Lab_13 Kids Conference 2014!

IMG_20140624_151926Today, Lab_13 Irchester hosted the Lab_13 Kids Conference. It was the first time ever that the management committee kids from all the Lab_13s met up at the same time! Management teams from Gillespie, Dovecote and Irchester joined together to share our experiences in our labs in the past term, learn from each other and be inspired by each other.

The day began about 9am when Cathy Bereznicki and Alex Sanson (from Ignite), and Rachel Dunford (our DSC evaluator) arrived. Ella and Jess loved showing Cathy around the lab and teaching her about how we work and what we do. The boys enjoyed talking to Alex about technology. Rosie and Ellie enjoyed biscuits and chatting with Rachel! Bryson, the Inventor in Residence at Dovecote came soon after. Then, at about 10.20 we got the phonecall…. Lab_13 Gillespie were here! We introduced ourselves, gave them name badges and biscuits (yum) and took them out to play after their long train trip. Then, Ella, Finley and Jess went to go collect Lab_13 Dovecote from the office.
After we had relaxed and gotten to know each other, it was time to get to business. Each management committee shared some slides about what they have done in their labs recently. We talked about our Science Residentials, our Girls in STEM work and, of course, how we celebrated our fantastic 3rd birthday! Gillespie spoke about their chicks, their science clubs, their science week and the Science Cinema night. Dovecote were sharing about their work on Willow trees, their shop and how they have started a committee club like ours for getting their jobs done. We found it interesting to find out what they have been doing!


IMG_20140624_115050 Then, we started the Kids Unconference. During the week, we had come up with some topics that we thought it would be important for us to discuss; Outreach Activities, Management Responsibility, Using Technology in Science and a Rewrite the Mission Statement session. Two of the Irchester committee were stationed at a table and began one of the discussions. Each table was given a name from Darwin, Hawking, Brunel, and newton (our house team names). Then, every 15mins, the Gillespie and Dovecote children were swapped around and discussed a new topic on a different table. We will update you with the results of the Unconference soon.

At lunchtime, in the glorious sunshine, we sat on the daisies and had a picnic. It was a beautiful day and we mingled together making new friends. Once we had eaten, we entered the gates of the wildlife area. It was overgrown and wild. The plants had grown like beanstalks since the weather got hot. We felt like ants in a new territory. The pond was teeming with beautiful subaquatic creatures, the dragonflies jumped around on the reeds and the newtpoles looked happy to see us. We fished around in the pond and found many tadpoles, froglets, insects and newtpoles. The other Labs seemed to enjoy it and were stunned at the beautiful wildlife.


IMG_20140624_133128Then it was time for the group photo. We took many practice shots as the sun in our eyes made our faces funny and Miss Hogan struggled to find a photo where we all looked ok!
Then we did our Dirty Stinky Children showcase. Only Gillespie and us were part of the DSC project so we told Dovecote what we were doing in ours. Gillespie showed their approach and we showed ours. It was interesting to see how we both are teaching the same thing but in different ways. Suddenly, it was time to wave goodbye to our new friends and colleagues.
IMG_20140624_152735Then, after all that, we skyped Rick (from Ignite!) who was in Paris. He was sad he couldn’t come but we told him all about our day and what we had learned and enjoyed. Rick showed us around the lab Le Laboratoire.
We had an awesome day and are looking forward to next year’s Kids Conference aleady! Who knows what we will have achieved by then!

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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2 Responses to Lab_13 Kids Conference 2014!

  1. It was a wonderful day. Thanks so much for inviting me and making me feel so welcome. I even learned some science! And I took some great photo’s which Jennifer swiftly copied from my camera. Ask her to show you the one of the three scientists-in-residence. With very best wishes, Cathy

  2. Thank you for putting on such a great day. After knowing about Lab_13 for some time now, it was a real pleasure to see it first hand and witness the positive impact it’s having on everyone involved. Please keep spreading the word to all the other schools and turn this into one almighty epidemic!

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