A 1st and 2nd year laboratory in a university is a large teaching space that can accommodate up to 150 students. When you’re dealing with that many students, it is imperative that you consider layout and resources to ensure an efficient and effective teaching environment. In this article, we look at 4 attributes that assist in creating a great 1st and 2nd year teaching laboratory.
Having clear lines of sight above the bench height is a must for a 1st and 2nd year University laboratory. This allows you to manage students at a teacher/student ratio of up to a 1/30. Visibility not only creates accountability but will assist with OHS. Visibility can be achieved by reducing the height of the service spines and shelves or simply eliminating them all together. Storage and service can be put below the benchtop line which, in turn, creates a safer laboratory as opposed to a higher above waist shelf.
IT Teaching Podium
Simplicity and Centralization are great considerations for the ideal IT Teaching Podium. All teachers should be able to learn how to utilize this piece of IT and thus, it should be very simple to activate and function. Make sure you include items such as a document camera with a flexible head that can be used as a demo camera, high-definition recording equipment, touch control management, a quality PC, wearable microphone, great speaker system, and flat screen monitors. Having this centralized in one or two podiums allows the room to be split into groups or run as one from any of the podiums.
Reticulated services allow services to be controlled in networks. It is a great idea to have a water out and water in (drain) turrets as this will assist with the elimination of sinks. Other service to consider are Nitrogen, Natural Gas, Compressed Air, and Argon. Having them arranged in groups and colour coded on the bench will assist with standardization.
Wi-Fi and Data Points
It is a great idea to invest in strong Wi-Fi network across your whole laboratory as more and more equipment is beginning to utilize Wi-Fi in addition to fixed data lines. Invest in a good Wi-Fi system and ensure that you don’t have dead zones in your laboratory. It is a good idea to test the Wi-Fi connection in all areas to pick up any potential dead zones. If you are picking up any dead zones, contact your IT department so they can reconfigure the system to eliminate these zones. While Wi-Fi is important, don’t overlook fixed data lines as there is equipment that will only work via a wired connection. As wireless technology becomes better, the need for fixed connections will begin to decline more and more but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Need to consult with a laboratory layout and design expert? Contact Modulab (a brand of Westlab) at 1 877 822 1455!