Irchester’s Science Spaces: year 5 and 6

Here is the first update on what kind of Science Spaces Irchester pupils created in their classes for Science Week!

6RR went to the wildlife area outside Foundation Stage and planted seeds, hung birdfeeders and rebuilt the bug hotel. It was falling apart a bit before, but now it looks great! Foundations Stage, Year 1 and 2 should now be able to find much more wildlife living there! After the Sats week Year 6 will go with their Foundation Stage buddies to the wildlife area and go bug hunting.

In 6JW they set up an engineering corner: Mrs Ward set a challenge, to make the highest tower possible which could hold a marshmallow at the top! All they had was 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 metre of sticky tape and 1 meter of string. They came up with lots of different designs!marshmallow challenge 4

Year 5 next: we created a science corner all about light. This linked to learning about our amazing eyes! Some of use dissected a bull’s eye, while others learnt about refracting and reflecting light. In our light corner we have light reflecting glasses that make you see rainbows! The special lens breaks up the light and as light is made up of the colours of the rainbow you see lots and lots of rainbows!

Also we made some shadow puppets which we used to make our own incredible puppet show. There is also a sheet of paper which is like a mirror but when you go to look at your reflection you seem to be broken into pieces and covered in rainbows and this is because of reflection and refraction. We finally did an experiment which you can try at home. We got half a glass of water and poured half a glass of kitchen oil in. Then we put the thermometer inside and it appeared to be broken! This is the light refracting differently in the water and the oil.

we asked some year 5s what they thought about their science space: Chloe-Rose said “I found out that if you put too much power in a bulb then it will blow up. Also that light travels in straight lines.”  Harley said “I loved it. I like how light works and how it’s made”

Next up: year 3 and 4!






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Gillespie news: scale solar system

Solar system investigation

On the 25th April 2016 someone in Y1 called AminIMG_0702 asked how big the Sun is. So Carole invited 5 Y6s and 5 Y1s to the lab to investigate this question. They started by borrowing books from the library and researching how big the Sun is.

The children then answered another question which was how big would the other planets be if the Sun was to a scale factor of 1m. When the Y6s finished all the maths and the compass work, the Y1s decorated the planets for Carole to stick them on a piece of paper to make into a poster.


Now the management committee are going to write facts on the poster and put it up in Lab_13.

Here are some of our facts:

The solar system got its name because everything goes around the Sun, and solar means ‘of the Sun’.

The Moon formed by the earth being hit by a rogue* proto-planet* and the Moon was created by the debris* created by this titanic collision*.

*these are the words we would like to define for our readers as they may not have a teacher with them to help them:

  • Rogue: used as a metaphor to describe a dangerous planet that goes off course.
  • Proto-planet: ‘proto’ means forming or the early version, like prototype is an example of the first tests or version of something.
  • Debris:  the remains of something.
  • Collision: a clash of objects.

Written by Leila Y5 and Hivron Y6!


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Gillespie news: competitions & awards

Previously we explained the rules of an eco-house competition that we designed for the children of Gillespie School. We chose two winners that both had creative but different entries. They will soon (for their prize) come into the lab to create a model of their eco-house. Our winners were … Mabel from year 4 and Chloe, Yusra, Martha and Ria from year 5.

Recently we decided to make certificates for a curious questioner, super scientist, incredible investigator and ingenious inventor to give out during our assemblies. We announced our first winner for the curious questioner who was… Melissa in year 4!


Written by Ellie and Katie, Y6

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Indroducing Irchester’s new Committee!


Hi, my name is Heaven and I am very happy to be in the Lab_13 committee. My favourite job so far is the blog because there is a lot of work to do and I also get to do the rocket seeds. I wanted to be in the committee because I love science and I’ve always wanted to learn more. I’m looking forward to doing all the experiments and learning new things about science. I’m really excited to do all the jobs with my partner Elise.




Hi my name is Jessie and I’m glad that I’m part of the lab_ 13 committee. One of my favourite things to do is learn about science and I love animals. I am most excited about writing the blog, snails and all the jobs and keeping the work updated.




Hi! I’m Tommy and I am very excited to be in the brand new lab_13 committee. I will do my jobs the best I can and I am feeling very good about the animal jobs like snails and stick insects. I like science because it created the world and it’s everywhere. I hope I will be a good committee member because I put 100% effort in my jobs.



Hello my name is Cherry I am 9 years old and I’m on the lab-13 committee. My favourite things are science because it is FUN and I love to learn new things and art because of the creativity. I am excited about looking after the insects and keeping things updated.




Hi I’m Keiron and I am so glad that I got on the committee. My favourite job so far is the stick insects but I think the snails will be the best job. I’m excited about organising the Lab’s 5th birthday party this term, it’s going to be great!

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One Year Anniversary Blog Post – Part II

Hello readers, it is my turn to tell you about the activity I conducted in the presence of everybody of Agape Academy. My name is Grace Donkor. It was my first time of standing in front of lots of people to talk. I made few mistakes, when I was talking, because I was nervous but I am confident that I will do a perfect job when my turn comes up again.

My activity was an experiment to demonstrate how light travels in a straight line. These were the materials…

Three rectangular cardboards, nail and a source of light (torch).

To begin the activity, holes with a diameter of about 5mm were created in all three cardboards with a nail. With assistance from the audience, two of the cardboards were placed about 15 cm apart. The third cardboard was added by adjusting its position between the two cardboards already placed 15 cm apart until all three cardboards were in position where light from a torch placed about 10 cm away from the first cardboard is able to be seen at the other end of the positioned cardboards. You can achieve this with the help of volunteers who will hold the cardboards in position.

It was observed that, the light was only seen through the holes when all three cardboards were in their rightful position. This shows that light has a property of travelling in a straight line. There were questions such as; how do a ray of light in a straight line change its direction? Also, how fast does light travel?

Thank you all for your time.

You can try it at home or in school too.

Activity Based Quiz and Saturday Club

During the interim phase, there were 2 Saturday Clubs and a Science Competition – Activity Based Quiz – which had 7 participants. The activity based quiz was the first of its kind even though it was the second science competition being organised by Lab_13 Ghana. The idea originated from the members of the Student Management Committee with the assistance of the Scientist-in-Residence.

The quiz was titled ‘Superbulous Fast Quiz’. The quiz had two stages – a knock-out round and the Final. It was held at Agape Academy. The schools that participated were Agape Academy, Destiny Experimental, Stay Blessed Academy, Penworth, Fame and Fortune, Benny Educational Complex and Christ Academy. On the Final, which was on the 27th November, 2015, qualifying schools from the knock-out stage were to make a demonstration and a presentation on how they would reduce the carbon gas that comes from cars.

It was an exciting and fulfilling experience being the judges (SMCs) of the quiz. We gave scores to participating schools under the following criteria: Demonstration, Presentation, Application, Creativity, Understanding and Explanation. It was an exercise we approached with honour and dignity, and came with lots of learning experience.

After the final, Agape Academy was crowned the winner of the quiz, and took home the medal for best demonstration also.

We will end by saying the ‘Superbulous Fast Quiz’ was very educative.

Another activity we will like to share that took place during the interim phase is one of the Saturday Clubs.

This was the first Saturday Club during the phase and it was under the topic Water Filters. We collaborated with Missouri Middle School in the USA. During this Saturday club, students were put into groups according to the schools they represented and were given material to build their own water filter system that was going to filter 200 ml of water containing dirt, colour and sand. Some of the materials they could use were filter papers, handkerchiefs, different types of sand, saw dust, gravels, alum, foam etc.

After the process of building, each of the filtrates collected from each water filter was tested. A testing system was adopted in which equal drops of an indicator prepared from hibiscus leaves, locally know as ‘sobolo’, were dropped into each filtrate and pure water. The group with the filtrate that gave a colour that closely matched that of the pure water was declared the winner. Benny Educational Complex was the winner with a very good water filter followed by Agape Academy. Other schools that participated were God’s Grace and St. Anthony’s International school.

The words we have to describe this Saturday Club are fun, fantastic and innovative.

Enocksticia and Rebecca

Members of the SMC.

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One Year Anniversary Blog Post

On the eight of April was the one year anniversary of Lab_13 Ghana since its inception on 8th April, 2015. On this day the project was launched at Agape Academy, Jachie and has since gone through series of phases – From the pilot phase to an interim phase and now phase II. The project has also moved from having just one lab to having two now – the second lab being hosted by Solid Hope School, Feyiase.

During this past year, there has been a lot of activities. In this blog is a recap of what members of the student management committee of Agape Academy, who have been members since the interim phase – September, 2015 to present – have to share concerning their experiences on the journey so far, and some of the activities and how they conducted them.

Interim Phase At A Glance

The interim phase of Lab_13 Ghana was full of exciting activities which consisted of two Activities of the Week, two Saturday Clubs and a ‘Superbulous Fast Quiz Competition’.

The first activity of the week was on the topic “sinkers and floaters” organised by Brenda. It was fun and educative. The next activity of the week was organised by Grace and the topic was “Rectilinear Propagation of Light” which was also interesting. It gave us the opportunity to observe that light travels in a straight line.

The SiRs organised two Saturday Clubs. The first, was on Water Filters. Among the schools that participated, a group of students from Benny Educational Complex won the task of the day. The task was to filter water that contained sand, dirt and food colour.

The second Saturday Club was on the use of Arduino Uno boards where we had the opportunity to code with the laptop and programme LEDs to blink and buzzers to buzz.

The SMC’s organised the Superbulous Fast Quiz which involved seven schools at the initial stages. The competition was on “ how to reduce carbon dioxide emission from the exhaust of a car”. This environmentally friendly task brought up many interesting views with four schools qualifying for the finals. Agape Academy came up tops with a very good presentation, demonstration and a proposed car engine to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the exhaust of cars.

Going forward into phase two, we are excited about the opening of lab_13 at Solid Hope Academy and we are looking forward to interacting with the new SMC’s from there. We hope to come up with new and exciting projects that would be educative and fun.

In summary, Lab_13 Ghana has given us the opportunity to learn and practice science the more. Lab_13 Ghana has made science interesting for all of us.

Thank You SiRs and Lab_13 Ghana.

Dennis and Edward

Members of the SMC

Screenshot from MOV_0041.mp4 - 1Screenshot from MOV100.MOD - 2

Activity of the Week

As part of enhancing the engagement with the host school – Agape Academy, members of the SMC performed scientific demonstrations in the presence of their colleague students, at their weekly Friday general assembly meetings. This initiative has enormous opportunities of creating the platform for interaction between the lab and the entire school, thus bringing the lab to the people, and could go a long way of associating the lab to the needs of the people; and getting useful feedback.

On weekly bases, we will bring to you, scientific experiments performed by members of the SMC respectively as and when they are done. Today, we begin with…

Hello, I’m Brenda Serwaa Tabi. For the next twenty to thirty minutes, I will be taking you through an experiment I conducted at my school, Agape Academy. Personally, I really had much fun conducting the experiment although I was tensed up some few minutes before the beginning of the activities.

The title of the experiment was ‘Sinkers and Floaters’. This activity uses the idea of Density. The apparatuses I used included:

Aluminium foil (ball shaped), Aluminium foil (folded tightly in a square shape), water basin, water, Piece of paper, Balloon (water filled), Balloon (Flour filled), Balloon (air filled), Balloon (empty), Paper clip, Nail, Pen cover, empty match box and two soda drink covers (metal ones).

To start, I placed the water basin on a working bench and I filled it to about ¾ with water. Then I placed each collectible into the water gently and waited for one minute to observe before removing it for the next item. I repeated this until all have had contact with the water. But before I did that, I made my audience predict whether the material I am about dropping will either float, sink or behave otherwise. This I did to the admiration of all especially when the materials that they thought will sink rather floated and vice versa.

It was observed that, as some materials sunk and others floated, a few neither sunk nor floated. They somehow suspended in the water. This was the basis for a lengthy discussion with many suggestions and contributions on questions such as

what is responsible for the materials to behave the way they do when in water? Also, how can you cause the materials to change their behaviour in water?

Readers, you can try this activity to find answers to the questions. Thank you.

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Irchester’s Science Week Lab_13 Lectures and more!

Just before the Easter Holidays, during Science Week, we held our Lab_13 Lectures for the fourth year running: it was another brilliantly successful day of lectures this year! Our committee did two lectures: one about body tricks and another about the science of sports drinks. then we also had some guest lecturers to show us all sorts of different things!

A and P    green fire

For the body tricks, first we showed the audience how they could feel an invisible ball of energy between their hands, by tricking their muscles! Then, we showed them how to paralyse their finger, as hard as they tried they couldn’t move it because their other fingers were trapped and the tendons are connected. For the sports drink we did an experiment live on stage: testing to see if a good and bad sports drink made and difference to how many star jumps our volunteers could do. Except, we didn’t actually use real sports drinks! We actually investigated whether being TOLD you had a sports drink made any difference. This is like the placebo effect, which is when somebody is given fake medicine but still feels better.


In the morning we had Scott Turner and his robot Red, who acts like a human! We saw how the robot could get up after it was knocked over, and how it would walk with someone when you told it to follow. Scott told us how soon there will be social robots like Red for sale to have in our homes! In the afternoon we had Rick Hall with a card game called “Would you rather?” First we all voted on which animal we preferred, then started to think about the choices we make and how they affect the world: I didn’t know that having a nice wood table affect the tree frogs in the rainforest! There was all a guest appearance all the way from Ghana, in Africa. The Lab_13 Committee there showing us their Lab and talked about their favourite experiments.


The last lecture was a showdown between chemistry and physics. There was some epic green fire made by Jonny using Chemistry, and some twizzling flying FIRE called Devil Sticking from Chris using Physics! Out of the committee two people voted for Physics and the rest for Chemistry, it was the same in the rest of the audience so the winner was Chemistry!

We really enjoyed presenting the day, I hope we get to come back and help the new committee with it next year!

By Alfie

Another thing! The lectures were the finale of our Science Week, but all week long the different classes were making and using their own science spaces: a new area in their classroom or outside where they could go to do some kind of science. Updates coming over the next few weeks about all the different science spaces that were created at Irchester!

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