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How a Shell LiveWIRE Award Helped Educate Children about the Environmental Impact of CO2 Emissions (Posted by Katie Norman)

Tue, 22 July 2014

The green energy board game was a product idea aimed at teaching children about green energy and the local companies in the Hull area.
Lab Rascals is a scientific entertainment company which began trading in June 2013, as a result of two years’ research into science education and outreach with Hull University.
 
We provide unique children’s science parties and hands-on science workshops which are designed to promote creativity, problem-solving and teamwork. All workshops were developed with the national curriculum in mind. Each workshop has relevance to the national curriculum and also exhibits cross-curricular links, especially between Maths, English and Art and Design. The workshops do not only tackle aspects of the national curriculum in an enjoyable, interactive way, but they also introduce children to GCSE level topics before secondary school. The workshops have been tested on over 200 children to ensure suitability for all children. 

So far Lab Rascals has been shortlisted for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in 2013 and won a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award in March 2014. The £1000 prize money from the Shell LiveWIRE award was used to design a green energy board game with Malert Lambert School with help from Engaging Education Ltd. As the director of Lab Rascals, I am a member of the John Cracknell Youth Enterprise Bank and the Enterprising Northern Commissioner for the National Youth Association, where I help to promote enterprise and support youths with their business ventures. Due to the enterprising support I have helped to provide to young people, the Duke of York invited me and four others to Buckingham Palace to discuss possible ways to promote enterprise to young people on a wider scale. 
 
 
The green energy board game was a product idea aimed at teaching children about green energy and the local companies in the Hull area. It was also designed to educate children about the importance of saving energy and the environmental impact of CO2 emissions. The process of producing the game included forming a partnership with Engaging Education Ltd, seeking funding from the Shell LiveWIRE award, researching the local companies and running a workshop with year nines at Malert Lambert School on product design. The children did all the market research, scientific research and product design over a few days with assistance from Lab Rascals and Engaging Education Ltd. 

The prototype was successfully test run at the big bang fair in Doncaster on the 24th June and the aim now is to seek investment to get the game on the market and into schools as a fun interactive teaching tool. This will hopefully have an impact by educating children on green energy, teaching them to save energy to reduce CO2 output and letting them know what local companies are nearby which they might consider working for in the future.

In the future we are hoping to get some scientific toys, games and apps on the market alongside designing some new school workshops which will be aimed at education children on scientific principles and enterprising. One of the games we are hoping to develop in the near future is one based on scientists and their discoveries and inventions. This will hopefully educate children on the processes scientists go through and give recognition to often forgotten about scientist. Winning the Shell LiveWIRE award provided Lab Rascals with the initial funding for our first of many products. Hopefully the success of the green energy game will provide the funding to kick start other products in the future.
 

About Katie Norman (Founder and Director of Lab Rascals)

Katie Norman is the founder and director of Lab Rascals, an independent science entertainment company based in Hull and Yorkshire, which aims to provide scientific hands-on entertainment to children aged 5-14. All children highly enjoy scientific discovery but most are unaware they’re performing experiments in their own homes. All children will at some point try mixing cosmetic products, making perfume, collecting worms and building dens. All of these activities include several aspects of science which many parents don’t realise. Science is all about discovering the world around us and how things work. The business offers several school workshops and science party packages aimed at both boys and girls alongside tailored science parties and school workshops to the individual customer.

You can follow Katie on Twitter at @labrascals

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