Lab_13 Irchester’s 4th Birthday

What a day we have had! Lab_13 Irchester is four during the half term break, so we decided to celebrate in style with International Year of Light themed activities. First, the whole school enjoyed a shadow performance of ‘The Jungle Book’ performed by the Indigo Moon Theatre Company: Year 2 enjoyed it so much they made some shadow puppets of their own:


Years 3 and 4 were lucky enough to have a workshop with the theatre group and were able to investigate making shadows of different shapes and sizes: DSCN0367DSCN0368 In the Lab, Miss Draper was creating coloured shadows by blocking red, green and blue light and children investigated the effect of sun cream using photochromatic beads: DSCN0545 DSCN0549 And our budding artists created a playground scene using blue, yellow and red pencils, which looks different pictures depending on which colour light filter you look through: DSCN0539DSCN0561DSCN0554  DSCN0556 After spending so much time looking at blocking light, Foundation Stage and Year 6 decided to harness light. Year 6 made their own solar ovens and cooked scrumptious smores:

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And Foundation Stage made lights using water bottles – bottle lights were invented by Alfredo Moser and are used in poverty stricken areas of the Philippines where electricity is too expensive for many:


We also held a ‘Shadow Art’ competition – the winner gets to take their class in the lab for a day. A few of the entries are shown here…which one would you choose? DSCN0565  DSCN0569 DSCN0572DSCN0567cropped Phew – time for a holiday I think!

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Gillespie News: The Beesearchers

We are delighted to inform you that a team from Gillespie School will be the first children to run a stall at Cheltenham Science Festival.  These children are called the Beesearchers, who are aged 7 – 11.

Working hard

Working hard

They are showing their research into whether honey affects your health.  This is useful as we are learning as well as helping others.  We are proud to say that Brian Cartwright, from Ofsted, has viewed Lab_13 and gave us positive feedback. His letter is attached below:

Science note of visit (1)

We hope the stall goes beetastically well, and if it does go wrong, let’s hope they have a plan bee… (teehee!)

Written by Rose, Hivron and Ella

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New Scientist in Residence at Irchester

My name is Alice Draper, and I’m very excited to be starting as the new Scientist for Lab_13 Irchester!

I’ve loved science before I even knew what “science” was- I remember being in Year 2 or 3 at school, and wondering why I found the ‘Human Body’ topic that term so much more interesting than ‘The Victorians’ the term before…

Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have great teachers and opportunities to learn as much as possible. I graduated from Cambridge University in 2010 with a degree in Natural Sciences. I didn’t want to specialise in just one area, so over my degree I studied physics, chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology and experimental psychology. More importantly, it was at university that I started working with several science outreach organisations. I really developed a passion for showing children (and adults!) just how engaging and exciting science can be, especially practical investigations. I still go on tour each summer with CHaOS (Cambridge Hands On Science) picking up and developing new ideas, such as the ear-switching hat!

Modelling the ear-switching hat I’ve been using to confuse pupils.

Modelling the ear-switching hat I’ve already been using to confuse pupils.

Since graduating I’ve been working as a science technician, in both secondary and primary schools. This is a great way to see behind the scenes of science teaching, and to get even more ideas about what practical work we can do in schools.

Now I’m ready and keen to see what I can do with the pupils of Irchester in our own lab. It’s been a fantastic first couple of weeks with a really warm welcome; I can’t wait to see what questions and ideas they will come up with, that we can investigate together!

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Lab_13 Gillespie News: The New Management Committee


Hi I’m Ellie. I love Lab_13 because we get to go out with Carole and do really fun experiments. I want people to be more aware of how fun science is and I will do that by making and trying out experiments in assembly.


Hi my name is Naeema, and I like Science especially Chemistry. I think we could improve Lab_13 and this is why I joined it. Also I could give great ideas. I think we could do a summer activity with Lab_13 and the school.


I joined the Lab_13 committee because I want to help the school, by doing fun and funky experiments so that I would help the school get more inspired by science.

By Tyler


Hi my name is India, and I am in the new Lab_13 committee. I want to inspire children to get more involved in science by:

  • Making the Lab_13 committee more involved in children’s questions.
  • Making it more easy for young children to understand science in lots of different ways.
  • And lots more


Hi my name is Hivron and I joined the Lab_13 management committee to improve our science in our school. I really enjoy chemistry. I would also like to add my science activities in school.

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New committee members at Irchester

Hi I’m Millie Backshall and I applied for lab 13 and I was extremely lucky to get in. I think I am the S in STEM because I am very good in science. I got in because I am very reliable and am able to get set high standards in work. In the interviews some of the questions were easy and some were difficult but I managed to get through and I am very proud of myself. I am a good team worker and I am also good at working independently. I am looking forward to seeing Miss Draper and establishing my jobs.

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Hey I’m Samuel Martin and last week I got interviewed for Lab 13. The questions were extremely difficult on the form and in the interviews but I managed to answer them even though I was very nervous. I can’t wait to be in the committee with three of my good friends Toby Poynton, Jacob Lewis, Millie Backshall and 4 other year sixes. One of the things I’m most excited about is watching the snails and stick insects and learning things about their habitats and what they eat live in and everything else about them. In lab 13 we learn new facts and one fact I know is that we have fun and with are new science teacher Miss Draper things will be even more fun I’m sure. One more reason I joined lab 13 is because with our brilliant teacher (Mr Wilson) I absolutely love science and Mr Wilson does a great job at teaching us it so this is an opportunity to be a science genius by learning more science.

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Hi I’m Toby Poynton, I’m a new member of lab 13. I got interviewed for lab 13 – the questions were hard and I went in quite nervous. At least I gave an answer to each question and took my time to answer the application form. As soon as I entered the lab I had to focus on the questions and give it a go, whether I got in or not I had tried my best. Well if I didn’t enter I wouldn’t have had this opportunity but I took it. I’m looking forward to doing more science shows, telling everyone about science and meeting Miss Draper. I just want learn more about science and enjoy it and especially have fun! It was the first time I got interviewed and I got picked. I even got gold award for science because I was asking lots of questions and found out how much water the heart can hold – it was 47ml and I was pretty pleased with that.

(Jacob’s blog contribution has gone walkabouts but will be edited into this post as soon as it decides to come back!)

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Official launching of Lab_13 Ghana

The launch of Lab_13 Ghana was held on 8th April, 2015 and it came with lots of preparation and hardwork. The seminar room of Agape Academe, Jachie, was decorated by Ellen Bridal Parlour in white and green colours like the City of Emerald (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz), which is also the colour of our school uniform.

SMCs opening the lab

SMCs opening the lab

The day was marked with lots of activities such as speeches, choreographies and science demos. The Master of Ceremony (MC) for the day – Sylvester Kwakye – who is a member of the SMC was funny and made everybody laugh by passing jokes. He was wonderful and did a marvellous work. There were speeches given by a number of people which included Obed and Princess who are members of the SMC, Mr. Bannor (Headmaster of Agape Academy), Mr. Joseph Donkor ( Vice Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Private Teachers (GNAP)) amongst others.

LAB_13 TEAM (SMCs,SIRs, and Advisory  Board)

LAB_13 TEAM (SMCs,SIRs, and Advisory Board)

The science demos were organised by the SMCs who took charge of the activities.

There is not a better word to describe the launch other than successful, and we appreciate everyone who put in their bit to make it happen.

 Our SMC member Abdul in his teaching field

Our SMC member Abdul in his teaching field

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Meet the Lab_13 Ghana Scientists in Residence!

XvnqP7k7So, we’ve met the kids of Lab_13 Ghana but who are the Scientists-in-Residence behind the scenes?  

The four SiR’s are in Bosomtwe to develop, shape and support the long-term impact of Lab_13 Ghana. These guys are on the frontline of Lab_13 Ghana and are working with 30 schools to promote a love of experimentation, invention and curiosity. Once their model is up and running and we have proof of concept, we can use the expertise developed through Lab_13 Ghana as a beacon of what can be achieved in other parts of Ghana, Africa and across the world!

Here, our two UK and two Ghanaian SiRs tell us a bit about themselves, why they took on this role and why they are excited to be part of the global Lab_13 Family!

  • Myf Owen

image1 My name is Myfanwy Owen, from London but currently based in the beautiful Ashanti district of Ghana and a Scientist in Residence for Lab_13 Ghana. Graduating with a degree in biology, specialising in biochemistry and microbiology in 2004, I immediately found a great first job in the field of bacteriology, and that ignited my curiosity to learn more. Following this   I moved to London spent several years in immunology research and development, finally moving to fabulous world of bioengineering.

image4I am ridiculously enthusiastic about science and with my real thirst for knowledge. In 2012, I put my passion for science to good use, and joined the Lightyear Foundation Executive team. The organisation is brilliant and when the opportunity to join Lab_13 Ghana project, I jumped at the chance and took a 6month career break. Lab_13 Ghana is a fabulous collaboration between Ignite! and the Lightyear Foundation. The concept is brilliant and something I’m thrilled to be a part of.

  • Anisha Tailor

IMG-20150507-WA0006IMG-20150507-WA0008 As a Scientist in Residence for Lab_13 Ghana I am currently making boats, investigating mystery tubes and pondering about how the world works. I carried out a degree in Chemistry at the University of Sheffield and then followed it up with a Masters in Science Communication. I have been working in sci comm for about four years. I’ve been a researcher for a Discovery Channel series, written and produced science animations for Fuse School  busked for the BBC and run workshops at Abu Dhabi Science Festival.

Before I left for Ghana I was working at The Physiological Society as their Outreach Officer putting on public events and creating hands on activities for science festivals, I’ll be back to it in September and I will be sure to take the Lab_13 ethos.

  • Alexander Adadevoh

My name is Alexander Adadevoh and I grew up in a close-knit community in Tema, Greater Accra region, Ghana. I am the second among three siblings to parents who have roots in Keta (in the Volta region of Ghana) and Mankessim (in the Central Region of Ghana) for both my dad and mum respectively, and I had my undergraduate studies in University of Ghana, Legon, where I graduated with a degree in B.Sc. Biochemistry.

I have always wanted to do science, and after Junior High School, I chose to study general science in the Senior High School. Since then it has been science right down to the university. I was pretty fascinated about Molecular Biology during my undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and could probably look into Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering in the near future.

Really excited about Lab_13 because it seeks to make science practical and take the students down a path to enhance their creativity, nurture their curiosity and ensure that their understanding of science evolves. I happy and grateful that I have the opportunity to be part of this project as a SiR.

  • Saviour Okine

IMG-20150507-WA0005Saviour Okine is my name, 26 years and I am based in Accra, Ghana. I am a Ghanaian Scientist in Residence (SiR) of the Lab_13 Ghana project based in the Bosomtwe District. Prior to this project, I was on a contract term (which has ended) as a Research Assistant at the Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research Institute of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission. Among others, I engaged in a number of agricultural biotechnology researches since that is my area of specialization. I hold a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) in Agriculture, with my final year thesis centering on plantain tissue manipulation and multiplication using in-vitro means.

The transfer of scientific knowledge has been my long cherished passion and as such Lab_13 Ghana, is an ideal one to avail myself to help young and upcoming students appreciate science in its practicality. Lab_13 Ghana makes available a large array of enthusiasm, a refreshing passion and a new approach in the transfer of scientific know-how where student’s curiosities and interests in science are raised.

All of our Lab_13 Ghana SiRs can be contacted on twitter @Lab_13Ghana

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