Experiments with style

Derek Bell

How many times have you wished for new laboratories? Opportunities to improve the science areas in schools are now more common as funding becomes available.

Designing, planning and building or refurbishing laboratories is a complex process. Everyone in the science department - teachers, technicians and teaching assistants - must work together and think about different options.

The flexibility of the layout will determine to a great extent the range of teaching approaches possible. Where the prep room is in relation to the laboratories is critical and, of course, there are health and safety issues to take into account.

You also have to think ahead, as it is unlikely that another major refurbishment will be possible for at least 10 years. Then your ideas have to be communicated to architects, surveyors and builders. Too often, the translation leaves something to be desired.

In a project funded by Planet Science, ASE and its partners are developing some user-friendly software with supporting case studies to make designing, planning and communicating ideas to architects and others easier.

This exciting resource, to be launched at the ASE annual meeting next January, aims to put teaching and learning at the heart of laboratory design.

For more details contact the project officer, Andy Piggott, at ASE

Tel: 01707 283000

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Derek Bell

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