Lab_13 Ghana: A brief about how we (S.M.C. and S.I.R.) made our solar ovens

We made out solar ovens with these materials and tools. They are: kitchen foil, scissors, a box or cardboard, black plastic bags and sellotape.

Our solar oven

Our solar oven

We wrapped the foil in the box and used the sellotape to mend the foil against the box properly. We used the scissors for cutting and we also wrapped the black plastic bag in the box tool. The main aim of using the foil is to direct the sun rays to the plastic bag for it to absorb the sun rays. Our main motive for making the solar oven is to use it to cook eggs.

Silvester checking the temperature in the solar oven

Silvester checking the temperature in the solar oven

We poured water into a plastic cup and put it in the box and placed it where the sun was shining. We left it there for some minutes and later we went to check the temperature of the water. The highest temperature we got was 54 °C and we were unable to cook the eggs since we did not get the temperature for cooking.


This is how we made our solar ovens.

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Lab_13 Ghana: a trip to KNUST

Lab_13 Ghana on the 13th of April decided to trip to KNUST (one of the most popular universities in Ghana). KNUST means Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

The SMC and SIR Anisha heading to KNUST

The SMC and SIR Anisha heading to KNUST

On the 23rd of April 2015 we set of for the journey. We took a Mercedes Benz from our destination to a town called Atonsu. From Atonsu we all alighted and bought a sachet of water, and also some ball loaf and then took a carvan and set of to KNUST. After reaching Tech (a place where KNUST is found) we all alighted.

Saviour an SiR, an old student of KNUST showed us many different departments and halls. At the Science Department we took a Ford and hurried to the Engineering Field thus a branch of the Science Department and met some members of the ‘Creativity Group’.

The meeting with the group made many of us know what we needed to know. Finally at 3 o’clock pm we returned back to our lab (Lab_13).


We the SMC learnt:

1. How to create things on our own.

2. To replenish book stuffs.

3. How to talk with unknown people.

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Lab_13 Ghana: Titanic 2015 Boatastic Race

The competition of Boatastic Race was the first competition that Lab_13 Ghana has hosted. The competition was great, brilliant, fantastic and AMAZINGLY SUPERB!

The competition was all about building a boat that:

1. Can float on water.
2. Obey certain dimensions (length 40cm, height 15cm, width 20cm).
3. One entry per a school.
4. Must be able to carry 500 ml water.
5. Has the Lab_13 logo on it.
6. Has the school name on it.
7. Move a distance of 1 meter.


The boats on display

There were about 11 school participating in the competition. Each school brought their boat and the moment we, the student management committee (SMC) saw each boat from each school, we were amused. Some boats were made of wood, plastic rubbers, and papers (cardboard). The student captain of each school was called to give a brief presentation on how they made their boats.

Afterwards the boat was put on water for them to float. This competition was judged by the SMC. It was judged based on presentation, speed, appearance and the above rules. We the SMC were proud to be the judges of the competition. After displaying each boat from each school, the judges came to the conclusion of announcing the winner of the competition.

First the results for Ghana!

In third place came….

Stay Blessed Academy!

In second place came…

Benny Educational Complex

In first place came…

Solid Hope Basic!

The competition was also open to overseas entries…

In third place for the international entries was…

Kings Acre from Devon, England

In second place came…

Lab_13 Gillespie, London, England.

And in first place came…

Lab_13 Irchester, Nottingham, England.

The competition was between local and international schools. The first place boat from Ghana, and the first place boat from the international entries battled to become the ultimate winner!

Both winners were given trophies, one for being the ULTIMATE WINNER, and as the runner-up winner.

The runner-up winner was Lab_13 Irchester, Solid Hope Basic took the ULTIMATE WINNER title.

Solid Hope wins the first prize

Solid Hope wins the first prize

Medals were also given out to:

Best decorated, people choice, most creative went to Benny Educational Complex.

Best presentation went to Solid Hope Basic.

Fastest boat, at 6 seconds a meter, went to Stay Blessed!

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Goodbye from the Year 6 Committee

With the end of the year we’ve said goodbye to all our year 6, but especially to some of our committee members. They’ve written their goodbyes, and handed over to the newest committee members: stay tuned for their introductions in September!


Goodbye from Josh: I am sad to say good bye to all the new committee and Miss Draper. All the fun times I’ve had from London to the Big Bang Fair. Hopefully I will come back soon. Even though I disliked the snails at first I’m going to miss them, especially the new snail Jennifer. I will remember everyone here at lab and I hope the new committee have as much fun as I did. Hopefully the science at secondary school is as good as  here at Irchester Community Primary School.


My name is Oliver and my lab 13 time has come to an end. I have enjoyed being on the committee due to the vast amount of science, jokes and jobs. My favourite part was The Big Bang fair in Birmingham. Many stalls and activities were all packed into two halls. Despite leaving the committee I will still come and visit and I will persuade my brothers to join as well. I hope in secondary school they have a lab as good as ours.


My name is George and I will remember Bob the moth. Bob was a Privet Hawk-moth, found by Mr. Alan early in the morning. He was a beautiful, stripy moth with a peacock wingspan of 12cm. As a fully-grown adult, he would have lived in woodlands and suburban areas flying about and drinking real nectar from plants. With us he drank fake nectar (sugar water) from a soaked, crumpled piece of tissue, and only moved when we weren’t looking. He is one of the largest moths in the UK. We let him go in the wildlife area… where he should be!

During my time in Lab_13, my favourite thing we have done is experimenting what happens when we get hot. We had another school come in to test with us. We did multiple experiments inspired by these main body functions: sweating, digesting, heart beating and breathing. For sweating, we wrapped three types of paper towel around a thermometer to see if sweating really cools us down. The three paper towels were dry, wet with water or wet with ethanol. We discovered: all the wet thermometers cooled down, and the thermometer under the fan with ethanol on it cooled the fastest.

I will really miss lab_13 and being at Irchester, but will come back to visit lots!


I think last-day madness has set in!

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Sport and Science Week

Two weeks ago was our sports and science week! The whole school took part in lots of different class activities.

Year six created several sports drinks to test on the unaware year five pupils. The drinks were actually all identical, but we told each group different things: one group that the drink would make them faster, the next group slower, and the last group was the control, we said their drink should make no difference.  The results showed: being told you will be slower increases your time slightly by 0.01 mins; being told you won’t change decreases your time; being told you will be faster increases your time by lots! So what you think has a big effect, not only physical things.

sports drinks

Year 4 have been doing their heart rate on different activities and comparing their speeds against athletes. Year 3 have been doing a memory game. Year 2 have been skipping every morning to see what effects exercise has on the body, and what effect practice has. Year 1 have been doing how the size of a ball affects bouncing and have been seeing if music affects throwing distance. Year R have been measuring jumps and seeing what happens when their heart beats faster. They did three tests to make it a fair test.

Year 5 did ruler reaction-time tests, if music affects your performance and if sport affects your memory. They tested this by doing a memory test, then either playing noughts and crosses or doing exercise before another memory test. Thirteen people were doing exercise and the other thirteen needed to play noughts and crosses. This is for the sake of seeing if tiredness affects your memory and if being relaxed helps your memory. First of all I got seventeen and then,what a coincidence, I got seventeen again. That means that I have an equal brain and each side works the same. Some got better and some got worse but overall it was even both ways.


Lab_13 was transformed into the Lab_Gym! We had all sorts of different gym equipment, and managed to let almost the whole school have a go on everything. We experimented with the springiness of the punch bag, had fun finding our own balance points on the wobble-ball, practised the safe  way to pick up weights, and of course had a go on the running and rowing machines!  Many were surprised that the biggest weights weren’t the heaviest; we figured out that it was because they were made of different materials- the big plastic weight was quite light, while the little metal one was very heavy!


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Irchester’s Community Education Award!

On Friday the 10th of July, we were officially presented our award from F-Secure, so we can now tell you all about it!  Two men, one from F-Secure and one from the Community Education Awards came in to award us with it during a whole school assembly. They told us we were the only school to win it in the whole of the UK. They said “it is a huge achievement to win this prestigious award.” We got this award because of all the interactive things we do to keep pupils interested in science, especially our topic Dirty, Stinky Children; during this topic, children learnt about the 3 main types of micro-organisms: bacteria, viruses and fungus. Each year had a different topic such as bread-making, testing for the dirtiest surface or sock microbes to take home. After the speech, three of our Lab_13  ambassadors went onto the stage and collected the three trophies: a glass ornament, a letter from Esther Rantzen (creator of Childline) and a framed certificate to show that we won the annual, national F-Secure award for being the best primary school in the country to teach pupil-lead science!

F-Secure award 1 F-Secure award 2F-Secure award 3

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Our Titanic Entry!

We had a message from lab_13 Ghana, it was a very enthusiastic video about their boat competition! We wanted to win so we read the rules very carefully then we got Miss Draper’s tool box and got to work.

First we made the base of the boat, it was really fun! We made it out of balsa-wood as it’s a soft wood. We did a point at the front of the boat so it’s stream lined. We stuck it together with hot glue:  it won’t leak  and it won’t unstick. The first glue-gun we tried wouldn’t work, but luckily Miss Draper had a different one, though it still took 10 minutes to warm up! While we waited we got the design ready on the board. To make the right pieces we measured wood then cut it with a saw, sanded it smooth then stuck it together- making sure there were no gaps! We then started thinking about how it would move. Ollie got a load of motors and batteries, then connected them together to make the motors spin. We made propellers like on an aeroplane then attached them to the motor. We used a drill to add holes to the boat to put the propellers through. The propeller span really fast but when we put in the water it went in circles. So we had to change the design, we put propellers out the sides instead as paddle wheels- that worked! We each made a different design of propeller to test which one was the fastest.


We made a film about how we made the boat, and showed it floating and travelling the 1m it had to do to enter the competition. We’ve sent  it to Lab_13 Ghana, now waiting for the results!

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