New Lab in a Lorry tour is set to visit three counties

30 April 2015

Lab in a Lorry (LIAL), the Institute’s mobile science lab for young people, will be on tour in Yorkshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire during a period of just over two weeks in May.

LIAL

The lorry will visit several schools in the three counties, where groups of 11-14 year-old students will take part in organised visits on board to conduct experiments that have been designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. The aim of Lab in a Lorry is to encourage positive attitudes towards science and to make science and engineering more attractive to the target age group.

The LIAL programme consists of two 44 ft lorries that have been visiting schools, youth organisations, major events and communities free-of-charge across the UK and Ireland since early 2005. Each lorry is fitted with three distinct lab areas where groups of up to six young people can take part in each of the experiments. The programme is delivered by volunteers – all scientists and engineers –with at least one volunteer mentor to every six students.

The forthcoming tour by one of the lorries (Lab in a Lorry in Yorkshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire) is a partnership between the Institute of Physics and Kingspan Insulation. The Schlumberger Foundation is a founding partner of LIAL and volunteer assistance is often provided by the charity STEMNET.

One of the lorries is currently continuing on a tour of Scotland, and a tour supported by the Vinten Trust and Schlumberger Foundation is due to take place in East Anglia in June and July.

James Bamford, the IOP’s senior operations co-ordinator for LIAL, said: “Lab in a Lorry is a fantastic experience for young people. It generates excitement and curiosity in science by letting them explore experimental science for themselves with the help of expert mentors.”

John Garbutt, marketing director at Kingspan Insulation said: “We were extremely pleased to support this unique effort to get children across the region involved in science.

“A strong understanding of science and engineering is fundamental to much of the work we do here at Kingspan Insulation, whether it be developing the latest cutting edge products or providing technical support to contractors on the ground; and we hope the local students will use this hands on experience and close contact with industry experts as a springboard to future success.”

LIAL will be at Sherburn High School, Leeds (6-7 May); Tenbury High School, Tenbury Wells (11-12 May); Earl Mortimer College, Leominster (13-14 May); Lady Hawkins’ School, Kington (18-19 May); and Wigmore High School, Wigmore (21-22 May). For information about volunteering with LIAL, visit www.labinalorry.org.uk.