FAQs: Find out more about Moti-Lab with our frequently asked questions.

How big is Moti-Lab? does it take up much room?2017-12-18T19:16:26+00:00

Assembled, the whiteboard area is approximately 1500mm (5 Ft) wide X 1200mm (4 Ft) high.
Once packed down the reservoir is approximately 1500mm (5 Ft) wide X 400mm (1ft4in) high X 300mm (1Ft) deep.
Top Tip: We’ve built the packed boxed robustly so it can be used as a small bench seat.

Can I use Moti-Lab indoors?2017-09-13T10:32:16+01:00

There is no reason why not, as long as you are aware there is likely to be water spillage (if using water), check the flooring is compatible with some water (I wouldn’t use it on a gym parquet floor) and mop up spills as you go along, it’s really up to you and your setting on this one. If you already use water tables or similar inside then you’ll know how to manage it.

Can I use anything other than water?2017-09-13T10:31:50+01:00

Moti-Lab is designed predominantly for water, however, there is no reason you can’t use balls, marbles, cars or other moving objects that fit the gutters, indeed these can be a great addition to the learning. You can also use sand, rice, waterbeads or other flowing materials – just remember to clean out the reservoir once you’ve finished.

Top Tips: Different coloured balls can represent different number for maths learning exercises, use the switches for addition, subtraction, division etc.

Use cars to go down a set run, time them, find out what differences adding weights makes, adding materials with more friction etc.

Is it easy to set up?2017-09-13T10:31:23+01:00

With a bit of practice one person can set up Moti-Lab within a couple of minutes then you can just add the water.  For an animation to show how to set it up and take it down please click here.

Top Tips: Get the kids to set it up, explore what design features of Moti-Lab suggest they fit together, explore the materials, what are they and why where these materials chosen, for strength, weight, magnetic etc.

How do I fill the reservoir and how much water does it take?2017-09-13T10:30:55+01:00

To fill the reservoir completely you need 75 litres of water and there are a couple of ways to fill it.

Moti-Lab is fitted with two hozelock type attachments and you can simply attach a hose and turn the water on (make sure the outflow taps are closed).  These attachments also act as overflow points (and eureka jars) so once full it will begin to overflow and you can turn the water off. This should take 5-10 mins depending on water pressure, for a video of this please click here

You can always get the kids to fill it with buckets of water from a tap.

Top Tips:  You can turn filling with water into a mathematical / engineering exercise.

If filling with a hose you can time it and work out the flow rates of water from the tap, get the kids to estimate the time it will take to fill and test their guesses, how will the changing the rate of flow from the tap change the time it takes to fill?

If filling with buckets do some simple maths, estimate how many buckets will it take to fill the reservoir and test it. How much on average was in each bucket?  If 4 children are filling it how many buckets will they each need to pour?  There are loads of ways to bring maths into this exercise.

Do I need to refill with water all the time?2017-09-13T10:30:23+01:00

It depends but not really.  Moti-Lab is designed so that the water returns to the reservoir, especially with the splash guards fitted, to minimise the need for refilling.  A single filling should give you enough water to run 3 or 4 lessons (depending on the task).

There will be a bit of water spillage, depending on how carried away the kids get, but the more they are supervised and the less will be spilt.  Once the kids have got over the novelty they will concentrate on the tasks in hand, rather than soaking each other!

Is Moti-Lab safe?2017-09-13T10:29:53+01:00

Moti-Lab has been designed so that it is a safe as it can be, there are no finger traps and few moving parts or small parts to swallow. It does still involve open water though so a risk assessment and supervision should be carried out.  In general Moti-Lab carries no more risk than any other water vessel, water table etc. You will receive full safety instructions and guidelines with your Moti-Lab.

Can I write on the boards / wall?2017-09-13T10:29:24+01:00

Yes, and this is encouraged.  The material of the boards act as a white board and can be used with dry wipe markers, you will need to make sure you clean it off after use to avoid staining.

Top Tips:  Teachers and kids can use the wall to draw out the potential ways to solve the problem or task being set (hypotheses) before they carry it out for real and test their assumptions using the equipment.

Write the vocabulary you want them to learn on the board as a visual reminder. This can be scientific or maths vocabulary specific to the task; gradient, forces etc or any other vocabulary you think is appropriate to the task.  Get the kids to write new words they understand from doing the experiment – take pictures for evidence of assessment.

Need to do a fair and repeatable test?

Easy, mark on the positions of the equipment to ensure you are repeating the exact same exercise to guarantee you are getting the right accurate results each time.

Moti-Lab doesn’t just have to be used for STEM specific tasks – use it as a notice or display board for all types of learning.

How do I get rid of the water after using Moti-Lab?2017-09-13T10:28:53+01:00

Moti-Lab is equipped with a sump tap for each side of the reservoir that can be opened to let the water out.  If you are happy to let the water run off on to the ground simply open the taps.

Alternatively use the hose fitting to drain the water to a specific point e.g. down the drain or into a flower bed.

Top Tips:  Work out how fast the water drains, what forces are at work to help drainage?  Talk about water as a precious / valuable commodity and why it should be reused, conserved, what other uses could it be put to? Where does it go?

How strong are the components, how long will Moti-Lab last?2017-09-13T10:28:23+01:00

We’ve designed Moti-Lab to withstand constant use from lots of kids.  We know that children don’t always necessarily treat equipment as well as they should so we’ve made all the components of Moti-Lab super robust.  All the components will last 3 years with normal proper use, after which time you can send it back to us for recycling – we will either recycle the components or refurbish them and send them to a school in a much poorer part of the world to use.

Having a lifespan of 3 years means it can be treated as a capital expenditure for accounting purposes.

Is there any BPA in the plastics?2017-09-13T10:27:44+01:00

Moti-Lab has been built with children in mind, all the plastics are BPA free and all components are non-toxic.

How do I get support for teaching ideas using Moti-Lab?2017-09-13T10:27:18+01:00

Along with your purchase of Moti-Lab you will receive access to our library of curriculum focussed lesson plans, worksheets assessment framework and other ideas for using Moti-Lab for learning through play.  These can be downloaded and used any time.

We’ll also be constantly adding to this library with new ideas, hope fully from you!  If you come up with a good lesson plan yourself we’d love to hear your ideas and share them with other Moti-Lab users.

Where can I buy Moti-Lab?2017-09-13T10:26:32+01:00

From us, get in touch with our friendly team on 0114 220 6622 or use the contact form here.

Can I purchase Moti-Lab from different budgets?2017-09-13T10:25:51+01:00

Yes, it’s a shared resource across the school and across so why not share the investment across the budgets.  We are happy to take up to 4 payments by bank transfer per order if it makes accounting easier at your end.

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