Coding is where you make the instructions for computers, games, phones, everything really. We think it’s important to learn how to code because we can make fun games, robots and Will.I.Am agrees.
On the Scratch website you start with a sprite (usually an animal, and person or something fantasy based). You also have changeable backgrounds. To start, you have all different categories of scripts (commands) like sensing, sounds, motion etc. And if you put all the right scripts together you will get a spectacular result. That’s coding in short.
Code Club is just for Year 5 and 6 but, to celebrate #CodeWeekEU, we (the CodeClub mods) setup activities for all of the school during lunchtimes. Code Club had an assembly reminding the pupils of the school not to forget to come and enjoy the amazing opportunity to learn coding and make a specially designed game to play. Thomas and Adam made the specially adapted cards for younger ones in Year 3 and 4 and we had a special Roboboogie workshop for the Year 2s who LOVED it.
During after school code club we did a silent collaborative code-a-thon when we made our own games and swapped computers every 15minutes to further develop the work of others. It was fun but a bit frustrating. Kiera said “It was kind of annoying because someone might add bits you didn’t want in your game” Robin, our volunteer, said that real programmers leave notes for each other in the code so that doesn’t happen.
This week the Lab_13 Dovecote (in Nottingham) management team visited us to share ideas and tell us about how they run their lab, and we told them about how we run ours. Dovecote Lab_13ers were full of questions about our lab and were eager to tell us what they like about our lab_13.
As soon as they arrived, at 11.30am, we had a quick drink and snack and introduced ourselves.We held an open committee meeting then so they could see we run our own meetings and how we give each other feedback and jobs.
Then, we put a mix of us and Dovecote at different stations. This was Ashton’s idea – to have “circus” of discussion tables where we told each other about different things, ideas and what works and doesn’t work for Lab_13. We stayed at the table for 10-15minutes before moving to the next one. The stations was: “Blogging”, “Student-led Committee Meetings”, “Running Lab_13 Events”and “Any Other Questions”. We kept some fun colourful minutes of each discussion! We learnt that in Irchester each member of the team has a different job every week but Dovecote have a certain person for a certain job. We like to let all the years into the lab but Dovecote only let year 3s and up and they have a certain amount of people at a time unlike us. Irchester committee members must leave after two long terms but Dovecote can stay on committee until they leave the school.
We had a part were we could ask Bryson or Miss Hogan any questions. Their answers were very different due to one being a scientist and one being an inventor and also our Lab_13s are very different. Miss Hogan is with us all week while Bryson is only in school Tuesday and Wednesdays. We might go visit them after Christmas to see what their Lab_13 is like. It was good to have another Lab_13 committees’ opinion on how we work.
Kieran and Ashton
Dads Club on a Friday has been going from strength to strength in Irchester. The latest project has been all about the Science of Cider.
As we had so many apples in our gardens at the beginning of October we decided to take advantage of that and make some
cider. We had to build an apple press and then the messy mashing began! Once the juice started to come out we filtered it with Muslin Cloth. Then, we gently poured the juice into some bottles. To one of the bottles we added some yeast and to the other we just left alone so the natural yeasts would start fermenting. We tried to make some wine too using grapes (it turned out to be very sour!)
While we waited for the yeast to convert the sugar in the apple juice into alcohol we planned a trip to a brewery. We visited Harts Family Brewery, to learn some info and tips for making our own. Rob Hart told us a lot about the science and engineering that goes into brewing beer. It’s very tricky to get it just right but as Rob is winning lots of prizes for his beers we think he must have the magic formula!
Friday 15th was the first taste test. The Dads made sure that only they got to sample the cider and wine but that they gave feedback to us kids too. Even Mr Brighton, Mr Lett and Mr Bollard came to test the cider. The wine was a disaster and everybody said it was horrible. Both ciders were very nice but tasted very different from each other because of the yeasts.
Now, under Rob Hart’s guidance Dads’ Club are starting the next phase – Science of Beer! This time it will be a bit trickier as we must use special ingredient s such as yeasts, wort, hops and Irish moss and very special equipment too. Wish us luck!
Congratulations to our new scientist, Carole Kenrick!
The Lab_13 Management Committee, together with Mark, Katrina and Shelley, have decided that Carole was the best of all six scientists interviewed. It had been a tough two days but we finally came to this decision because she is…
“Fun, creative and messy,” (Perdie Hibbins)
“Mad, funny, good with children, perfect,” (Alessandro Sella and Henry Massey)
“Bubbly, kind, really good with children, fun experiments, knowledgeable (Martha Stagg)
“We thought her activity was really enjoyable and gooey. I LOVED IT.” (Memo Terunk)
Carole is currently Head of Physics at the Bridge Academy in Hackney and is a senior lecturer in science for Canterbury Christ Church University. Whilst at university, Carole worked as a maths and science tutor in a Somali community school and she has undertaken an education based research project where she devised activities that successfully increased the engagement of girls and lower attaining boys in physics. She is passionate about finding out how creativity and the arts can be used to support discovery and learning in the science classroom. She plans to pursue this further as she completes her P.H.D. at Gillespie.
Carole even looks just like one of our pictures of what we want our scientist to be like:
We will be in touch soon with more information about the wonderful things Carole has done. We cannot wait until January 2014 when she will join us at Gillespie!
Last Friday we had an interview with a lady called Dr. Julie Webb who is a STEM ambassador, a scientist and also a science writer. She is writing a book about inspiring STEM club and wanted to ask us a few questions. Here are some examples: “What do you want to be when you’re older?” “How has having a lab in school affected what you think of science?” “How does the lab run?” “How are you involved in the lab?” We answered all the questions with descriptive answers which we hope will help her write a good chapter on us. After the interview with us she asked Miss Hogan some questions too. These were some questions asked: Where do you get your resources from? How do you get everyone involved? How do you get after school clubs ideas? For the last question Miss Hogan said that the children give the ideas and Julie said that was very unusual for STEM clubs but very inspiring! We felt a bit nervous but in the end we were alright. Now we are excited about when the book will be published. – Keira
Look what Daniel brought into Lab_13 today! It is a Magneto-Electric Machine which was his great grandfathers. He was lucky to find it in his grandparents attic recently and has brought it to school to show everyone how it works.
In about 1850, the doctor would place handles in the patient’s hands or elsewhere on the patient’s body and then turn a crank to deliver a ‘mild’ alternating current to the patient. The force of the current depended upon the tightness of the back right screw. We tried it on some of the teachers!
Back then, they believed the treatment could relieve pain, as well as cure numerous diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes, gangrene, heart disease, tetanus, and spinal deformities. While we don’t use machines like this anymore, scientific investigations into the study of electricity for medicine, has given us devices used by anesthesiologists to ensure that patients receive proper doses of certain muscle relaxants, to accurately locate nerves for the safe administration of nerve blocks, and to treat chronic pain.
In Irchester, we have now committed to doing a whole school “Science & something” week each half term. In the past we have had “Science & Writing” week, “Science and Maths” week etc. When we come back after Christmas break we are doing “Science & Art” week which we are all very excited about especially since Mrs Tyrrell found this picture!
Last Tuesday, we let our school pupils vote to decide what our next “Science and ?” would be. “Science & Technology” came out on top with a whopping 55% votes! Comparing that with “Science & History” which was second with 20%, demand for more technology in school is mammoth! There were a lot of subjects on offer and technology must have been very popular with everyone. Technology is one of the main subjects in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths.) Both I and the rest of the committee think it will be very exciting thinking about STEM, technology, programming and codeclub together because a lot of people can get involved more than ever.