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Ignite! and BioCity launch digital Lab_13

BioCity, the pioneering life science incubator and business collective, in partnership with education charity Ignite!, is welcoming back primary school students to join their Lab_13 programme.

Lab_13, started by Ignite! in 2009, is an initiative in which children manage their own investigations and scientific research, where their curiosity is given free expression. Guided by a Scientist in Residence, pupils choose the topics, pose the questions and run their own experiments to test their hypotheses in a genuine research programme.

Though originally undertaken in schools, in 2019, BioCity partnered with Ignite! and provided space at their Nottingham city-centre location for primary students to undertake experiments in working laboratories. Since the launch, BioCity has hosted over 150 students and delivered 28 different activities. This year, Lab_13 will take place virtually, with the help of a new ‘Scientist in Residence’, James Daubney, a research scientist from MediCity based Exonate.

Students from our first guest school, Dovecote Primary, have submitted questions including, “How do solar panels work?” and “How much fuel does a rocket need to get to the moon?”. Over a half term, students will build their investigations to find answers to their questions while getting the opportunity to speak directly to James about his experiences in the biomedical research industry.

James Daubney, Exonate said, “I am really thrilled to start Lab_13 as my first STEM outreach activity as Exonate’s new STEM ambassador. It will be great to help the students learn more about science by thinking of how to answer their own questions and aiding them to design experiments. We’ve got some exciting plans already in the works, it’ll be great fun and educational too!”

Megan Shore, Ignite! Communications Executive said “We are delighted to be working with BioCity again on our innovative Lab_13 programme, and to adapt it for these challenging digital times. It is especially pleasing that Dovecote Primary School are the first to piloit this new approach, as their school hosts the first ever Lab_13 which opened in 2009. We can’t wait to find out what other questions the pupils will raise with James.”

You can find the Lab_13 BioCity Cookbook, containing investigations previously conducted at Lab_13 BioCity on the Resources page of the Ignite! website.


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