Troublesome Teeth at Irchester

Last week, a group of year 4 pupils came into the lab to do some interesting experiments about how your troublesome teeth grow. Several children had asked questions about how and when their teeth grew: Ellie May asked “How long does it take for a tooth to grow?” Hughie wanted to know “Where do teeth come from?” and Gracie asked “When do babies get their teeth?”

Miss Draper showed the group some cool photos, which were of a young child’s skull which had the front of the jaw sawed off so you can see the 2 sets of teeth. This was to show how the teeth grow inside the jaw bone, so even before your big teeth start to grow out, they are already there inside your jaw!

skull 1

After that, the students created their own jaws out of plasticine and the teeth were small chunks of lolly pop sticks. As a newborn baby, they put the baby teeth inside the jaw where they couldn’t be seen, then slowly they pushed the teeth up and put adult teeth inside the jaw, just like it happened in us when we were about 1 year old!   Then they pushed the adult teeth up so the baby teeth wobbled and fell out so the adult teeth could come out, just like is happening to us in school now between the ages of 6 and 15. Once all the adult teeth had grown, they noticed that lots of the teeth were wonky, so used rubber bands to put braces on the teeth to straighten them up!img_20160127_121722

Facts alert!!

Did you know that 3 months before you are born you baby teeth start to grow in your jaw, even though the don’t come through the gum until you are about 1 year old.

Even though your adult teeth may not have come through yet, they start to grow hidden inside your jaw as soon as you are born, but don’t get pushed up through the gum until you are about 6.



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Gillespie news: eco house & Lottie

World-saving futuristic eco house competition!

Great news everybody! The Lab_13 committee are launching a new and exciting competition!

A local estate agent kindly donated some money to help our lab and fund this competition. The Lab_13 committee decided the competition would be: designing and creating world-saving, futuristic eco houses. We thought of this because it is important to save energy and save our world. A great way to do this would be having more eco friendly houses.

In the competition children will be asked to get into groups of 1-4 and design their very own eco friendly, futuristic house. It will be optional and the groups of children will have the choice to do it at home or at school so everybody gets a chance to get involved. The winners will get to create their design in Lab_13!

The Lab_13 committee will be sending letters out after half term so get your imaginations going and think… what yours will be?

Lottie doll


Lottie is a palaeontologist, and she has very interesting things in her bag, like a book about Mary Anning, and she has four fossils. She was digging with her pickaxe and she used her magnifying glass and trowel to find her fossils. I found out by reading Lottie’s book that Mary Anning was struck by lightning and also that ammonite fossils are the shells of creatures that looked a bit like a snail and a prawn mixed together. Lottie came from the Natural History Museum, and she belongs to Carole. I think we should get a Lottie doll for the lab!

Lottie 2

Written by India (Y6) and Ria (Y5)

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Lab_13 Solid Hope opens today!

Solid Hope wins the first prize

Lab_13 Solid Hope opens today

The second Lab_13 in Ghana at Solid Hope Academy in Feyiase, Bosomtwe District opens today, following the success of Lab_13 at Agape which opened last year in April.

We wish everyone celebrating the opening today great success and great science!

The news release here explains more

Watch this space for more images of the celebration and opening ceremony

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Snails and Morse Code at Irchester!


On Thursday, a group of year 1s came to study our Snails. Each child got one of the baby snails which were put into a petri dish to prevent them escaping. They observed their snail, noticing how it moved, who had the biggest and what colour they were. When they were ready, each of the Year 1s drew a portrait of the snail. (Some snails were very energetic so the children had to constantly move it around).


Some lovely pictures…

Then Miss Draper introduced the year 1s to a new scientific word; it was diagram! A diagram is a scientific picture, with labels.  Next Miss Draper gave out two different diagrams of labelled snails which they were very interested in. After the children had a little time looking at the pictures and the label names, they had to again draw a diagram of their snail, drawing what was really there, and including the labels. For this task, each child was given a magnifying glass to have a close up picture of the snail. Lots of children noticed that while in their first picture they drew 2 tentacles on the snail’s head, they actually have 4! Finally each child finished, and had a lovely scientific picture of the snails. Here are a few quotes from the children who joined in:

Marshall: “I enjoyed observing the snails!”

George: “I enjoyed drawing all the pictures!”


…and their excellent diagrams!

Morse code

On Tuesday, a bunch of year 5s came up to the lab to investigate a question from Chris! He asked: how does the International Space Station (ISS) gets all the messages from Earth to space and from space to Earth? The discovered that electricity cannot travel through the air (unless it’s lightning!) so it can’t be travelling form the ISS to Earth. But they discovered they could make a bulb light up with electricity, and the light of a bulb could travel through the air: otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see it! Light is similar to radio waves, which is what they actually use!


Does Tim Peake use electricity to talk to Earth?

Next they decided to try sending their own messages, using only light! They created a circuit with a switch, a battery and a lightbulb, and by making either short or long flashes made a code! Miss Draper gave them a sheet of how to make Morse code. A dash means that the light is kept on for a longer time, and a dot means that the light flicks on and flicks off.  Morse code was used for radio communications in the past, today computers use digital binary code which is similar but a bit more complicated. Lastly they had a great conversation but without talking; only using Morse code!


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Gillespie news: committee news!

Katie (me) who recently joined the Lab_13 committee, is very excited to help be in charge of the events that are coming up for  the school during the year. She hopes that whilst she is in the committee, younger children will be able to understand, join in and enjoy science more.

The committee would like to host a conference with the other Lab_13s all across the world. We want to find out what other schools are up to. Other things in the future that the management committee would like to do is another science cinema, science spectacular, science fair and many more. As a big part of the Lab_13 management committee we are getting our VERY own badges! This year we would like to achieve much more and let people enjoy science and we hope that this year more and more Gillespians will be interested in science!

From next week on the management committee would like to add something called the scientist of the fortnight. The scientist of the fortnight is where we pick somebody who is very scientific and they get a certificate for the fortnight. This will continue and the person will be chosen by the management committee. The whole committee is looking forward to this!

By Katie Y6, Hivron Y6 and Leila Y5

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Watching the Spacewalk from Irchester!

On Friday 15th January some of Irchester Primary School pupils watched Tim Peake and Tim Kopra go out of the International Space Station. They went out to fix a solar panel relay box, and to put in a new cable. That might not sound very exiting, but in space going outside is very dangerous! Children from year 1 to year 6 came into the Lab to watch at lunchtime, because that was when they first went out of the airlock. It was exciting because he was the first British astronaut to do a spacewalk! After lunch some year 5’s came into the lab to watch some more, and to find out as much as possible about what life is like for Tim and the other astronauts on the ISS.  We really enjoyed watching, especially when they stopped to take selfies!  It was very tense because they had to unclip their safety harnesses when moving around, and if they let go they might have drifted off into space! Tim Peake had to get the cable through a small gap between bits of the space station, and only just squeezed through!


Then it was home time and we had to stop watching, but we saw on the news what happened next. Tim Kopra’s space helmet started to fill up with water; this was probably because his cooling suit had a leak. For that reason they were both told to come back inside the space station straight away: they were only out for 5 hours when they were supposed to be out for 6 hours. They still got all the important repairs done though, we’re really glad it went well and we got to watch!

We’ve still got the live video feed showing on a screen in the library shared area, so everyone can see what is happening in the space station whenever they go past! You can watch too from the NASA website here: NASA ISS Live Feed.


A crowd often gathers when Tim is on the screen!






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Lab_13 Gillespie news: ISS!

Assembly and committee


ISS8Maya and Lucy in Y3 investigated a question last week, the question was “how do you build a space station?” They shared their investigation in the assembly hall on Monday morning. Because Tim Peake is in space, they wanted to know more about the ISS (International Space Station). They investigated in Lab_13 where they built their own model of the ISS using a template (you can make your own – here it is: Assembly3Later on in the assembly they shared photos on a PowerPoint, then they did a quiz and tested our knowledge. Y5 also sang Space Oddity, a song by David Bowie, which Chris Hadfield sang when he was floating in the ISS. You can watch him singing it here:

We’re not leaving!

Although many people applied to be in the committee most of them missed the deadline. Only one person handed in their application on time and that was Katie in yr6. The management committee interviewed her and asked her questions. We were impressed by how much she was dedicated to being in the management committee and we decided that she was in! So the old Y6s will stay and Katie will join us. We are looking forward to working with her.

Written by Leila in Y5 and Naeema in Y6

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