Studying science is very exciting. When you were young, you would always look forward to going to the lab to witness a lot of wonderful things: You mixed Mentos with Coke, you watched calcium carbide react with water, and you dissected frogs. And now that you are a science teacher or a school administrator, you surely want to give your students a worthwhile experience in the lab.
School science labs should not just be built just for the sake of having a school lab. These facilities should be designed with students in mind. You ought to know their needs, their subjects, and their interests. You need to view school labs as interactive or improved classrooms.
But this is always easier said than done, but you can build a great school lab if you have the right plan and work with the right people. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind:
Finding the Location
The location of the school lab is crucial to the productivity and safety of the students. Primarily, you have to pick a location where sufficient light can get into the room. Natural light makes it easy for your student to observe the physical and chemical changes in their experiments. Also, the location of your lab should be easily accessed just in case there is an emergency situation.
Planning the Layout
The layout of the lab should be flexible and adaptable. For many schools, physics and chemical labs are often the same place, which is okay. If this is your plan, you must make sure that the setup and layout of your lab can be easily reconfigured to accommodate certain natures of experiments. The placement of the chairs, tables, and school furniture supplies should be planned well. Do not forget the principles of ergonomics. Keep the aesthetics minimalist. Too many designs, models, and displays may distract your students.
Installing the Right Storage
Your school lab should also have ample storage spaces, knowing that it houses a lot of apparatus and equipment. Make sure that the shelves are easily accessed. The cabinets and shelves should also have tight locks to prevent mishaps when keeping the equipment. If you are using chemicals, you should have a separate storage space that can keep the chemicals under viable temperatures.
Safety is of utmost concern when it comes to managing school labs. You must have a list of emergency protocols in case an accident happens. Locate the nearest fire exits, and make sure that you have proper ventilation to let the chemical odor out.
A school lab is not just a space where you keep science apparatus. It is an interactive place where you witness your students applying what they have learned from you to certain situations. Building an effective school lab may be challenging, but that will not be the case if you plan things carefully and know what your students need. You have to make sure that the design of your school lab is also compliant with certain academic and government standards and requirements.