Basic School Science and Lab Equipment

Two major considerations need to be taken into account when equipping a high school science or biology laboratory. The first is the curriculum and what experiments need to be demonstrated and the second is how many children will be in each class.

It is generally desirable to have no more than two or three students using each set of equipment. There should also be enough clean beakers, etc, so that time is not wasted in the short time allotted to the experiment by having to re-wash and clean equipment.

While there may be certain items of equipment unique to some of the experiments that the students will cover in the year, there are some basic items that you will find in virtually every school science laboratory.

Every laboratory should be close to emergency washing and even showering facilities. In addition, the lab should be equipped with an eyewash station.

Then there are the safety procedures that the teacher should be familiar with, as well as all safety equipment that would be necessary for himself and for each student. These include safety glasses, appropriate gloves when necessary for some experiments, lab coats to protect clothing and fire extinguishing equipment for all types of fires likely to occur.

The glassware that is normally part of a laboratory includes:

* Test tubes and graduated cylinders.
* Beakers, graduated in 50ml to 400ml capacities.
* Flasks of varying types, such as Florance flasks with rounded bottoms for heating substances, graduated Erlenmeyer flasks, Filter flasks with and without vacuum connections and/or taps. Volumetric flasks have a precise graduation mark for a specific amount of whatever substance is being measured.
* Pipettes; these come in single graduation for delivering one exact volume, called a Volumetric pipette. Then you get graduated pipettes which can hold different volumes of liquid, called a Mohr pipette.
* To go with the pipettes you get pipette bulbs or pipette fillers for sucking liquids into the pipettes.
* There are evaporating dishes and watch glasses that do the same things, but in much smaller quantities.
* Funnels and filter funnels.
* Stirring rods and chemical spoons.

Apart from the various items of graduated glassware, other measurements need to be taken as well. Electronic scales and balances are used to find out mass. There are a number of electronic instruments available for measuring dimensions, pH and moisture, among those things that may be relevant to the students' experiments.

Bunsen burners are used in almost every school laboratory, and all the paraphernalia that goes with them, such as hoses, ring stands, a variety of clamps and supports, and wire gauze.

Other equipment includes crucibles with tongs, a variety of racks for test tubes and flasks, pestles and mortars, and stoppers of all kinds with and without holes for glass tubing.

Then you need the cleaning brushes and other equipment and appropriate cleaning agents for cleaning the laboratory apparatus.

Many school laboratories make use of microscopes and computers as well, depending on what experiments they are covering.

For Laboratory Supplies