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Introduction Planning the accommodation Number of laboratories Size of laboratory Other teaching areas Preparation and storage areas Planning principles The laboratory Activities in the laboratory The size and shape of the laboratory Planning guidelines Services distribution Health, safety and environmental issues The preparation room Main storage area Working area Trolley area Office space The chemical store Fume cupboards Radioactive materials Useful resources School laboratories Safety Websites Appendix A Recommended first aid equipment Appendix B Apparatus Physics Chemistry Biology Appendix C Equipment suppliers 2 3 3 3 3 3 4 6 6 6 7 7 8 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 13 14 14 17 18 21
Cambridge International Examinations is at the forefront of international assessment. As part of the University of Cambridge, UK, we have a long history of delivering high quality examinations and assessments which are now available in over 165 countries through our network of registered Centres. Cambridge is committed to encouraging positive educational experiences and providing qualifications and services that are relevant, accurate, reliable, cost effective and internationally recognised. Our qualifications are designed for all, being available for a wide range of abilities and age groups. Introduction to this booklet The effective delivery of a science curriculum requires an emphasis on practical work whatever the level. Science lessons contain a variety of activities including teacher demonstrations, practical work by pupils, reading, making notes and so on. Science accommodation needs to be able to cope with this range of activities and, as a result, requires careful planning and management. This booklet has been produced to provide some guidance for headteachers, science specialists, school governors and ministry officials who may be involved in the design and commissioning of new science accommodation, or the refurbishing of existing accommodation. The focus of the booklet is the provision for students aged 11–16 in secondary schools. However, much of the general guidance provided could be applied to the provision for older students. For a list of additional equipment for the higher age group see also Appendix B. The guidance is not intended to be definitive, but to provide ideas that may be adapted to suit local conditions. As well as examining possibilities for science laboratories, ideas and additional information for support areas and services are provided. Whilst many of the ideas in this booklet assume mains services of gas, electricity and water, it is acknowledged that these are far from universally available. In many schools spirit burners may be used for junior classes, but whilst these are suitable for many situations, they do not permit heating to high enough temperatures for some experiments. Portable gas burners are more flexible, and produce higher temperatures, but even these may not permit some experiments to be carried out. Delivery of modern science courses can also require a good deal of material, other than practical apparatus. Books, posters, worksheets, examination papers and records all need to be stored somewhere. Some schools may also have videos, CD-ROMs and other resources as well. Often these are best kept in an office away from the laboratories or the preparation room, but must not be forgotten.
Every care has been taken to ensure that the information and advice supplied in this booklet is accurate and takes due account of recent recommended safe practice. However laws, local rules and recommendations vary in different regions. It is imperative that all such regulations be consulted and adhered to. The Useful resources section is intended for guidance where such regulations may not exist.
Planning the accommodation
The information provided in this booklet has been compiled as a guide to both planning new laboratories and adapting existing facilities. Science teaching needs a variety of different areas including laboratories, stores, technician workshops or preparation rooms, resource areas and office space for teachers. Siting all the science accommodation in one area is usually more economical in terms of both teachers’ and technicians’ time. This can also result in more efficient use of preparation and storage space, and reduce the overall equipment needs for science. The following may be used as a general guide when considering the requirements of a particular school. Number of laboratories The school will need to examine carefully its curriculum, timetable and staffing when planning its provision of science laboratories. Possible future requirements should also be taken into account. The number of teaching periods available will depend on the availability and deployment of science teachers. Decisions on this and on the proportion of pupils’ time to be spent on science determine the average size of the teaching groups. Group sizes and the amount of curriculum time spent on science varies from school to school. In an 11–18 school, account must be taken of any A Level courses that are offered. The efficient use of laboratories and other science teaching areas is important, but schools will probably find it difficult to achieve a frequency of use higher than 90% because of the complexities of timetabling. Size of laboratory If all the laboratories in a suite are the same size, there should be few constraints on timetabling them. Flexibility can be enhanced if all the laboratories can accommodate the likely maximum size of class. The size and shape of existing laboratories frequently varies, but in general spaces of 85 m2 are suitable for a maximum group size of 30 pupils. However, in some situations, for example where a school has a large sixth form, it may be appropriate to provide some small specialist laboratories. The size of a new laboratory will depend on the maximum group size expected rather than the calculated average. The range of activities being undertaken and the level of storage in the laboratory will also need to be taken into consideration. Other teaching areas Certain supplementary teaching areas can be valuable additions to the science suite where space allows, for example a small resources area. This space can provide a focus to the department, with displays of pupils’ work and a poster area to show new scientific developments. Common resources such as books and computers can also be kept here, avoiding duplication in each laboratory. Preparation and storage areas Preparation and storage areas of around 0.5 m2 per pupil place are needed to support the teaching. Where the laboratories are dispersed, or on two floors, this figure may need to be increased to allow for some duplication of resources. A shared staff office can be useful for meetings and preparation work, as well as the secure storage of paperwork such as pupils’ records and coursework.
There are two main types of arrangement: 1. linear; 2. grouped around a central preparation room. These arrangements are based on a number of principles that aim to make the best use of the space available. • • • • Laboratories are grouped together on one or two floors enabling common resources to be shared, and allowing safer transportation of equipment. There is only one preparation area for each floor of laboratories. This provides a more economical use of space, equipment and technicians’ time. If a preparation room is centrally positioned, distances to the laboratories are minimised. Other teaching areas are located for ease of access. Thus the resource area is located so that it provides a focus to the department and can be easily accessed by the whole suite. The planned arrangement must allow for an exit door from each laboratory to the outside.
The key features of the two plan types are outlined below. 1. Linear Where the number of laboratories is small (fewer than about six), a linear plan is suitable: the laboratories and other areas are close enough to give the science department a distinct identity. Also, staff can easily reach all the working areas. With more than about seven laboratories, the distance between the preparation room and some of the laboratories makes the transfer of apparatus that much more difficult.
Lab 1 Corridor Lab 4
This layout may be modified with laboratories on more than one floor. However, there may be extra expenditure involved, perhaps owing to the need to install a lift or hoist for heavy items and certainly because of the need to duplicate some resources to avoid moving heavy or sensitive apparatus up and down stairs. Extra storage and resource areas may be needed. 2. Central preparation room Locating the preparation room in the centre of the laboratory suite is suitable for schools with a larger number of laboratories. It is convenient for the technicians because the preparation room is central to the suite. Levels of natural light and views from the room, however, will be restricted.
Lab 3 Lab 2
Preparation and staff areas Lab 1 Lab 6 Lab 5
This plan may be modified with the laboratories around a central courtyard. This requires a greater area than the plan shown, with greater distances from preparation room to laboratory. Some of the disadvantages of the illustrated plan are reduced and the courtyard may be suitable for some practical activities.
A well-designed laboratory should be able to accommodate a wide range of scientific activities. The size of the space, the method of distributing services (gas and water) and the choice of furniture systems will all affect the way in which it can be used. The usefulness of a laboratory will be defined by its size, by the distribution of electricity, gas and water services and by the furniture chosen. Activities in the laboratory Modern science courses place a much greater emphasis on practical work. The range of activities involved in these courses is diverse and will affect the way in which the laboratory is designed. Some of these activities are: • • • • • Teacher demonstration of experiments; Use of video and ICT; Pupils’ experimental work and investigations; Discussion; Notetaking.
Demonstration Despite the increasing emphasis on pupils’ own practical activity, the use of the teacher demonstration should not be underestimated. Such demonstrations may require pupils to group more closely around the teacher’s bench or in another area of the laboratory. A fume cupboard is one example of such an area. Use of video and ICT In some schools it may be possible to make use of a video or personal computer (PC) to illustrate particular aspects of the curriculum. In these instances, the design of the laboratory should make adequate provision so that pupils may easily see a monitor, e.g. wall mounted without discomfort or unwanted reflection from the screen. Pupils may also need to use PCs to access information from CD-ROMs or for use with datalogging equipment. A video-projector may be useful for class demonstrations. Pupils’ experimental work and investigations In many science courses, practical work can take a variety of forms, with pupils working in groups of different sizes. It is essential that the laboratory provides sufficient space for pupils to work safely, with access to the full range of appropriate resources. These may be fairly basic, such as Bunsen burners, tripods and mats, but will also include the necessary services. Investigations will often require practical work in more than one session. In this case, it will be necessary to provide adequate space for storage of apparatus between sessions, whilst still allowing the laboratory to be used with other classes. Discussion and notetaking These activities can include writing up experiments, class discussion and pupil presentations, perhaps with the use of the overhead projector (OHP). For these activities it may be desirable to be able to reconfigure the furniture to allow for some group work. Display The science department and individual laboratories can be made much more interesting if well mounted displays, perhaps of commercially produced posters or, better, pupils’ own work, fill the empty spaces on the walls. It is worth investing in good pin board, painting it and screwing it to the walls. The size and shape of the laboratory A laboratory of 85 m2 is a suitable size for a group of thirty secondary school pupils undertaking both practical and theory work. This size of laboratory will allow for enough local storage of basic items providing there is adequate central storage. Allowance may need to be made for more storage if the central store is small or inconveniently located. Smaller spaces may enforce compromises on the choice of apparatus: safety considerations may also become more significant. A laboratory of less than 70 m2 may only be useful for smaller groups of secondary school pupils, or for sixth form groups. Due allowance has to be made for the safe storage of pupils’ belongings, such as bags and coats. The shape of the space is almost as important as its size. A simple rectangular shape allows for flexibility of layout and enables good supervision of pupils. Rooms that are too long and narrow are difficult to arrange because if the teacher’s bench and board are on the short side of the room, some pupils may have difficulty in seeing what is going on and may feel remote. On the other hand, if the teacher’s bench is on the long side 6
of the room, the teaching angle can be large, making contact with the whole class difficult. Planning guidelines The following guidelines are applicable to a group of around thirty IGCSE/O Level candidates and may form the basis for evaluating laboratory designs. • • • • • • • • • • A work surface area of at least 0.3 m2 is allowed for each pupil. Each pupil has good access to a full range of services, with a minimum of one gas tap and one socket outlet per two pupils, and one sink per six pupils. Pupils face the teacher and the board whenever possible. Alternatively, pupils should be seated around the teacher. The fume cupboard should be positioned away from the fire exit or main circulation routes for safety reasons, with good access for groups of pupils during demonstrations. Where possible, the teaching wall is placed at 90o to the external wall, to allow good side lighting and to avoid direct glare from the window. An optional computer position is provided close to the teacher to enable supervision, and to maximise the potential of shared pupil/teacher use. By placing the monitor screen at 90o to the external wall, problems of glare will be minimised. Storage of about 5 m3 is provided for local resources and display, and is concentrated above and below the perimeter benching. A separate preparation area is assumed within the overall science accommodation. There is adequate floor space at the perimeter for additional mobile storage units such as a generalpurpose trolley. A clear area is provided to allow pupils to gather for briefing sessions and the safe demonstration of fume cupboard experiments. It is important to consider each pupil’s ability to see and hear the teacher clearly. A clear floor length of around 3 m is allowed within the circulation route for runway experiments.
Services distribution There are three main options for the distribution of services within a laboratory: • • • overhead; underfloor; perimeter.
Within each option there are variations and sometimes two systems may be combined. Overhead In this option, services are distributed from a high level, for example through trunking which is attached to the ceiling or which runs above a false ceiling. Services are then delivered to the benches by means of suitable cables and pipes. Drainage is provided by the usual gravity method. This system has advantages in that benches or islands can be serviced in a flexible manner and this has consequences for the arrangement of furniture. Maintenance is relatively straightforward. However, the connections from the ceiling to the benches may appear untidy and obstruct the line of sight for some pupils. The connections themselves may not be robust. Underfloor In this option, services may either be run in ducts set into the floor with varying degrees of accessibility or they may be located in the ceiling void of the room below. Services reach bench-top level via rigid or flexible connections. The advantages of an underfloor system are that most arrangements of benches can be serviced easily and the pipes and cables are all concealed. On the negative side, care must be taken to ensure that water services and electricity supplies are separated. Also, it may prove difficult to rearrange the furniture in the future if the service outlets are fixed. If this kind of system is used, it is essential that access to the service ducts is as easy as possible. It should not be necessary to dismantle a bench in order to gain access to a duct to add another electrical socket!
Perimeter Perimeter service ducts are usually located at bench level (or just below it) with drainage at a low level. In this system, the service ducts are accessible yet discreet and the laboratory looks tidy. Modifications are reasonably easy to implement, but there are restrictions on the servicing of island workstations, which may require extra spurs. Health, safety and environmental issues It is important that all relevant health and safety procedures are followed. Some references are given in the Useful resources section, but full consideration must also be given to any local regulations. Teachers also need training so that they are aware of the location of main electrical switches, gas and water stopcocks, first aid kits and so forth. Supply staff and teachers providing cover for absent teachers must also be briefed as to the locations of these controls. It is strongly advised that laboratories are not used on a regular basis for lessons taught by those who are not science specialists. The following checklist may be useful when considering health, safety and environmental issues. Ventilation Is adequate ventilation provided with the windows and ducts that are available? Is the extraction system for the fume cupboard adequate, and does it discharge at a legal height? Is there an adequate source of fresh incoming air when the fume cupboard is switched on? Particularly in chemistry laboratories, is there sufficient ventilation to cope with all the pupils doing chemical experiments at the same time? It may be necessary to consult local health and safety advisers for assistance in answering such questions. Lighting This aspect of laboratory design needs careful attention. Is the lighting system flexible enough for the full range of activities that take place in the laboratory? Is extra lighting available at each workstation? Is the lighting system designed to minimise the effects of glare and reflection of boards, screens and benches? Can light levels be reduced to allow optics experiments to be carried out with ease? (One way of achieving the latter is to have one light on a dimmer switch in the middle of the laboratory ceiling, which can provide enough light to allow pupils to read instructions and record readings, with the main lights off and the blinds drawn.) Blinds should be effective to allow reduced light levels. Heating and air conditioning Another important consideration is that of the working temperature in the laboratory. Local regulations may prescribe a certain range of temperatures in the work place. Can the laboratory easily be heated? Are radiators so enclosed that convection is restricted? Is the air-conditioning system adequate to cool down the laboratory if the temperature rises during long experiments involving heating? Electricity Is the system correctly wired and protected? Are all appropriate items earthed properly? Is portable electrical equipment inspected and tested at intervals in line with current best practice and recommendations from the government or local authorities responsible for health and safety issues. Is a residual current device (RCD) used to protect the supply in each laboratory? Is this device easily accessible to the teacher, for example near the main entrance? It may be appropriate to include extra electrical switching. For example, a single switch at the teacher’s desk may control a ring supplying all the low-voltage power supplies to the laboratory, so assisting in the control of experimental work. As with the installation and safe use of fume cupboards, local advice may be sought. Gas Each laboratory should have a manual shut-off valve at the pipe entry to the laboratory. A remote control should be used if this entry position is not easily accessible. Some laboratories have automatic shut-off systems which are activated in the event of a gas leak. Fire Local building and fire regulations must be consulted so that extra exits are provided if necessary. Adequate fire extinguishers of appropriate types and fire blankets should be provided. Fire equipment inspections should be carried out in line with the local authority recommendations. First aid Local regulations for the supply of first aid materials must be adhered to. Recommendations are provided in Appendix A. 8
Service ducts, cables and pipes It is important that all the ducts are easily accessible and well ventilated, especially those carrying gas pipes. All cables and pipes need to be well supported or fixed to the walls: this is especially necessary where the servicing system is flexible. Electrical earthing regulations need to be followed. Flooring Safety is the key consideration when choosing a floor surface. Old wooden floors must be sealed. Vinyl that is resistant to most chemicals and slip resistant is often a good choice. The number of joints in the flooring material should be kept to a minimum. Benching Badly stained benching can make a new laboratory look very unkempt very quickly, so it is worth choosing a material that will not mark easily. Iroko wood, ideally from sustainable sources, is a good option, but it must be sealed and well maintained. Some synthetic materials, such as cast epoxy resin, are also suitable.
The preparation room
The traditional design of science laboratories often included separate preparation rooms for physics, chemistry and biology. Whilst there are merits in this arrangement, it does not always provide for the best use of technician time and resources, or allow for the best use of apparatus. The provision of a central preparation room can provide a better solution in many cases. The preparation room can serve two main purposes: as the main storage area and as a workroom for the technicians. The preparation room may also need to accommodate an autoclave, a distillation unit, a fume cupboard and a secure store for any radioactive materials. Gas cylinders will need to be clamped safely to a wall or bench within the preparation room. A fridge can be useful for the preparation and storage of ice. The preparation room should also be equipped to allow for simple construction work in wood or metal and also for electrical repairs and soldering. Assuming that there is virtually no apparatus storage in the laboratories, a floor area of 0.5 m2 per pupil space can be taken as a guide to the size of preparation room required. The preparation room in a school for 11–14 year olds only will be simpler than the room(s) described in this section. It will probably serve only one or two laboratories, but it may also be used to prepare trolleys of equipment for teaching younger pupils in their normal classrooms. In all the planning of the preparation room, local needs must be taken into consideration. The main storage area The main storage area may be best located into one place, preferably alongside the preparation and cleaning area. Items of equipment used frequently by all pupils (such as tripods, Bunsen burners and goggles) are usually kept in the laboratory. All other equipment is best kept centrally in the main storage area, where it can be checked regularly by a technician. Storage may be in the form of free-standing timber or metal racks providing flexible storage systems, which can be re-arranged to suit the available space. Careful thought needs to be given to a system of storage, so that items can be found easily by new staff. One way is to number each shelf and add this location to the inventory. Small items, such as lenses, can easily go missing. The simplest way to avoid the problem is to construct boxes with exactly 16 slots, one for each of the 16 lenses, so that the teacher can easily check apparatus at the end of the lesson. Technicians need to be warned never to put out incomplete sets of equipment! The same method can be used for the storage of compasses, screwdrivers, protractors, hand lenses and so on. Although time consuming to start with, the effort is worthwhile. The working area This is where glassware is washed and equipment sorted after being returned on trolleys from lessons. In addition, practical experiments are prepared and small items of equipment are repaired in the working area. Bench space needs to be provided to allow for: • • • • washing of glassware and drainage; dispensing of chemicals; repairing apparatus; construction of new apparatus.
The benching must be fully serviced, with sinks, water, gas and electricity, paying due attention to health and safety, and to wiring regulations. The trolley area The easiest way to move apparatus between laboratories is to use trolleys. As a guide, there should be two trolleys for each laboratory: one in use in the laboratory and one in the preparation room for preparation for the next lesson. There must be enough space to park the maximum number of trolleys and to allow circulation alongside. The best location for the parking area is between the main storage area and the working area. Office space Technicians may be required to carry out a number of administrative tasks, such as the updating of the inventory and the handling of apparatus orders. There also needs to be some space for the storage of 10
books, videos and other resources. This means that some shelving, desk space and perhaps a computer need to be provided. The chemical store It is important that all local regulations are strictly adhered to in this critical area of safety. Heads of science need to undertake regular reviews to ensure that, for instance, prohibited substances are not being stored and that excess stocks are not being held. The store should be secure to prevent unauthorised access. It is usual for bulk supplies to be stored away from the laboratory complex in the school grounds, but away from areas frequented by pupils. Then, only smaller quantities need to be kept in the preparation room, accessible to teachers and technicians only. The chemical store must be well ventilated to the outside air, either by natural means or by mechanical extraction; full air conditioning is not necessary. The store requires protection from frost, and the door should open outwards. The floor should be built with a slope to a collection area. The flooring material, for example quarry tiles, should be impervious to chemicals. Shelves are best made of wood in case of leaks and corrosive liquids should be kept on the lowest shelves. Deep shelves can allow materials to become hidden at the back; high shelves (e.g. above shoulder level) should be avoided because there is a safety risk associated with lifting heavy bottles down from them. Corrosive chemicals should be stored at or close to ground level. In the preparation room, it is essential to have a locked cupboard for toxic chemicals and a fireproof cabinet for flammable liquids. The latter should be designed so that no chemicals will leak from the cabinet, even if all the contents are spilt. Fume cupboards Fume cupboards may be either fixed or mobile. The main advantages of a mobile fume cupboard are ease of access and visibility for demonstration purposes, and economy of use because one unit can be shared between a number of laboratories. Mobile fume cupboards may be either ducted or recirculatory in nature. The ducted type must be attached to a fixed extraction system, whereas the recirculatory type (a selfcontained unit) can be used anywhere, which is particularly useful in conversion schemes. Recirculatory fume cupboards contain filters that need to be changed at regular intervals. There may be a legal requirement to test them for saturation. Independent advice may need to be sought regarding this and other maintenance matters. To ensure flexibility, the overall size of a mobile fume cupboard may need to be checked against door opening sizes. There are a number of documents providing information on all types of fume cupboard available. It is important that local regulations regarding the use of fume cupboards be adhered to. Radioactive materials The teaching of most combined science, co-ordinated science and physics courses is enhanced by demonstrations using radioactive sources. As with chemicals, it is essential that all local regulations be complied with: indeed, in some areas it may not be possible to obtain such sources for school work. The sources need to be stored in a locked, labelled cupboard away from any area regularly used by the same people. It is not a good idea, for example, to place this cupboard in the preparation room above the technician’s workbench. Access to the cupboard and its keys should be controlled and a log kept of all movements of the radioactive sources. The sources need careful maintenance and all staff need careful training in their use.
School laboratories School Science Laboratories (1989), by W E Archenhold, C Jenkins, C and C Wood-Robinson, John Murray, UK. Science Accommodation in Secondary Schools (1995) by DfEE, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO), UK. Building for Science: A Laboratory Design Guide (1989) by C Elliott, Association for Science Education (ASE), UK. Safety Topics in Safety (1988) by Association for Science Education, 2nd edition, ASE, UK. Safety Reprints (1996) Association for Science Education, ASE, UK. Safeguards in the School Laboratory (1996) by Association for Science Education, 10th edition, ASE, UK. CLEAPSS Laboratory Handbook (2001) by CLEAPSS School Science Service, CLEAPSS School Science Service*, UK. CLEAPSS Hazcards (2000) by CLEAPSS School Science Service, CLEAPSS School Science Service*, UK. (Update of 1995 edition.) Safety in Science Education (1996) by DfEE, HMSO, UK. Websites Association for Science Education safety resources for purchase: www.ase.org.uk/safety/safety0.html Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services: www.cleapss.org.uk UK Royal Society of Chemistry: www.rsc.org/lap/rsccom/ehsc/ehsc.htm US Council of State Science Supervisors: csss.enc.org/safety Important note The above lists contains resources that comply with European or United States safety legislation. However, they must not be taken to be a replacement for local regulations and recommendations. Where these exist they must be consulted and adhered to.
Note that CLEAPSS publications are only available to members or associates. 12
Appendix A Recommended first aid equipment
First aid boxes and travelling first aid kits should contain a sufficient quantity of suitable first aid materials and nothing else. Contents of the boxes and kits should be replenished as soon as possible after use in order to ensure that there is always an adequate supply of all materials. Items should not be used after the expiry date shown on packets. It is therefore essential that first aid equipment be checked frequently to make sure there are sufficient quantities and all items are usable. The first aid equipment should be kept in a labelled, dustproof, damp-proof container, which is used exclusively and specifically for the purpose of first aid in the workplace. The standard first aid box should contain only the following materials: • • • • • • • Card giving general first aid guidance; Sterile (unmedicated) dressings of various sizes (e.g. six 12 cm x 12 cm, and two 18 cm x 18 cm dressings); Individually wrapped adhesive dressings (minimum of 20); Two sterile eye pads, preferably with attachments; Minimum of four individually wrapped triangular bandages; Six safety pins; One pair of disposable gloves.
The quantities of each type of first aid material will depend upon the workplace/number of students and staff. Important Advice In places where mains water is not readily available for eye irrigation, sterile water or sterile normal saline (0.9%) in sealed, disposable containers should be provided. Each container should contain at least 300 ml and should not be re-used once the seal is broken. At least 900 ml should be available. Sterile first aid dressings should be packaged in such a way as to allow the user to apply the dressing to a wound without touching that part which is to come into direct contact with the wound. That part of the dressing which comes into contact with the wound should be absorbent. There should be a bandage or other fixture attached to the dressings and consequently there is no reason to keep scissors in the first aid box. Dressings, including adhesive ones, should be of a design and type appropriate for their use. Supplementary Equipment Disposable gloves, aprons and suitable protective equipment should be provided near the first aid materials and should be properly stored and checked regularly to ensure that they remain in good condition. Plastic disposable bags for soiled or used first aid dressings should be provided. You should ensure that used dressing etc. are safely disposed of in sealed bags in accordance with any local regulations. Sharps bins are a good way of safely disposing of broken glassware, needles and scalpels and may be a legal requirement in some countries.
Appendix B Apparatus
The particular apparatus found in a science department will be determined by a large number of factors including the number of laboratories, the size of the school, the number and size of teaching sets being taught at the same time, as well as the level of funding. Physics The following lists are not intended to be exhaustive, but do give an indication of the apparatus used in the various Practical Examinations of CIE’s Physics syllabuses. Note: Digital multimeters often provide a cheap and flexible alternative to a range of ammeters and voltmeters. IGCSE/O Level 12 V, 24 W filament bulb ammeter FSD 1 A or 1.5 A beaker 100 cm3, 250 cm3, 1 litre Blu-tack boiling tube, 150 mm x 25 mm card cells, 1.5 V Connecting leads crocodile clips d.c. power supply – variable to 12 V G- clamp half-metre rule lens, converging f = 15 cm low voltage (2.5 V) filament bulbs masses, 50 g, 100 g measuring cylinder, 100 cm3, 250 cm3 metre rule microscope slides mirror, plane, 50 mm x 10 mm nichrome wire, 28 swg (0.38 mm) pendulum bob pin board pivot (to fit a hole in metre rule) plastic or polystyrene cup, 200 cm3 Plasticene protractor resistors, various retort stand, boss and clamp Sellotape spring balance, 0.5 N – 1.0 N springs stopwatch reading to 0.1 s or better switch thermometer, -10 oC to 110 oC at 1 oC thread tracing paper voltmeter FSD 1 V, 5 V wooden board A Level (in addition to the list given for IGCSE/O level) Electrical Ammeter: (digital or analogue) f.s.d. 100 mA and 1 A Lamp and holder: 6 V, 60 mA; 2.5 V, 0.3 A Power supply: variable up to 12 V d.c. (low resistance) Rheostat Voltmeter: (digital or analogue) f.s.d 5 V, 10 V Wire: constantan 26, 28, 30, 32, 36, 38 s.w.g. or metric equivalents 14
Heat Long stem thermometer: -10 °C to 110 °C at 1°C Means to heat water safely to boiling Metal calorimeter Stirrer Mechanics and general items Balance to 0.1 g Bare copper wire: 18, 26 s.w.g. Micrometer screw gauge Rule (1 m, 0.5 m, 300 mm) Scissors Stand, boss and clamp Stopclock or stopwatch (candidates may use their own reading to 0.1 s or better) Stout pin or round nail String/thread/twine Wire cutters Wood or metal jaws In addition Physics departments vary a great deal in the in the apparatus available for teaching. Many of the items listed for the practical examinations can be used, with some imagination, to support the teaching of IGCSE, O Level and A Level Physics and as the basis for IGCSE coursework tasks. Physics equipment is also expensive and this will almost certainly be a factor. The following is offered as outline guidance for the sorts of apparatus that Centres may wish to consider for teaching purposes. Often, the same equipment can be used in a relatively straightforward way at the lower level and then in a more sophisticated way at A Level. Mechanics Air track, gliders, light gates (A Level) Free fall apparatus Runways, trolleys, ticker timers and power supplies Turntable (A Level) Energy Electric motor Energy conversion kit Joulemeter Heat and properties of matter Apparatus for conduction, convection and radiation experiments Apparatus for determination of melting point Apparatus for determination of specific heat capacity and specific latent heat Apparatus for illustrating the gas laws Brownian motion apparatus Apparatus for Young Modulus (A Level) Marbles and a tray or kinetic model apparatus Springs and mass sets Various types of thermometer Electricity Apparatus to illustrate electric field patterns Apparatus to illustrate simple electrostatic phenomena Capacitors and apparatus for determination of capacitance (A Level) Different diameters of wire of different materials (copper, constantan, nichrome, etc.) Set of apparatus for circuit work: cells, voltmeters, ammeters, variable and fixed resistors, lamps, diodes, thermistors, switches, etc. It is important to choose meter ranges that are appropriate for the power supplies and the resistors used. Magnetism Bar and horseshoe magnets Electromagnet Motor kits or apparatus to demonstrate Fleming’s left-hand rule Plotting compasses, iron filings Transformer or apparatus to demonstrate electromagnetic induction 15
Waves Apparatus for Young’s slits and diffraction in light Microphone and cathode-ray oscilloscope Ray boxes, glass blocks (rectangular and semi-circular), pins Ripple tank Rope, ‘Slinky’ spring Signal generator and loudspeaker (Microwave apparatus and a laser are good extras.) Modern Physics Much of the apparatus for this work is expensive and access to some items may be restricted by local regulations. Videos or computer simulations may prove adequate substitutes. Millikan’s apparatus (A Level) Photoelectric cell (A Level) Radioactive sources, detectors and absorbers Teltron tubes, EHT power supply and apparatus for deflection by electric and magnetic fields This list does not include items that may be needed to assist in the teaching of the A Level Physics Options.
Chemistry The following lists do not include items that are commonly regarded as standard equipment (such as burners, tripods, glass tubing) but instead lists the specific equipment required for teaching at a particular level. A complete list of chemicals is not given as this will depend on the experiments taught but a list of the common bench reagents required is given. IGCSE/O Level Beaker, squat form with lip: 250 cm3 Boiling tubes, approximately 150 mm x 25 mm Burette, 50 cm3 Clocks (or wall-clock) to measure to an accuracy of about 1second Conical flasks within the range 150 cm3 to 250 cm3 Filter funnel Measuring cylinder, 50 cm3 or 25 cm3 Pipette, 25 cm3 Pipette filler Polystyrene, or other plastic beaker of approximate capacity 150 cm3 Stirring rod Test tubes (some of which should be Pyrex or hard glass), approximately 125 mm x 16 mm Thermometer, -10 ºC to 110 ºC at 1 ºC Wash bottle A Level (in addition to the list given for IGCSE/O Level) Balance, single pan, direct reading, 0.01g or better Beaker, squat form with lip, 100 cm3, 250 cm3 Dropping pipette Evaporating basin, at least 200 cm3 Measuring cylinders, 25 cm3 and 50 cm3 Pipette, 10 cm3 Porcelain crucible, approximately 15 cm3, with lid Thermometers, -10 °C to 100 °C at 1 °C and, -5 °C to 50 °C at 0.2 °C Volumetric flask Standard bench reagents Aqueous ammonia (approximately 1.0 mol/dm3) Aqueous barium nitrate or aqueous barium chloride (approximately 0.2 mol/dm3) Aqueous lead(II) nitrate (approximately 0.2 mol/dm3) Aqueous potassium dichromate(VI) (approximately 0.1 mol/dm3) Aqueous potassium iodide (approximately 0.1mol/dm3) Aqueous potassium manganate(VII) (approximately 0.02 mol/dm3) Aqueous silver nitrate (approximately 0.05 mol/dm3) Aqueous sodium hydroxide (approximately 1.0 mol/dm3) Hydrochloric acid (approximately 1.0 mol/dm3) Limewater (a saturated solution of calcium hydroxide) Nitric acid (approximately 1.0 mol/dm3) Sulphuric acid (approximately 0.5 mol/dm3) Other material Aluminium foil Red and blue litmus paper or Universal Indicator paper Note For testing carbon dioxide, delivery tubes are not necessary. If these are unavailable, students can either pour the gas carefully into a test tube containing limewater and shake or use a bulb pipette to sample the gas and bubble it through some limewater in a test tube.
Biology IGCSE/O Level A means of heating - bunsen burners or similar A means of measuring small volumes (e.g. syringes of various sizes) A means of writing on glassware (e.g. water resistant markers) Beakers Benedict’s solution Biuret reagent/potassium hydroxide and copper sulphate solution Black paper/aluminium foil Bungs to fit some test tubes/boiling tubes Conical flasks and clamp stands (for specific experiments) Cotton wool Cutting implement, e.g. solid-edged razor blade/knife/scalpel Equipment to make potometer Ethanol (for fats test) Filter funnels and filter paper Forceps Glass slides and coverslips Glucose Hand lenses (not less than x6, preferably x8) Iodine solution Measuring cylinders Methylated spirit (extraction of chlorophyll) Microscope and lamp Mounted needles Paper towelling or tissue Petri dishes (plastic) or similar small containers Potassium hydroxide Safety spectacles Scissors Sodium chloride Solid glass rods Specimen tubes with corks Starch Sucrose Teat pipettes Test tubes and boiling tubes Test tube holders or similar means of holding tubes Test tube racks or similar in which to stand tubes Thermometers Visking tubes White tile or other suitable surface on which to cut Desirable Copper sulphate (crystals) Dilute hydrochloric acid Distilled/deionised water Eosin/red ink Hydrogencarbonate indicator Limewater Litmus paper Methylene blue Mortars and pestles (S) Sodium bicarbonate Universal Indicator paper and chart Vaseline/petroleum jelly (or similar) A Level (in addition to the list given for IGCSE/O level) General Apparatus to measure depth and rate of breathing Balance (to 0.1 g) Bench lamp with flexible arm 18
Capillary tubing Cork borers Eyepiece graticules and stage micrometers Mortars and pestles Microscope and lamp/in-built illumination with high and low power objective lenses (one each or one between two students) Pipe cleaners/other suitable aid to demonstrate mitosis and meiosis Simple respirometer - can be ‘homemade’ Soda glass tubing Stopclock/timer showing seconds Tripod stands and gauze Visking (dialysis) tubing Water baths or equivalent Stocks of Apparatus/chemicals for water culture to show the effect of N.P.K. on growth Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) Benedict’s solution Biuret reagent/potassium hydroxide and copper sulphate solution Copper sulphate (crystals) DCPIP (dichlorophenol - indophenol) Dilute hydrochloric acid Distilled/deionised water Enzymes - catalase, amylase, trypsin Eosin/red ink Ethanol (for fats test) Feulgen stain (Schiff’s reagent) Glucose Hydrogencarbonate indicator Iodine in potassium iodide solution Limewater Litmus paper Methylated spirit (extraction of chlorophyll) Methylene blue Potassium hydroxide Sodium bicarbonate/sodium hydrogencarbonate Sodium chloride Stains for preparing slides to show mitosis - e.g. carmine acetic Starch Sucrose Universal Indicator paper and chart Vaseline/petroleum jelly (or similar) Optional - non-competitive enzyme inhibitor (e.g. copper ions) Apparatus for sampling animals beating tray (‘homemade’) pitfall trap/ jam jar; suitable cover to prevent water entry plankton net and dip net (if aquatic environment being sampled) pooter (‘homemade’) sweeping net (muslin) trays for hand sorting Slides of animal and plant cells anther and ovule arteries/ veins/ capillaries blood smear kidney mitosis and meiosis other plant and animal tissues (e.g. liver, ts leaf) ovary and testis platyhelminth and annelid trachea and lungs 19
Ts stem, ts root and ts leaf of a xerophyte (e.g. Erica or Psamma or local equivalent) Ts spinal cord Additional equipment for A Level Biology Options Option 1 Thoracic and lumbar vertebrae Slides of Eye (including retina) Liver Pancreas Striated muscle Option 2 Appropriate cultures of micro-organisms (e.g. Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis) Appropriate disinfectants Cultures of yoghurt Gram staining solutions (crystal violet and safranin) Haemocytometers Inoculating wires / bioloops Materials for preparing immobilised enzymes (calcium chloride, sodium alginate) Nutrient broth, nutrient agar Petri dishes, culture bottles, autoclave Tape for sealing dishes Option 3 Slides of Anther and ovule Ovary and testis Option 4 No special equipment is needed.
Appendix C Equipment suppliers
Griffin and George (Fisons) Bishop Meadow Road Loughborough Leicestershire LE11 5RG United Kingdom www.griffinandgeorge.co.uk Philip Harris Findel Education Limited Findel House Excelsior Road Ashby Park Ashby de la Zouche Leicestershire LE65 1NG United Kingdom www.phscientific.co.uk VWR International Limited Merck House Poole Dorset BH15 1TD United Kingdom www.vwr.co.uk
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