Irchester Lunch_Lab: The science of sounds and string.

This week in lunch lab we have been showing everyone how to use confuser phones and oven racks. The confuser phones are made of headphones tubes and bottles and the tubes are connected to the other side of the headphones. We had some challenges for everyone to do about sound like: they close their eyes and spin around and they have to point at the direction the sound was coming from. They guessed wrong because it sounds like the sound is coming from the left when it is the opposite direction. That happens because the tubes are crossed over.

The oven racks are only one ordinary oven rack with a string that you attach to the top and spoon that you hit the rack with. The objective with this experiment is to find out: what noise does it make if you tap oven rack when you have wrapped the string round your finger, and does it sound different if you put your fingers in your ears and tap the rack?

We discovered it does sound different because the vibrations travel differently to get through the string. It sounds deeper because the sound is vibrating through the string and not the air, and the deeper sounds vibrate better in the string.


We have also been doing string telephones in lunch lab. We got interested pupils to talk to each other from farther away by only using string and cups! We tried to use different techniques and see which ones work and which ones don’t. We tried bending the string around corners, which didn’t work because it stopped the vibrations so no one could hear each other. Vibrations are how sound travels through the air and in this case, through the string. We tested if it would work with the string dangly, and it didn’t work because, again, it stopped the vibrations from moving clearly enough. Then we tried crossing two of them over to get four people on one telephone at once, we thought that it would work because the vibrations should be able to travel through all of the stings, but to our surprise, it didn’t! The only way to get the normal string telephones working was to have two people on it at once and pull the string tight. The reason this works, is because the vibrations go through all the parts of it and we can hear it.

By Kye (yr 5), Leo and Wilfred (yr 6)










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Irchester Experiments: Heart Dissection

Year 5 and 6 have started their topic on the Human Body with an amazing chance for exploration, by dissecting and drawing a lambs heart. Lucy and Abbie (yr 5) have written a step by step guide so you can have a go as well!

Steps to succeed at dissecting a Lambs heart.

How to dissect a lamb’s heart.

Step 1

First have a good look at the outside of the heart, it didn’t look at all like what we though a heart should look like. There were white fatty bits and meat coloured bits which are muscle.DSCN3017

Step 2

You need to cut open the lamb’s heart by using a pair of scissors, it felt like cutting chicken and cutting through a muscle, also cutting fat off meat (it make a lot of people feel sick).

Step 3

2Once you have split the lamb’s heart into two, we fould out the different names of the parts, after that look at the blood vessels to see if there is any clogged up, left over blood. There are lots of different pipes in different directions in the heart, like the blood vessels, veins and capillaries.

There were several parts of the heart that were hollow. They would fill up with blood and pump it around the body.

Step 4DSCN3031

some people smelt it and it smelt like pork and it smelt disgusting. We got inspiration from an artist named Leonardo De Vinci, who drew very detailed pictures of how the body works, with writing too.

Step 5

The heart is very messy to see what is inside you have to cut it and open it up by hand, when you touch the heart you need to wash your hands because it is raw and it can make people very sick if you put it in your mouth. This is because there might still be bacteria on the heart.

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Irchester News: Spring Clean for the Wildlife Pond

Our wildlife pond is a haven for a host of amphibians and mini-beasts and the children love pond-dipping to see what plants and animals they can find.

Unfortunately, over the years, leaves have fallen in and decayed making pond-dipping a very smelly activity. And, it has failed to fill, even in the rainiest of months, making us suspect a tear in the lining. Drastic action was needed!

After appealing for help, Matilda Green’s Auntie Keira offered her expertise and assistance as she is a gardener and pond expert. The pond was measured, materials were ordered, the date was set – it needed to be done as soon as possible in order to be ready for the frogs and newts to return in early spring.

On the last day of January, in freezing temperatures and with the help of Mrs Ventriglia, Matilda’s aunt and grandparents, Mr Allen and Miss Draper, the pond was emptied, hoovered, relined and refilled, and plants were split and repotted – all in one day!

The plants and mini-beasts will take a while to repopulate, however we are crossing our fingers that the frogs find the pond welcoming and lay lots of frogs spawn for us to watch in the next month or so.


Low levels of water over the summer term, and clogged full of decaying leaves in winter.

Emptying the pond:

Hoovering up debris and splitting plants, and the new pond liner.



All ready for frogspawn and newts.

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Irchester News: Happy New Year from the new Committee!

With a new year we welcome a brand new group of pupils to the lab_13 Committee, ready and eager to work with the old committee for the next two terms: we’re looking forward to a busy spring with our design and technology day, the reappearance of bugs and wildlife around the school, planting more wildflowers and of course Science Week!

Here they are, introducing themselves:leo

Hello, my name is Leo and I am 10. I have always wanted to be on the lab_13 committee because I enjoy science and I think it is fun. I am looking forward to working with others, look after all of the snails and stick insects, also doing experiments. My favourite thing to do at home is play on my Xbox and spend time with my family but at school, it is learning. When I was in the interview I was terrified and nervous, after a day or two we found out the results, I was in, I was so excited for my first meeting.




Hello my name is Ben and my age is 10. I am helpful and I am interested in science and wildlife. I am looking forward to helping the animals. I like doing jobs around school and I go to code club after school.




Hello my name is Abbie. My favourite subject is science. The reason why I wanted to join the Lab is because I like animals and insects also I respect the wildlife. I am 9 years old and I am looking forward to doing experiments, and holding and feeling all different kinds of animals and insects. Finally, I am very helpful and organised. My favourite things to do at home are playing with my pets and doing sport in the garden.


Hello, my name is Wilfred and I am 10. My favourite subjects are Science, Maths and DT. In lab 13, I am looking forward to doing exciting experiments, doing speeches in front of lots of people and looking after the stick insects and snails. The reasons I wanted to be on lab committee was because I love science so much, I have applied twice before and when I got on it I felt excited and couldn’t wait to start the next term.


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Science in the News reporting at Irchester!

All this term, a group of children from year 6 have been taking part in a project called: “Science in the News”.

Every week the group of pupils come to the lab, and have a look through that week’s “First News” newspapers. They pick out any interesting looking stories that are about science, technology, inventions and nature. They read through the articles together, then each person chooses one article that they want to research more about, and writes up their own report about the science news!

Mrs. Tyrrell has been putting this together with year 6 and she has decided to place their fascinating science articles on the notice board outside, for all parent and students to see. Last week the two guest reporters chosen wrote articles called: “Why wasps are useful” and “A solution to space junk”.

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This week a couple of the stories the pupils have chosen to write about are about scientists trying to create a huge marine reserve in Antarctica, and a reappearance of a very dangerous cattle disease called BSE on a farm in Northumberland.

The year 6 pupils taking part are really enjoying it, saying that “I like learning more about different types of science”; “it’s good to know we’re telling people about science news who wouldn’t usually read it” and “I like being about to choose and research my own science news story”.

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Switch-Off Fortnight at Irchester!

Last week we launched an exciting experiment called: Switch off Fortnight, we’re running it with The Pod and it’s going to last for 2 weeks. This is where we encourage everybody to switch off their lights and electronics to save money for fun things like trips, experiments and equipment. Every class has a switch off monitor each day, who checks the other class, making sure that they have turned everything off when they leave their classrooms. At the end of the fortnight, the Lab_13 committee will check which class has saved the most electricity.

DSCN2936 blog.pngHow many kettles, boiling for 1 hour would be equivalent to as much electricity we use at school in a day?

The answer is 400! This means that you would need 400 kettles in one room to generate the amount of power in the school.

Everyone in school will begin to find switch-off stickers on electrical things around their classroom. These are put on by the teacher, to show that we have permission to turn those things off. Remember: we need to turn them off when we leave the room for the smallest things, like assembly to the end of the day. For the next two weeks, it is a competition between each pair of classes as to who is the best at remembering to switch off their electronics when nobody is in class.

In our assembly we mentioned that we are checking the meter to see how much electricity we use. How many people do you think would have to ride a bike to power the school?

You would need 400, meaning that everybody at school would have to pedal all day to make it possible to have lights on so we can see what we are doing!

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Irchester Experiments at Parents Evening!

On the 30th of October and   1st of November, lots of parents and children came into school for parents evening.  We did exciting experiments to show what we’ve been up to in Lab_13, and for everyone to enjoy.


For the first experiment we had a balloon and a tissue ghost -which you got to make yourself, then you had to see how to make it fly. How would you achieve it? To make it fly, you had to rub the balloon on your jumper or your head. The jumper steals electrons from the balloon, which then wants them back from the tissue, so pulls the tissue towards it. This is called Static electricity.


The next experiment was codebreaking, there were two types of codes to do.  One was a letter code. So, A was B and B was C and so on. People made their own coded messages e.g “Happy Halloween”, “science is fun” and “hello everyone at Irchester”. The other one was a picture or a space code. The aliens speak in pictures and you had to crack it!

DSCN2868Also, we did a challenge to see which parachute was the best! There were big ones, small ones and medium ones; ones made of plastic and ones made of paper. Which one do you think would be the best? Ones that take longer to fall or shorter periods of time? The best parachutes took the longest to fall, to stop the object falling really quick and crashing. We discovered that the bigger parachutes were better because they had more air resistance.

The last experiment was a challenge to see if you could make an LED stick or ball light up. How would you do it? You had to complete a full circuit from the battery to the lightbulb! Put your hands on either side of the stick on the metal bits and the electricity goes through your body and back to the stick or ball.

We hope you enjoy trying these challenges and experiments!

By Saffron (yr 6) and Lucy (yr 5)

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