mae C Jemison. When we were researching her life and achievements we found out she has two degrees in engineering and medicine. Our favourite fact was that she can speak Japanese, Swahili and Russian. She was born in 1956 so how old is she now? (we asked the children in assembly and Carla in year five gave us the correct answer – 58)


Hannah is making a Mae Jemison finger puppet in STEM club

Spectacular scientific Halloween tricks

1. How to make a yummy-in-your-tummy Halloween cake

  • Make or buy any flavour cupcake
  • Make white icing by mixing icing sugar and water and wait a bit until it’s hard, then put it on the top of the cupcake.
  • Get some strawberry laces and raisins
  • Use the strawberry laces for veins
  • Use the raisins for pupils
  • Have a yummy-in-your-tummy treat!

One of the eye ball cakes from our last cake baking competition – not an exact replica of this recipe

2. How to make glow in the dark goo

  • Get a nappy
  • Open your nappy to get to the goo inside
  • Get some glow sticks – your choice of what colour
  • Put the glow sticks in the goo that you get from the nappy
  • Enjoy your goo!

Written by Arjen and Ruby, Y5

Posted in Lab13 | Leave a comment

Lab_13 Gillespie update: STEM club, making atoms & new stethoscopes!

In STEM club we made a card with special ink that conducts electricity. I’d had a practice trial with Lab_13 management committee. Then in stem club it was easy because I learnt from my mistakes.

Zarrin and Arthur trying out the conducting paint

Zarrin and Arthur trying out the conducting paint

Some children from yr5 and yr4 came to the lab with Carole to make atoms. They made some models out of play-doh after watching clip from the Big Bang theory and wondering why Sheldon  jump into a ball pit!

One of the atom models made from play-doh

One of the atom models made from play-doh

Carole recently ordered stethoscopes and we tested them out. We all thought they were really cool, and just recognised they were real stethoscopes! They are really cool because I’ve never used one before.It was weird to hear my heart. The rhythm is not what I expected!

Rayan testing out one of our new stethoscopes

Rayan testing out one of our new stethoscopess

Written by Zarrin (Y5) and Rayan (Y6)

Posted in Lab13 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lab_13 Dovecote teach the Chemists

explaining the experiment

explaining the experiment

On Wednesday the Lab_13 Dovecote Management Team came over to Nottingham Trent University to show a group of Graduate students and STEMNET Ambassadors how Lab_13 works and what is so great about it. This is part of a programme called CHEMworks that the University and Ignite! and STEMNET are running in six secondary schools in Nottingham with the Royal Society of Chemistry.  The idea behind the programme, called Chemistry for All nationally, is to see what works when special resources and activities are offered to schools to encourage more people to study Chemistry and think about careers involving Chemistry.

nice biscuits

nice biscuits

It was great for the Management Team to be at the University explaining how Lab_13 is run at Dovecote. Bryson also explained what his role as Inventor in Residence was and how he responded to the questions that the children bring into the Lab.

The Management Team also demonstrated the power of film canister rockets using different chemicals to make carbon dioxide blow the lids off!



Bryson had to take evasive action when the film canisters went bang

Bryson had to take evasive action when the film canisters went bang

The adults learned a lot from the Y5 and Y6 members of the Lab_13 Dovecote Management Team – as they are planning to be Scientists in Residence in the schools across the city that are part of the CHEMworks project.

We wish them luck – and thanks for the biscuits!

Posted in Lab13 | Leave a comment

“How does an engine work?” – Hayden, Irchester

IMG_20141003_121739Hayden in Year 2 wanted to know how engines make cars go. We have two cutaway engines in Lab_13 and came to be engineers to the lab to find out how they worked too. We studied the cutaways and discovered the different parts such as the piston, cylinder, spark plugs and shafts. Then they learn how the spark plug changes the energy in the fuel into energy that makes things move.

IMG_20141003_114138That is called kinetic energy.  We used the bunsen burner to show how energy can changed from one type to another. After we saw the piston moving in a 4-stroke cycle, we used ourselves to model how the engine works.

We made a small corridor that would be the”cylinder”, then Mikey “The Piston” moved down the cylinder and lots of children (fuel) filled the cylinder. The gap where the fuel came in was closed and the piston began to come back up the cylinder. All the fuel was getting pushed very close together and we were squashed!! Then, Sophia (the sparkplug) sparked and ignited all the fuel which exploded and pushed the piston all the way back down the cylinder and made enough energy to make our pretend engine go. Then all the fuel crawled out of the cylinder as exhaust fumes.


Posted in Lab13 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lab_13 Irchester’s Giant Bug Hotel

We have made this Giant Bug Hotel in our Wildlife Area. It is over a meter tall and will be home to lots of wildlife from the area while they hibernate for the winter or just want to call it home.

As you can see we have many types of habitats in our Giant Bug Hotel.

  • Stones, bricks and old roof tiles for amphibians (frogs and newts etc)
  • conkers, dry leaves, fir cones and bits of bark for insects
  • bundles of garden canes, bamboo and small pipes for solitary bees
  • larger pipes and space for mammals at the bottom (hedgehogs)
  • dead woods and dry sticks for other insects
  • we will be adding some potted plants and mosses for extra shelter and insulation

Thank you to all our helpers who worked hard afterschool to make this.

Posted in Lab13 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment