Gillespie news: Top Secret!


The Lab_13 committee have been chosen to be recruits of the CIA (the Children’s Intelligence Agency). We were all extremely thrilled when we saw this package, because it enclosed some very exciting documents. It included a membership card, a book, a letter, hexes (stickers to use on mission reports) and the mission cards.


The contents of the parcel




The CIA missions are designed to help with skills that are useful in life. They’ve got lots of scientific skills like investigation, questioning, design and creativity. The different missions encourage me to use the scientific skills and develop them. I am looking forward to doing the missions because they sound fun and challenging!



Our new C.I.A. badge

Written by Kiri, Y5

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New Recruits of the SMC of Agape Academy

The picture above has been captioned.

Hello everyone,

We are the new members of the Student Management Committee (SMC) of Agape Academy.

My name is Belinda Bekoe. I am 12 years old and came from Assin Fosu. I attend Agape Academy and we have Lab_13 Ghana science lab where I learn practical science. I like to study more Biology because I want to be a medical doctor when I grow up.

My name is Amissah Matilda and I am 13 years old. I stay with my parents, my sisters and brother. I like science because it teaches us about nature, personal hygiene and the world we live in. It teaches us how to live a healthy life.

Kuukua Koomson is my name. I am 12 years old. I come from Kroful but stay at Ahinsan Estate. I am happy to become a member of the SMC because I will learn and practice more science experiments.

Hiedi Nyame Adom Otchere is my name. I stay with my parents and two sisters at Jachie. Agape is the name of my school and I like learning Maths, Science and English. I am very happy to be part of the SMC.

My name is Widad Ali, and I am 12 years old. I come from Mali but live with both parents at Swedro. I attend Agape Academy and I am in Junior High School (JHS) One – Y7. The best subject I like is Science. I want to be a doctor and science is part of human life. We cannot do anything without science. Science is life.

My name is Anane Blessing. I am 12 years old and attend Agape Academy. I am in JHS 1. I am happy to be a member of the SMC. I want to be a doctor in future. Being part of Lab_13 will help me study more science.

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Parents’ Evening Experiments at Irchester.

The Lab_13 Committee members helped out at parents evening, because we wanted the parents and children to see a bit more of what the lab is getting up to! We had a few different things to show and do. Firstly there was a guessing game: we had lots of different objects from our curiosity cupboard; like a rat’s skeleton, a human tooth, snake skin and a wasp’s nest. Lots of people were interested in finding out more about the things, we were there to do just that. Most people guessed what the snakeskin and skeleton were, but lots of people thought the wasp’s nest was a bee’s nest, and that the human tooth came from another animal.


Then, we had a reaction time experiment. We wanted to find out if women, men, boys or girls have faster reactions. The test is very simple: when the screen of the learnpad changed from red to green, they had to touch the screen as fast as possible, and the learnpad recorded how long it took. We managed to test over 120 people!

The winners of the categories were: for the children, Tommy and Keiron who took 0.306 seconds and Lucy with 0.313 seconds; and from the adults Carl and Zoe who drew with 0.293 seconds. The overall fastest group was women with an average reaction time of 0.390 seconds. Boys and girls had almost the same average reaction time, women were slightly faster than men, and adults were much faster than children. We made this graph of all the results:



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Gillespie news: Planet Earth II & computer building

Super Science Video Club

Last Monday, in a dark room filled with people excited about watching Planet Earth II, there was anticipation filling the Y5 and Y6 children that came to Lab_13 at 12.55pm. We won’t tell you too much about Planet Earth II because it would spoil it and you could watch it yourself or you could watch it with your family on BBC iPlayer. Whilst we were watching it there was a sudden fright when there was a race between the marine iguana and the snakes. The narrator said that if the iguana didn’t make it to the rocks by the ocean in time it would get eaten. Everybody’s heart was pounding. I heard a gasp around the room when one of the marine iguanas was swallowed down by the snakes. Except one of the marine iguanas managed to escape quickly. After the two iguanas were safe everyone felt calm but it was sad that only two of the four survived. They are vulnerable after they hatch because their mother isn’t there.


Everyone with their eyes attached to the screen

We showed Planet Earth II episode 1 (the Islands episode) in our Super Science Video Club because it was really interesting and it was related to science as well. After we talked about it in assembly and showed everyone the trailer of Planet Earth II we told them that they could sign up but suddenly there were too many people! The names were all around the piece of paper. There were 27 children in total.


Island facts


  • Madagascar is the oldest and largest island
  • Some types of lemurs live in the forest part of the island which is like a desert because it hardly rains. They feed on baby leaves because they are the only source of water and food.Lemur hanging onto a tree eating leaves
  • Komodo dragons are mainly competitive around each other. The female komodo dragons come into heat one month a year. Only the most powerful male komodo dragons are allowed to mate and size does matter.

Computer company?

Eight Gillespie scientists and two adults created a computer with our trusty computer man, Lee. We learnt that if we touch a computer that is plugged in we are actually connected to the Earth. Making a computer made me feel quite impressed, proud of myself and happy. I’d never touched the inside of a computer before, or made a computer before or made anything like that. IMG_3316.JPG

Written by Choi Ying (Y6) and Reiss (Y5)

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Gillespie news: super science video club

Super Science Video Club

You don’t really get to watch TV in school, do you? Well we get to – with our new Super Science Video Club (SSVC)!


A very old TV (from 1946 – we won’t be watching science videos on this!)

If you want to come, you put your name down on a list. You then get to have an early lunch and come up to Lab_13. Our first video / film / TV series will be David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II. The purpose of this club is for all children to have the opportunity to see the latest and best educational and science-associated TV and films.

Zac’s Review of Planet Earth II episode 1

David Attenborough has grown a little bit older but is still doing a lot of filming. It is 100% worth watching because you get to see all these animals that haven’t properly been explored before. My favourite animal is the red crab because sadly little ants irritate the crabs’ eyes by squirting acid in them which causes the crab to go blind, but the other crabs still march on bravely. It’s amazing how David Attenborough, although quite old, goes to all these places with no fear.


The crabs bravely marching on

Written by Zac (Y5)

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please welcome Lab_13 Rosehill

We are delighted to announce a new Lab_13 in Nottingham, at Rosehill School – which works with children with autism.. Lab_13 Rosehill has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

Featured here, and in a rather blurry photograph (sorry Betti) is the Lab_13 Rosehill Scientist in Residence, Betti Copperwood. In sessions this week the children have been exploring light – in projections, in light boxes and shadows..

We are excited and delighted to welcome Lab_13 Rosehill to the family of Lab_13s.. and hope that the Student Management Committees and Scientists in Residence across the network will send messages of support and ideas and suggestions to link up.  Lab_13 Rosehill doesn’t have a Student Management Committee yet, but we hope that as their confidence grows and familiarity with working with Betti, a group of children will emerge to take on more responsibilities for the Lab_13 space and the science questions to explore there.

Future projects to get Lab_13 Rosehill started will include Sensory Science activities, and work with the University of Nottingham Inflativerse – the mobile planetarium.

Exciting times and we wish everyone at Lab_13 Rosehill good luck and good science.

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Gillespie news: a new Lottie?

A new Lottie?

Carole came into the Lab_13 meeting with a surprise, `A NEW LOTTIE!’ This is from the Lottie doll collection we now have two of them: the fun fossil hunter and super star gazer Lottie. Carole bought the stargazer from the natural history museum at the weekend. These are her accessories:  A fur velvet and fleece coat-that keeps her warm during the night. A telescope- to look at the stars. Pair of fur boots- to make sure her feet don’t get wet in rainy weather. Get ready if you like D.T because Carole might be putting on a club where you make stuff for Lottie [e.g. house, clothes, and telescopes]. Danny from the Lab_13 committee thought of this ingenious idea.



Lottie meets her clone

Written by Danny and Reiss (Y5)


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