A laboratory is vital places in school that help students learn and perform various study and research to enhance knowledge in various science fields. In general schools have three different types of labs including chemistry, biology, and physics which determine the essential type of laboratory equipment for schools.
In addition, each piece of lab equipment plays a vital role in the lab and comes with unique purposes. Read on to understand the basic knowledge about various laboratory equipment for schools.
Quality of Laboratory Equipment
Providing good learning conditions to the teaching staff and students in the school is the foremost way to make their practical season safe and functional. Having a wide range of equipment for school labs is a vital part of optimal learning conditions as it boosts the student’s learning.
A combination of basic equipment and high-tech equipment for performing classroom experiments is a handy way to let the children enjoy their learning process. In this case, the equipment you’ll require are:
Specifically, a compound microscope is common equipment that is frequently used in biology laboratories for the optical study of little specimens. It uses the principle of light’s refraction and natural or artificial light to watch the specimens under a microscope.
Generally microscope uses two lenses including an objective and an oculus where the first one remain closer to the specimen and make the specimen a virtual large image. Likewise, the operator places the eye on the ocular lens and enlarges the image further for efficient study.
The microscopes use in school laboratory comes in three types including 4X, 10X, and 40X.
This equipment usually uses in a chemistry lab for measuring the sample weight or precise mass to get optimized results. Before operating the weighting balance, it’s a need to place a piece of butter paper on it and then push the tare on the balance. Then adding the sample to the paper gives an accurate measurement.
A barometer is also known as barometric pressure and use to measure the exerted atmospheric pressure in a certain environment.
This school lab equipment uses to measure the object’s instantaneous speed at a certain time. Speed prefers the distance an object travel per unit of time and the instrument t use to measure the speed is called a speedometer.
The stopwatch records or measures the time between the activation and deactivation points. It usually uses to measure the duration of events performed in the school laboratory.
It’s the simplest type of microscope and is widely used in most laboratories. The magnifying glass is a type of convex lens that use to enlarge objects and magnify images.
The thermometer is used to measure the temperature of the human body which ranges from -10˚C to 110˚C. In the school lab, a thermometer is used to measure the freezing point or boiling point during performing various science experiments.
This device uses in the physics lab to measure both AC and DC in a circuit. The most common type of ammeter found in schools is 0-1A, 0-5A, and 0-15A and these are used to measure current moved through electromagnetic induction.
It’s another type of electrical device like an ammeter. However, the dissimilarity is that the voltmeter measures the EMF or voltage across two different points in an electric circuit. It is also known as a voltage meter and measures the voltage of either alternating electric current or direct current on a scale marked in millivolts or kilovolts.
This tool is used to measure the variation in temperature in an electrical, mechanical, or chemical reaction. It also uses to determine the material’s heat capacity. Another use of the calorimeter is measuring the thermal changes in a human body.
In the school laboratory, the calorimeter is broadly used in the fields of thermochemistry in analyzing and calculating enthalpy, heat capacity, and stability.
It’s also known as the Newton meter and is often used in the physics lab. The spring balance uses to measure the string’s tension. It’s made of springs and hooks and determines the pressure applied by an object.
Glassware in Laboratories
The test tube is handy equipment in the school laboratory and uses to a large extent. It holds the liquid sample direct upright with the aid of a test tube stand. The test tube broadly uses for assays and qualitative experiments.
It’s a glass-made cylindrical container that has a flat bottom. The beaker comes in a variety of sizes from ml to L. even some beakers like lab-grade glass beakers can endure high temperatures, making them handy for performing lots of experiments.
Some common usages of beakers in school labs are storing solid or liquid samples, helping heat samples in the microwave, and preserving chemical reactions.
It’s a type of measuring flask that is designed to hold precise specific volumes at a certain temperature. It consists of a flat-bottomed bulb and an elongated neck. In school laboratories, the volumetric flask is used for accurate dilution and practicing standard solutions.
Though the colorless volumetric flask is used in the school labs, some schools use amber color to handle light-sensitive compounds like vitamin A or silver nitrate.
It’s a type of graduated cylinder that is intended for lab and use to measure liquid. However, it isn’t suitable for volumetric analysis as it isn’t as accurate as volumetric flasks. The measuring cylinder consists of a thin cylindrical shape and flat bottom as well as comes in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
The graduated pipettes are common laboratory equipment for schools that use to transfer a precise liquid in the sample. However, it needs to follow the mouth pipetting method where the open end of the pipette has to place inside the mouth. Then it needs to aspirate the sample.
It’s a quite risky method as it can cause accidental ingestion of dangerous samples, hence need to be careful. The pipettes come in a wide range of sizes and their usage depends on the sample’s volume that needs to be the pipette.
The funnel is a bulging thistle or conical shape glass tube that is used to channel fine-grained substances or liquids into containers using a small opening. The other usage of a funnel is during the process of filtration. It has a wide opening top and narrow opening bottom, making it ideal for pouring powder or liquids into containers.
Burette is usually used to measure the gas or liquid volume during quantitative chemical analysis. It’s a type of graduated glass tube that has a stopcock at one end and comes in two types including piston burette or volumetric burette.
Between these, the volumetric burettes uses for titration in the school laboratory. The burette is a vital component for titration as it dispenses precisely measured liquid within a chemical. In addition, the stopcock of the burette controls the amount that needs to dispense within a chemical.
Also known as the Erlenmeyer flask, it uses for mixing, storing, measuring, and heating liquid in the lab. It consists of a conical body, flat bottom, and cylindrical neck. The conical flask plays a vital role in titration as its needs to take the substance in the conical flask for analysis.
The stirring rod is used to stir chemicals or samples in the school laboratory. It has rounded ends and solid glass as well as used for several purposes in a laboratory. For example, it uses to break an emulsion during various extraction processes like the recrystallization process. it also helps control the flow rate during the violent chemical act.
Round Bottom Flask
It’s a type of chemical vessel that has a cylindrical neck and spherical body and is particularly intended for evenly heat distribution. The other common use of round-bottom flasks is in heating liquid samples, chemical reactions, distillation, and meeting storage demands.
It’s a type of funnel that is particularly intended to separate immiscible mixtures. The separating funnel is used to detach two immiscible liquids based on their density.
It’s generally a pipette that has a nozzle and rubber bulb at both ends. The dropper is typically used to transport measured liquids to chemicals. It removes the air in the form of bubbles after placing the nozzle in water and squeezing the rubber bulb.
After releasing the pressure on the bulb, the dropper refills the water. The dropper contains scales that allow observing during filling the water to fill the desired amount. After completing the measurement, it needs to press the bulb again to stop the water flow. Finally placing the dropper in another container and releasing pressure help transfer water efficiently.
This school lab equipment help to scrape, mix and do various tasks related to shifting samples and powder materials from one place to other.
Various Stand Used in School Laboratories
The tripod stands are used to keep the Bunsen burner stable in place and allow the placing of wire gauze above it. Then the operator can place the sample on the wire gauze for heating. The tripod stand plays a crucial role in this heating process as maintains direct contact with the sample. It also offers a certain gap between the sample and the burner.
A retort stand is common to school lab equipment for holding burettes, test tubes, and round bottom flasks. It also separates the funnel with the aid of a clamp. In addition, the retort stands work as an effective support system for separating funnels, burettes, and test tubes and keeping them straight up in the air.
Test Tube Stand
Since the test tube has spherical bottoms, it can’t stand on its own. Hence it needs to use a test tube stand to keep it and the sample direct upright.
Other Basic Equipment
The tongs, particularly crucible tongs use in chemistry laboratories to hold the flask, hot crucibles, small beakers, or evaporating dishes. It’s typically a scissor-type instrument; however, have two pincers that concave together for easier handling of flasks or hot crucibles.
Brushes for Test Tubes
The brushes test tube usually uses to clean test tubes and various narrow-mouth glassware including burettes, graduated cylinders, and Erlenmeyer flasks.
This piece of glass is usually used to evaporate in chemistry. The watch glass is also performing as a surface to dissolve a liquid. The other uses include heating substances, holding solids during weighting, and covering beakers to avoid pollution.
It’s filled with the right cleaning liquids to rinse various equipment including round-bottom flasks and test tubes. The wash bottle is a type of squeeze bottle that has a nozzle at the top.
It’s a type of storage instrument that use to store various chemical compounds during heating to high temperatures. The crucible also uses to prevent glass, metals, and pigments from melting. It also helps perform various high temp chemical analyses and reactions as endure higher temperatures. The other usage includes melting, burning, or mixing solid chemical compounds over a burner.
It’s usually U-shaped equipment used to perform various physics experiments. The turning fork offers a handy illustration of the amount of sound a vibrating object can produce. It’s made of two vines and a handle. And the vines start vibrating after hitting the turning fork using a rubber hammer.
The wire gauze is a thin metal sheet with net-like patterns and is a vital component in the chemistry lab. It needs to place on a tripod stand between the heating glassware and burner. The reason is that glassware can’t be heated on flames directly.
Hence using wire gauze distributes the heat and protects the glassware. Wire gauze comes in two types including ceramic and plain center wire gauze. Though both types can transfer heat efficiently, ceramic wire gauze ensures more uniform heat distribution compared to plain wire gauze.
This lab equipment is used to grind and crush solid samples and chemicals into fine particles.
Forceps are small pieces of equipment that use to grip and manipulate little yet delicate objects in the school lab. It also uses to remove teeth or tissue from the body. the forceps are usually used in chemistry and biology labs to hold tiny specimens or organic tissues.
This device is mostly used in the chemistry lab to sterilize, heat, and combustion. It needs to place under a tripod stand and use the combustion of oxygen and methane to generate heat. The Bunsen burner flame use to heat the blender to the explosion temp.
Why is Lab equipment important for children?
The laboratory equipment for the school you’ll choose should be high quality and ideal for academia. It should promote the learning process of the children and attract them for practicing. In this case, owning quality equipment for school will make their learning environment appealing while ensuring personal safety during performing various experiments.
Tips to Maintain Laboratory equipment for School
The simplest and easiest way to keep lab equipment well maintained is by keeping everything sanitary and clean. But unfortunately, many laboratories overlook this crucial step. So wipe down the exterior of the equipment every day thoroughly to keep all the equipment and the laboratory in great shape.
In addition, you should clean everything at least once a week. But remember, you may need to apply certain cleaning processes to clean some specific equipment. You can also take aid from every lab equipment’s manual to make them clean properly.
You should also keep the lab equipment calibrated to keep them well maintained. Lack of regular calibrating can damage the data and cause inaccuracies in the experiment. In general, calibration can vary from ordinary maintenance to advanced precise verification methods.
Even keeping the lab equipment with calibration regularly can help avoid quick preventive maintenance.
If any of the lab equipment doesn’t function or offer precise results during experiments, you have to repair or replace them timely. Many laboratory equipments can be restored simply by replacing some parts or repairing essential parts. Remember the earlier you’ll solve the problem, the lower chance of replacing them completely.
For many laboratories, refurbishment is a perfect way to keep some equipment running smoothly. It means you have to take every piece apart and clean them completely. After cleaning them, you have to re-lubricate the pieces and re-assemble them.
Even during the process, you can determine the underlying faulty parts that you may have to replace before re-assembling. After completing the process, your lab equipment should work as optimistically as brand new.
Maintaining Electronic Lab in School
Maintaining electronic equipment in the laboratory is quite similar to ordinary lab equipment. The dangerous particles for electronic equipment are heat, dust, and electricity. Dust is mostly gathered in the computer case which you should clean regularly to keep the computer functional. Due to running for longer times, the electronic devices can get overheated and damage the device.
To avoid this, make sure the lab has good ventilation and you’ve kept all the electronics far from the heat sources. In addition, too much electricity can also damage the device eventually. To avoid this, you can use surge protectors on your electric sockets.
Smartphones and tablets are a safer option to use in the laboratory as these can resist water, dust, and electrical surges as only need to plug in during charging. Some extremely robust tables can endure tougher liquids like acetone, ethanol, or acids.
However, the electronic equipment in the school labs gets damaged due to human factors. So be careful and don’t drop the tablet on the floor.
Maintaining Software in the School Laboratory
Many computers in the lab connected to equipment have disabled antivirus software and updates to boost performance and avoid software errors caused by updates. Though it’s essential, can be a bad idea. Hence, when purchasing new lab equipment, choose the items that don’t break with system updates, and don’t forget to ask for explanations from the sellers.
Remember, a computer without antivirus software and system updates are huge security warning for an organization and network. Hence you should treat the computer carefully.
If you need to disable antivirus and system updates, try to schedule an antivirus scan on your computer every week. You can also avoid the risk of computer viruses by:
- Restricting internet access
- Ensuring safe data transfer like uploading to a server through dropbox or FTP.
- Disable the computer’s USB storage capabilities. It means avoiding using USB keys as these are the common route of virus infections.
- Make sure only the trainer user operating the computer.
Sometimes, refurbishment repairs and proper maintenance might not be good enough to keep the equipment functional. In this case, you may need to replace some lab equipment. To restore the functionality, you may need to choose some new equipment that is cheaper than earlier models.
However, you should choose the new laboratory equipment carefully. Always opt for high-quality lab equipment even if these are a bit more expensive to enjoy improved durability. Even higher quality equipment will offer more accurate results during various tests and experiments while easier to clean and refurbished. Even the replacement of high-quality equipment is also commonly available.
Many laboratories hire lab maintenance duties. A qualified professional should maintain and repair school laboratory equipment. However, some in-house maintenance experts cost considerably higher than many third-party companies.
Every option has unique benefits and routes that you can enjoy based on your budget and preferences. The laboratory facility’s reputation is also a strong element like the precision of its laboratory equipment. Hence regular maintenance, cleaning, calibration, and refurbishing of all equipment are vital.
Some Handy Tips to Ensure the Efficiency of Laboratory
There are three ways to ensure the higher efficiency of your school laboratory equipment. The variables are:
Hire the Right Staff
It’s crucial to ensure efficiency in the lab compared to the operator running the tests. So no matter which sector your laboratory is working in, the operator should be strong and skilled in all essential techniques and knowledge to get the objective in the laboratories.
Within the laboratory environment, every person should be responsible for areas in terms of cleanliness and organization. This way the whole environment will remain functional and the equipment will work efficiently.
Check new products
Every year new lab equipment comes into the marketplace. So check the marketplace frequently so you can replace the existing part with more reliable and efficient qualities. Even some manufacturers allow the customer to share tips to make the equipment more suitable for specific needs in the lab.
If you prefer to provide high-quality study in the school, you should have the right environment and equipment in the laboratory. Though laboratory equipment for schools varies depending on the types of tests and experiments that will perform well in the lab, we’ve discussed the most common items.
This lab equipment will let you perform the most common experiments in the biology, physics, and chemical labs to let the student experiment efficiently and achieve accurate results.