A new science laboratory

Adding computers to labs doesn’t prove easy – you need space for experiments, sensors and data loggers. Add a dozen computers, and two dozen loudspeakers, and it can get messy. As every teacher has a view on labs and great tips to pass on, it’s timely that the ASE and Royal Society are collecting some definitive advice on lab design. They’ve commissioned education specialist 3T for the job, producing case studies and a CD-rom design tool. Hampton school in London would make an exceptional case study – the technology services its needs but doesn’t take over. Off the bench, thin-screen monitors keep the worktop clear; under-bench computers keep the floor clear too. Cables for sensors emerge from hidden dataloggers, while cordless mice and keyboards keep the look clean. Clever touches include a separate switched power circuit to cut the PC monitors and gain pupils’ attention! While new labs cost serious money it may come as a surprise that in this design we see no extravagance. In the words of head science technician David Hughes: “It costs the same to do a lab right as it does to do it wrong.”
From “The Guardian”