OpenScience Lab News: All messages


29 Apr 2020

Try our Labs

As many Universities need to quickly move their learning online during the current coronavirus crisis, we have received many questions about our remote and virtual laboratories. The links below collect together some useful information about our OpenSTEM Labs and provide links to online resources.

If you want to try several of our remote experiments follow this link:

For more background information about our range of resources follow this link:

7 Feb 2019

On lookout for partners

We are looking for partner HEIs and training providers to co-develop and share remote access tools for practical learning. Early examples includes onscreen experiments based on real data in the OpenScience Laboratory, private remote analysis of industry samples in our SEMs. We’ll be pitching more ideas in a workshop at the HE STEM conference 30/31 Jan 2019 in Birmingham (

14 Jun 2018

Universities Minister

"The best universities have a knack for anticipation ... The Open University is now home to laboratories that can be accessed online by its students, allowing them to control research-grade microscopes, robots and telescopes." Speech by Sam Gyimah at the HEPI annual conference, 7/6/18: Delivering value for money in the age of the student

1 May 2018 by Nicholas Braithwaite

International persective

Pleased to have received 'Remote Exeriment Award' from the Global Online Laboratories Consortium at REV 2018 in Düsseldorf

16 Aug 2017

OpenScience Observatories

Formal inauguration took place at the Observatorio  del Teide on 6 July 2017

9 Jul 2017 by Nicholas Braithwaite

OpenSTEM Labs Award

Outstanding Digital Innovation of the year THE Leadership & Management  award 2017 goes to OpenSTEM Labs (of which the OpenScience Laboratory is a part along with the OpenScience Observatories and the OpenEngineering Lab)

1 Feb 2017

Performing Online Live Experiments 24/7: “An Internet of Laboratory Things”

Want to know how the OU’s teaching laboratories are being launched into cyberspace? 

Watch the recording here:

Performing Online Live Experiments 24/7: “An Internet of Laboratory Things”

In Performing Online Live Experiments 24/7: “An Internet of Laboratory Things”, Professor Nick Braithwaite and colleagues will introduce the concept of the OpenSTEM Labs, which will in effect form an “Internet of Laboratory Things” that could be open all hours and available in a real distance learning setting. This is enabling OU students to work at a distance with a range of sophisticated, remote-controlled experiments and robotic apparatus.

1 Feb 2017

OpenSTEM Labs

A new wing in our virtual Labs will come on stream in 2017. The first activities in the OpenEngineering lab will feature remote experiments for electronics and control, and robotics; more engineering content will follow. 

The OpenSTEM Labs includes the OpenScience Observatories, the OpenEngineering Labs, the OpenScience Laboratory, Citizen Science platforms and, and on campus teaching labs.

11 Mar 2016 by Nicholas Braithwaite

Remote experiments

We are expanding our catalogue of remote experiments, adding to the remote Compton scattering, radio telescope (ARROW) and optical telescope (PIRATE). In the coming months we will add an electron microscope (2 x Phenom XL delivered), optical microscopes (2 x Leica) and various analytical spectrometers. Further details will be given here in due course. Though primarily for use in OU modules, we may be able to offer access to some experiments for bona fide educational institutions.

23 Oct 2015

Sky gazing

Visitors to the main OU campus in Milton Keynes will notice that the radio telescope (ARROW) is very busy repointing and tracking across the sky. 


This is because we currently have around 200 students using the ARROW remotely, in online groups of four, as part of their study of SXPA288 Practical Science: Physics & Astronomy. They are busy mapping the structure of our Galaxy by ‘listening’ for the 1.4 GHz radio emissions from hydrogen atoms several tens of thousands of light years away.


Each night other SXPA288 students are using our remotely operable optical telescope, the PIRATE Facility in Mallorca, to acquire their own observations of star clusters.

13 May 2015

OSL hosts workshop on Remote Experiments in HE

We were joined by a number of colleagues from around the world with expertise in designing and building remote experiments for teaching for a one day workshop. We had representatives from UK, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Brazil. The workshop was also attended via Skype by colleagues in Australia and the US. Each party operated a remote experiment during the  morning session demonstrating a variety of robust approaches to the challenges of remotely controlled apparatus. We also exchanged ideas for scaffolding these remote-lab-tools to enable them to become valuable resources fro learning from and about practical science. We also had a series of focussed discussions on the pedagogical advantages of robotic experiments, how to incorporate opportunities for social learning in a geographically-distributed lab class and how to develop the student skills in techniques for assembling experimental apparatus from modular components.


17 Oct 2014

THE Awards

The OpenScience Lab has been shortlisted for 'Outstanding ICT initiative of the year' at the Times Higher Education awards.



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