We are heading into a busy time here at Gratnells HQ – not least gearing up for the biannual challenge that is our Worlddidac stand.  Plans are afoot and we are having a double stand where we will be showcasing our new SmartCase and Callero junior range. Hopefully you will be familiar with these two launches already:


  • Callero is a range of stylish classroom storage specially designed for early years and junior education. This modular storage solution boasts a whole range of storage and shelving units. Callero’s sleek new design and colour scheme gives any classroom a modern, stylish look.
  • The SmartCase is our newest addition to the tray family – but it isn’t just a tray, it’s also a carry case. The answer to super-tough storage on the go, SmartCase is designed to safely store and transport all kinds of classroom items, from tablets and laptops to data logging equipment and school kits.


As with previous years we are offering our customers a free ticket to Worlddidac – and we are running a competition on our stand. This year we giving away a brand new Kindle Paperwhite in our on-stand competition. And you could be the lucky winner! Most of you will be receiving a letter or an email this week with more details but if not please do email me for a free ticket or more information.   You can find more information at


I’ve already posted you a voucher which gives you a free ticket to Worlddidac Basel when you register online. The show runs in Basel, Swizerland from October 29 to 31 So please join me on the Gratnells stands D100 and D105. I look forward to seeing you there.



BETT’s off!

We’re at the BETT show this week before heading off to the Toyfair in Germany next week.  We are showcasing two new products at BETT, our new SmartCase which has a carry handle and fits in our storage frames and trolleys, and our new Computer Club trolley with a special lowered top for storing and transporting larger equipment like monitors.  If you’re at BETT I’m there all week so do drop by our stand and say hello. We’re on Stand B1.  If you’d like any more information on the SmartCase or Computer Club trolley just drop me an email.


Security alert!

We were sent some pics from one of our customers of Gratnells F1 trays in use at the security gates at Denpasar Airport in Bali last week. Lovely to see the nice bright Lime green and Cyan they are using – usually the security ones are a sombre grey or black. Obviously you aren’t really meant to take pictures so these had to be sneaked to us surreptitiously!

pbali1 baliic

New science water bath with Gratnells Tray

I was very interested to see a new product from Irwin Science Education at the ASE Conference last week. They have developed a School Science dept water bath using one of our trays so it can easily be stored in a trolley or prep room.  It’s always great to see a new use for a tray and this one is very impressive.  If you would like more information contact Irwin.

water bath clear water bath 2

From A to B..

So last week we enjoyed ourselves at the ASE Annual Conference. It’s always a good way to start the year – not only meeting many of our customers but also catching up with some of our fellow exhibitors. Our Ping Pong challenge was a success and we’ll definitely be doing this again.

The Gratnells ping pong challenge at ASE
The Gratnells ping pong challenge at ASE

You can see all of our pictures from the ASE Conference here.

Now we’re gearing up from A to B – the BETT Show next week.  This will be our third time exhibiting at BETT and this year we are excited to be launching two new products.  If you are going to BETT you can be one of the first to see our brand new Computer Club trolley and our SmartCase.  Just make sure you pop by stand B1

BETT is the world’s leading Education Technology show and runs from 22nd to 25th January 2014 at Excel in London. More information can be found here.


Gratnells Science Technician of the Year is a ticket to paradise

When we launched the Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Award back in 2009, we had no idea just how popular it would become – and also how it would impact on our winners too.

Tracey Padgham, a Senior Science Technician from Cavendish School on the sunny South coast in Eastbourne was our very first winner. A popular winner and highly regarded by her colleagues, her nominator for our Award said At Cavendish we’re constricted by the curriculum – Tracey is only restricted by her imagination. How right he was.

We’ve kept in contact with Tracey over the years – bumping into her at the National Science Learning Centre (NSLC) in York from time to time, and she’s even been on the judging panel for our Awards. But when we caught up with her at the Gratnells stand at the National Technicians Conference in July, she had some exciting news to share – she was off to the Cayman Islands. Yes, she’d just landed a top job as Senior Science Technician at one of the few schools on the island. ‘I was told that there had been loads of applications for this post’ (we wonder why!?) ‘and that the school only employs you if they think you’re really good. So I think the profile of being the winner of the Gratnells Science Technician of the Year – and all the CPD I’ve done through the NSLC – has stood me in very good stead!

As soon as she was settled in to her new role, she sent us a photo and a message. ‘Here’s me with a rum and coke raising a glass (sadly not in my Gratnells mug I got in York, which got broken in transit) to celebrate my new job. Thank you Gratnells for your help.’


 Here’s to you Tracey!

More Prep Room Ping Pong

You might have missed the original Gratnells prep room ping pong video over the summer. It was made in July when most schools were on holiday. So we thought we would jazz it up a bit with some funky background music and re-release it.  It was made by the very clever Science Technicians at Steyning Grammar School in Sussex and all came about as we spotted a much older version they had put on YouTube. We got in touch to see if they would be interesed in making an up to date version using Gratnells trays and so it came to pass…

Watch out for more Prep Room ping pong coming soon.

Raspberry Pi Storage

We have been looking for a while at applications for storing schools’ portable IT equipment. One idea we are mulling over is a trolley specially designed for storing Raspberry Pis used by school computer clubs.  Currently we have a couple of prototypes being tested for us and depending on the feedback we’re hoping to have something to show at the BETT show in January.

Watch this space!

You can find more information on the Raspberry Pi here and on the BETT show here


At the ASE Technicians Conference with Professor Kathy Sykes

Look out for us at the annual ASE National Technicians Conference in York where we will be announcing the winner of the Gratnells Science Technician of the Year Competition.

Professor Kathy Sykes will once more be presenting the Award. She will be delivering a keynote speech on the second day of the Conference and her subject will be of a remarkable biodegradable plastic called ‘Biopol’. Made by bacteria, rather than coming from oil, it has entered into the controversial area of Genetically Modified crops, via the humble cress plant.
Following Professor Sykes’ speech, the Science Technicial of the Year Winner and Runners-Up awards will be presented.


The ASE National Science Technicians conference is an annual event held in the National Science Learing Centre, York. This year’s conference runs on Thursday 4th to Friday 5th July 2013. The programme for 3013 includes a wide variety of relevant workshops and lectures including keynote lectures by Professor Kathy Sykes, Dr David Jenkins from the University of York and Chris Peel the former technician advisor at CLEAPSS. For more information visit the ASE website.


New YouTube Channel

We’ve recently updated our YouTube channel to the new format making it easier to see on mobile devices as well as desktops. Also we have separated out sections and playlists so it’s easier to find the videos you want.

There’s a Science Technician of the Year playlist now as well as a new section for Vets which shows our new case study video.

Have a look here and let me know what you think.