Education

How to Set Up a Science Lab

The place of your lab is important in setting up a science lab. You need to choose a location where you have visual access to the materials and equipment, provide easy access for your students, provide storage space for general science supplies in Australia / science lab equipment, have plenty of light, be temperature controlled and are not be prone to vibrations or other environmental effects like noise from surrounding rooms or hallways.

Pick a location.

  • Pick a location away from traffic, like the corner of an empty classroom or hallway.
  • Pick a location that has plenty of light (natural and artificial), such as near the windows in your school’s science wing. Almost all schools in Australia have science wings.
  • Pick a location with good ventilation because it’ll be easier to keep everything clean and safe if there aren’t any fumes lingering around!
  • Ensure you can always access your lab, even when carrying heavy equipment or materials. Suppose you have to lug things upstairs or through narrow hallways every day. This could become prohibitively inconvenient quickly and discourage others from participating in your project!

Picking a location should be accessible in Australia because there are many options you can pick from.

Decide on electrical outlets and lighting.

Before setting up your lab, you must figure out how much power and lighting your worktables will require. First, decide how many electrical outlets you need. Most labs have a main switchboard with several individual circuits for different purposes. Each circuit has its outlet and breaker in an emergency where something goes wrong with the system (i.e., a fire). Typically, each circuit here in Australia has enough outlets for all the equipment used in that space at any given time—but not always! So make sure that whatever light fixtures, lamps, or other electrical devices you choose don’t exceed the capacity of any given circuit before purchasing them!

Next up: lighting! Some science experiments require bright lights while others do not; if this is true for yours, consider installing fluorescent tubes or LED strips above each table, so they are easy to reach but also out of sight when unnecessary (and thus less distracting). LED strips can be purchased in just about any electrical store in Australia.

Choose your science tools and supplies.

You are now ready to choose the right tools for your science lab. Before you do that, however, keep these things in mind:

  • Only buy what you need. You’ll likely end up with extra supplies that may not be useful later on, or even if they are, there’s a good chance they won’t see much use because you have so much other stuff lying around and don’t have time to learn new things.
  • Avoid cheap tools. Cheap tools break easily and can be corrosive (which means they’ll eventually ruin whatever material they’re touching). If you purchase cheap materials and equipment, it might seem like a good deal at first but then turn into an expensive headache down the road!
  • Avoid overpriced tools. If something is too expensive for what it does or how well it does it, don’t buy it—even if everyone else thinks this item is great. Science supplies in Australia / science lab equipment are not generally too expensive, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Get a fire extinguisher, mat and first aid kit.

A fire extinguisher is an essential item for any science lab and is usually required by law to be present in every room where chemicals are stored or used. A first aid kit should also be on hand, as spillage accidents are bound to happen at some point during your experiments. If you’re working with children or students under 18 years old (or 21 if they’re still in school), make sure they know how to safely use these items before they start working off-site with you!

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