Ignite! is all about bringing together Creativity, Curiosity and Community. They work with schools, youth groups and communities and their projects aim to give families the opportunity to learn together, raise confidence in their own ideas, and challenge preconceptions about the world.

Projects cover a whole range of themes and topics – from the environment to the movement of microbes, from astrophysics to the manipulation of our senses - using creative thinking approaches to bring the subject matter to life.  

Lab_13 is an in-school space dedicated entirely to investigation, innovation and creativity; a space managed by young people; a space where children learn to be scientists as well as learning science. The project has developed a family of laboratories based within primary and secondary schools, in both rural and urban environments, across the UK, London, Europe and Africa. All Lab_13 run externally from curriculum pressures, and are managed by school pupils, supported by school staff.

The approach

There are many variations across the Lab_13 network in the ways that they run and the types of investigation that the students carry out. For example, some have a particular focus on environmental science, or biology and some operate part-time or after school.

What they all have in common are five key ingredients:

  1. a space that can be dedicated to investigations, that children can feel responsible for
  2. a management team or committee of students who look after the space, select topics for investigation etc.
  3. a Scientist in Residence, who is not a teacher, but is someone who can guide the young researchers in their investigations and experiments
  4. a champion on the school senior management team, or a governor
  5. and lots of questions...(and some way of collecting them from the school community).

Their wish as the network grows is for collaborations to build and investigations to be shared.

Lab_13 Ghana

There are two Lab_13s in Ghana, the first one began in 2015 at Agape Academy in Kumasi and the second one in 2016 at Solid Hope Academy also in Kumasi. They were set up with help from the Lightyear Foundation, but are now run in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

A new Lab_13 in Accra is opening in 2020, in partnership with GhScientific.


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