Lab in a Lorry in Scotland is donated for use at the Dundee Science Centre

28 January 2016

The IOP’s mobile science laboratory in Scotland – Lab in a Lorry (LIAL) – has been donated to the Dundee Science Centre and was officially handed over on 26 January.


The Institute has donated the lorry – one of three that were launched by the IOP in 2005 – for the science discovery centre to use in its work with children and families at its harbour-front site in Dundee.

The lorry was fitted out with on-board science experiments through which IOP staff and volunteers worked with children aged 11-14 to explore physics using hands-on activities. As part of the handover process, former IOP co-ordinator for LIAL in Scotland, Charlotte Govan, will be briefing science centre staff on the experiments and equipment.

Govan, who is now the IOP’s project officer for Improving Gender Balance Scotland, handed the keys to hauliers who were taking the lorry to a company in Arbroath for its appearance to be rebranded before it goes into use in Dundee. The lab will retain all its existing experiments – activities exploring light, acoustics, oil extraction and climate change.

The lorry has been touring Scotland for at least eight of the nearly 11 years since it was launched. Although it will no longer be mobile, it will continue to be used to engage the public with science.

The IOP’s head of outreach and engagement, Johanna Kieniewicz, said: “We are very pleased to have secured a legacy for the lorry in which young people in Scotland will continue to be able to experience it. After its 10 successful years on the road we are delighted that it will have such a good home for years to come.”

Over the course of its tours in Scotland, LIAL has visited more than 425 schools, reached nearly 80,000 school students and involved more than 1700 volunteers.

There is another lorry currently visiting schools in Wales in a tour funded by the Welsh Government that continues until the summer of 2017. As part of this grant, an in-depth evaluation has been commissioned to explore what LIAL has achieved in Wales and in the programme as a whole.

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