Gillespie News: visitor and Science Cinema

Visitor from Francis Crick Institute

During the Lab 13 committee meeting we got a surprising visitor who came from the Francis crick institute for cancer research. She had heard about the Gillespie Lab 13 committee and told us, “We have heard wonderful things about what you do in Lab 13.” We also got told that she wanted to get younger students more involved in science like Lab 13 does. She asked us questions about why we wanted to be in the committee?, what ages we had to be in the committee?, whether our class experiments relate to our Lab 13 experiments? And Why we chose the Azifady charity in Madagascar to be our fundraiser?

Madagascan movie night

Louise, the lady who works for Azifady, will be coming to our school assembly on Monday morning next week. We are really looking forward to showing her what we are going to be doing for our movie night. A question that I would like to ask her is how did the idea come up that made you want to go to Madagascar?

Written by Yusra Y5 and India Y6

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Year 5 and 6 visit the Natural History Museum

On the 17th of September year 5 and 6 travelled on a coach for 3 hours to get to London so we could go to the Natural History Museum. The journey was really long and boring, until we got to London and did a bit of sightseeing as the coach drove through the city.

When we finally got into the museum we found out lots of interesting facts; like that in the Victorian times they would hunt animals to put them into the museum, but they don’t do that any more as many of the animals are rare.

A very toothy jaw bone!

A very toothy jaw bone!

We saw and felt a green sea turtle’s shell which was meant to be sold as a wall decoration, but was confiscated from the sellers because it’s illegal (as the turtles are endangered). As well we saw hundreds of skeletons and bones, including dinosaurs! We all discovered something new about our body or an animal, for example: Millie learnt that Mary Anning discovered the Ichthyosaur, and Sam learnt that turtles are a lot bigger than he thought.

Sam very pleased with the giant turtle he investigated.

Sam very pleased with the giant turtle he investigated

We saw a stuffed fox and some other amazing things in the Investigate Centre, which is a room full of wonderful things. We were being scientists, so we could choose any object, then use microscopes to look up close and we had to do a drawing and write all our thoughts about our object down a piece of paper. The committee looked at: a furry rock, a crocodile jaw, a giant turtle, a wood-like fungus, a tiny seahorse and a giant butterfly. Miss Draper got some great ideas for a mini Investigate Centre in the lab back at school, she’s already asked the committee to do some research on some of the objects in our curiosity cupboard!

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The fire-pit evening!

Lab_ 13 had an event in the wildlife area to launch our new family club! It was a campfire in Mr Allen’s Fire-pit, we invited any pupils and their parents to come along. From now on every Friday will be the “Family_lab” after school, when pupils can bring someone from their family to do some fun science together!

We roasted marshmallows and when we ran out, people decided to roast biscuits. We had the mobile suggestion board up for the parents and children to give us some ideas for our family club on Fridays. Miss Draper brought out some learnpads and we had to find a list of plants and other things that are in the wildlife area. Then we had to take a picture of the plant and when you found everything you won a prize which in this case was an “I love Lab_13” badge.

Parents and pupils hunting for plants together

Parents and pupils hunting for plants together

firepit 2

Mr Alan made the fire-pit and the committee helped: by weeding the area around the fire pit, collecting lots of dead wood to burn, and making special extra-long marshmallow roasting sticks! We had a lot of biscuits and marshmallows, even though Sam lost a few of his biscuits in the fire. Luckily the wasps nest was gone because they would’ve suffocated if they breathed in the smoke, and they might have stung some of the visitors. All the biscuits and marshmallows were gone except the plain digestives!

All ready for next time!

All ready for next time!

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Gillespie news: Lovely littleBits

This morning in Lab_13 the management were eager to see what Carole had planned for us. Carole had brought in a kit called littleBits, she had bought it for STEM club so that they could make robots. It also linked with the science spectacular’s theme back to the future.

photo 5

The kit, which is in a slender box with a manual, is full of component of circuits, they magnificently connect magnetically.

photo 1

It was exciting, we were surprised by what it could do and we hope you can use it as well!

Written by Ria Y5 and Naeema Y6

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Summer News: Boats and Babies!

Lab_13 are back to school and were straight back to work sorting out the snails and the stick insects and working with the New Year 5 committee.

A few exciting things happened over the summer holidays though! Last year the committee built a boat for the Lab_13 Ghana Titanic competition (as said in a previous blog) and out of the 6 international schools we WON!

(AD: I’ve just had the exciting news that our trophy should be arriving next week, when Rick Hall comes to visit!)

News on the snail and stick insects: Jacob took the snails home, and they must have really liked it at his house because now we have 20 baby snails.  We also think that Shelly Newton and Hawking may or may not be giant African land snails because they are 1 year old and quite small, but not to worry they will remain part of the Lab even if they aren’t giant snails. We’re not sure if the babies are Giant African land snails or just garden snails, but we have emailed an expert to ask.

IMG_20150901_183111[1]     Stick insects

Now to the stick insects: we have been keeping some eggs for several months because the adults were getting old and starting to die of old age. The eggs weren’t doing anything, until Miss Draper took them home and they started to hatch in August!  Maybe it was warmer on her windowsill than in the cold lab. So now we have just one old adult stick insect, and a lucky 13 tiny little babies!

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Welcome to the new Irchester Committee

The new year 5 Committee have really thrown themselves into running the lab this term, they’re full of great ideas and enthusiasm! Here they are introducing themselves:

Hi my name is Holly and I am 9 years old, I’m very happy that I have been chosen for the Lab_13 committee and I am excited for the whole year ahead. I am most excited about the trips and experiments and all the fun times we are going to have. My favourite subject in school is maths but my second is science, I enjoy science a lot especially explosions and experiments . My favourite sport is horse riding, though unfortunately I’ve fallen off 3 times!


Hi my name is Alfie and I am really happy that they chose me to be in lab 13 committee. It was my first interview and I was very nervous. I love science and I’m looking forwards to learning more about the world and going on trips.


I’m Kamilla and I’m very happy to have got into Lab_13 committee. I’ve really enjoyed the first committee meetings and I’m looking forward to the next ones. I have been very scared of the stick insects, but I like the snails (they’re really good for your skin). I’m also look forward to doing projects with the school and doing a lot of science. I would really like to try and use a 3D doodler. I’m going to have a great time at lab_13!!


Hi I’m Poppie. I’m really pleased to be joining the Lab _13 committee. I am looking forward to working with the team to bringing science forward and share it with all my school friends.  It will be really nice to do this as my brother did this when he was in year 5 and year 6, I want to carry it on for my brother.


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Gillespie News: Madagascar and Lab_13 Diary

Madagascar fundraiser

You may have previously read about our Skype chat with Louise and Lala in Madagascar. We would like to raise money for schools in Madagascar because they don’t have always have the right equipment to learn. We would like to have a Madagascar 3 film night! Hopefully we will have enough money to raise so that we can support the schools in Madagascar. We would like to do this because they deserve to have the same amount of education as other children do. You can read about Azifady, the charity we will donate to here:

Diary of a scientist / inventor in residence

Lab_13’s latest idea is to share experiments with other children and parents by putting new pictures of our investigations on display outside Lab_13 every day. It makes children feel proud of what they’ve achieved and shows parents what their children have done in Lab_13. Every week, all the information will go into the Diary of the scientist / inventor in residence so we will always know what we have accomplished.


By Naeema and Hivron, Y6

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