New term at Dovecote

Well it is a new term at Dovecote Lab13 ( the same as everywhere else) and we have some new projects lined up for this year… we hope to open our ‘After school shop’ on a regular basis with NEW PRODUCTS and the year 4s are studying Greece this term so we hope to find out why Archimedes ran naked through the streets of Athens.

But, we also have some old projects still running.  Last year we started an experiment (funded by the Royal Society) to investigate different soil improvers.  The school had 5 raised beds in the ‘secret garden’, which hadn’t been very well looked after over the years.  So, we added 3 different things to the soil in the beds to see if they helped; one bed got nothing, one compost, one horse manure (poo!), one bio-char (a form of charcoal) and the last one got all three.

We then planted Sweet Peas, Woad and Weld in all 5 beds and have been measuring how well each crop grew.

Last week we harvested the Woad, which is a plant that has been used for thousands of years to produce a blue dye ( you might have seen some of the Scots warriors in the movie Brave all covered in blue, that’s Woad) and the bed with compost produced over 20 times as much as the bed that got nothing, amazing result eh? ( More results to follow as we check the data)

These are the leaves from the Woad plants which have been chopped prior to extracting the blue dye.

This week we are trying to purify it so that we can dye some tee-shirts.

We put the Woad leaves into hot water for 10 minutes to wash out all the blue dye.

We’ll keep you posted…

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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One Response to New term at Dovecote

  1. Rick says:

    well done folks at Dovecote – great to hear your new school year has got off to a great scientific start.. It’s a long and winding woad..

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