When it comes to learning science in schools, it’s important that students and teachers alike are provided with the right technology and an environment conducive with scientific study. Creating a safe and high-quality environment in school laboratories is crucial to ensuring that students can conduct experiments and learn through experience as well as from books.
Whilst there are many pieces of equipment, such as Bunsen burners, glassware like beakers and test tubes, and clothing items like goggles and coats, that may be high on the priority list for creating a school laboratory, there are other things that must be present in order for the laboratory to function.
Here are some of the most important pieces of equipment that should be in a school laboratory, including practical elements as well as those with safety in mind.
Why is laboratory equipment important for students?
Science is a subject that demands practicality; there is only so much a student can learn from a book without seeing it transpire in real life. A learning environment should be challenging and meet the natural curiosity of students, therefore promoting their learning and making it more interesting.
Quality is more important than quantity – safety is paramount for school laboratories, and good equipment means they will get the most out of their lessons.
Sinks are an incredibly important feature of any laboratory. They are crucial mainly for handwashing, as exposure to hazardous materials could occur.
A sink shouldn’t be made of the same material as a standard kitchen sink – a laboratory requires a sink designed for purpose, one created for the space it will occupy to ensure that students are safe and able to clean up with ease.
Our laboratory sinks come in a range of different sizes, suitable for any space. They are hardwearing, and made from heavy-duty fireclay to ensure they are built to last. As well as this, they are easy to maintain due to their stain resistance and anti-bacterial properties – for more information on maintenance, see our recent blog post on keeping your ceramic sinks in tip-top condition.
Our sinks can be installed beneath the benchtop, integrating seamlessly with your laboratory.
With an appropriate sink must come appropriate drainage. Drainage pipes should be robust and chemically-resistant, suitable for any waste that may enter them.
The most suitable material for crafting a laboratory drainage system is Vulcathene, a purpose-designed laboratory drainage system that has been specified and installed for 50 years as a safe solution for transporting chemical waste from school laboratories as well as university labs, hospitals, research facilities and now even large public areas such as cinema complexes!
When you install a Vulcathene drainage system, you should ensure that the entire plumbing system for the laboratories is constructed from this material. Vulcathene is made from Polypropylene. We have a wide range of Vulcathene products, including drip cups, pipes, anti-siphon traps, recovery traps, plugs and chains and the very popular clay traps for art rooms/studios.
Water and gas taps
Again, with a sink and drainage should also come appropriate water taps. Water taps are vital in keeping the work area clean and safe, as hands and surfaces can be cleaned quickly to prevent hazards. Water allows you to clean glassware and can also be used in experiments, so it’s important that you have a few of these installed across your laboratory.
Our laboratory water taps come individually as cold and hot, or together as a mixer tap, with options for fixed nozzles, removable nozzles and the WRAS approved Anti Siphon Nozzle. They are available with lever and quarter turn options.
Gas taps are another laboratory essential; gases are used in many experiments, and it’s important that they can be accessed easily and safely. They are used to control the flow of a variety of gases in lab applications.
Our range of gas taps hold the BSI Gas accreditation, specifically designed for educational and commercial sectors. They are suitable both for natural gas, LPG services amogst many other specialist gases.
Each school lab should be fitted with the appropriate safety equipment to ensure that all students are protected from any risks that may occur.
Whilst goggles should be worn at all times when conducting science experiments, it’s important to have an eye wash to hand in case something goes awry.
Our bench mounted eyewashes are a great addition to any school lab, as they can fit seamlessly into your environment without taking up too much limited space. There is a trigger to operate it that concentrates a flow of water to the casualty, making it essential for a school lab.
Our eyewashes introduce air into the flow which softens the flow of the water to provide soft irrigation unlike ‘temporary’ solutions such as a tube connected to a tap or even the portable eyewash bottle.
You could also opt for a wall mounted eyewash, which will also stay out of your way until needed. Placed near the teachers desk would be the ideal location and it can also be used for hosing down equipment!
For more information on standards etc or for product recommendations please call us on +44 (0) 1204 388 814 or drop us a message via the Contact Us page.