I don’t have very much to add to what @tonyn said, but we are currently looking into what we would need to do to enable 16-17 year olds to attend weekly meetings and training courses.
It’s unlikely we will ever have under 16’s (even accompanied) working in the current labs except for things like the Science Festival tours when everything is really supervised because of various important things including our insurance policy and as Tony mentioned, safeguarding good practice. If we had a space where we could set up a lab that was solely for teaching and public engagement that would work better, we’d also need a person who had enough bandwidth and time to do all the things to make it happen. Hopefully those two things might materialise in the future!
However, we would like to take the lab out to them, which is why we’re keen to fundraise for some Bento Labs!
In the meantime, for a small donation we could lend a pipette and provide a box of tips so they can practice at home?
There are some great practicals on Microbiology Online that I’ve been looking at for Biomakespace, there’s a whole downloadable book called ‘Practical Microbiology for Secondary Schools’.