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It is with great regret that we have decided to withdraw our patriotic St George’s 3025 trolley due the disappointing display by the England football team against Germany. England was deservedly beaten in the FIFA World Cup finals despite the goal that was not seen by three shortsighted officials. Gratnells will now transfer its loyalty to the other European teams and can assure customers that we will no longer be watching TV during working hours.

The Association for Science Education (ASE) has picked up on our special report into prep-room design in the June 2010 edition of their Education in Science magazine. The Gratnells report was aimed at reducing the number of poorly designed and equipped prep-rooms specified by architects who have little or no experience in the area.

Industrial style shelving
We highlighted a case of an Academy in West London (which shall remain nameless) which was given simple industrial style shelving into which thousands of pounds of science equipment could not fit. The pictures here tell a thousand words.
Total disorganisation.

Gratnells was brought in to sort out the mess and now the school are happy. To find out more please download the report off our site and join our campaign against bad science storage.

Education in Science is a bi-monthly publication from the ASE and an excellent read for anyone connected to science teaching in the UK.

Gratnells jumps on FIFA World Cup bandwagon

Flag not included

We were feeling a bit left out with all the footy around so we have decided to launch a special limited edition patriotic Gratnells trolley to support the England team. The St George’s treble column 3025 comes with a white frame and red and white trays which can be arranged in a cross. And even better, every time England scores we will throw in a free lid (with St George Cross screen print) or insert to anyone who buys one. If England win the World Cup we will give the trolley away free. There I feel better now. Any takers?

Gratnells sponsored TechnoBotts team in final countdown to Singapore

Two robots belonging to the Gratnells-sponsored TechnoBotts team of young scientists are heading off to Singapore packed in our trays on June 18th.

‘John’ and ‘Lewis’, designed especially for the competition, will be battling it out  in RobotCup 2010.

The event is being held between 19-25 June at the Suntect International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Singapore where TechnoBotts – a team of three students aged 13 –16 years old from Cambridgeshire – are entered in the Soccer Challenge (Lightweight League, Soccer A) group. Teams from around 30 countries from as far away as Brazil, China, Japan as well as USA and Europe will compete at the event.

The soccer challenge competition is for youths to design, program and strategize autonomous soccer-playing robots which will use ‘colour recognition’ to score goals in each of their matches.

‘It is vitally important that our two robots arrive in Singapore safe and sound,’ said team coach Catherine Wightwick. ‘That’s why we are delighted to be able to use the robust Gratnells trays to transport our precious cargo. The Extra Deep trays not only accommodate each of the robots perfectly, but they also fit within hand-luggage size.’

We wish TechnoBotts well in their up-coming challenge. Details of the event can be viewed at www.robocup2010

Have you ever used Gratnells trays to transport something important – if so, we’d like to hear from you.

The boys getting ready

Colour Swatch – the most difficult print project in the world?

One of the most common questions we get is ‘Can you describe what your green tray looks like. How green is it?’ Answering a question like that on the phone is nigh on impossible. It’s sort of grass green but that depends on which grass you have in your garden. The web gives a good approximation but print a sheet from a standard colour laser and it is never quite right. It was time to develop an accurate colour swatch of all our tray colours. Nice idea, but I can assure you that is easier said than done. It was the 24 carat nightmare. The trays needed to be matched to CMYK charts and RAL charts and HEX charts and any other charts those clever print people have invented. It took months. We needed wet copies and dry copies and spot varnishes and bleeds and fades and cuts and rivets .. it just went on. However, at last it’s finished and we have beautiful colour swatches for all. They are free so please ask for one. Just don’t throw it away. I’ve sweated blood over those. They should be lovingly placed on your desk and stroked once an hour…because they’re worth it.

Free for all

Boost for suppliers into the nursery market

The UK nursery sector will be strengthened by the news that the coalition government has confirmed that the entitlement to free childcare for three- and four-year-olds will continue. The Education Secretary Michael Gove has gone further saying it will be increased to 15 hours a week and that childcare would also be extended to the 20,000 of the country’s most disadvantaged two-year-olds. For suppliers into this market this is surely an indication that demand will hold up. This coincides with the release of a new survey into future resourcing for nurseries conducted by BESA the UK trade body for suppliers to education. It makes interesting reading noting that nurseries are most likely to prioritise a greater range of resources than schools with learning toys at the top of the list. Instead of buying at a particular time of year, 81% said purchasing happened at any time. For suppliers this means that the traditional autumn glut can be smoothed out throughout the year.

Four day week for British Schools?

Imagine waking up on Monday morning and not packing the kids off to school. As a cost saving measure a rural community in the American state of Georgia has extended the weekend an extra day. School gates remain locked on the first day of the week at Peach County where students attend school just four days a week, a cost-saving tactic gaining popularity among cash-strapped districts struggling to make ends meet. The 4,000-student district started shaving a day off its weekly school calendar last year to help fill a £600,000 million budget shortfall. As Cameron and Clegg prepare to wield the axe, is this a step too far for the UK? View article here.