Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Improving Student Performance Through School Lab Refurbishment

At Tecomak Furniture Solutions, we strongly believe that a school's educational results can be influenced by the quality of the physical environment – and carrying out a school lab refurbishment can contribute to this. Good teaching is obviously vital, but so is having the facilities which allow both teachers and pupils to demonstrate their skills to the full.

Here we will explore the link between a good school science lab design and educational performance.
School Lab Refurbishment – click here to get started.

Setting Expectations
Psychology experiments carried out in educational settings have repeatedly shown that students tend to live up, or down, to the expectations of teachers. Tatty, broken or poorly laid-out school science furniture can send out a message that expectations are low – something that students will pick up on subconsciously.

Poor working conditions may also have an effect on teaching staff, who could feel less than motivated by their environment. There could even be a risk that some might decide to move to another school with better-equipped laboratories. With a shortage of teachers in science subjects, heads will be keen to hang on to key staff, and a school lab refurbishment could help to do this.

Presenting a Cool Image

Many governments have identified the need to switch children on to science at a young age, and experts say that having an image of science as "cool" and exciting is an important factor in achieving this. A school lab is most young people's first direct encounter with science – so it needs to engage and excite in a way which is meaningful to them.

Modern designs, sleek surfaces, injections of colour and innovative workstation design and layout all say "this is a cool place to be", and can help to inspire students with enthusiasm for their work.

Minimising Distractions
Teachers know that half the battle in education is in acquiring and then maintaining student focus on the salient points of a lesson. Any source of distraction undermines this focus and for some students will prevent material being properly taken in.

This could result from apparently trivial matters such as wobbly seating, being jammed too close together with other students or being too hot or too cold. We can discuss with you how to create an educational lab where all these problems are removed and students are able to concentrate on their work.

Maximising Durability
Broken school science lab benches, seating, taps or power sockets give a bad image, but can also create other problems beyond those of appearance. Inadequate equipment will have a damaging impact on the educational experience, with students having to share facilities or even not being able to carry out specific experiments within the curriculum.

Enhancing Visibility

If a student cannot easily see what is being shown or written about a subject, then this limits their ability to engage with the material and understand it. An older school lab in need of refurbishment may have a layout making it hard for pupils at the back to see demos carried out by teaching staff and  technicians. However, a new lab design can include elements such as demo stations or a raised platform making it easier for experiments to be visible to everyone.

A modern school laboratory design will also include provision for visual aids such as slides and overhead projectors, together with the correct lighting to enable material to be seen. The room layout needs to be designed with a specific curriculum in mind. Our teams will discuss this fully with school staff to make sure your laboratory is tailored to your requirements and to the subject  – or subjects – being taught.

Enhancing Interaction
Where students need to work together in groups, it is very helpful if there is a flexible room layout allows them to do this easily, for instance with tables arranged around pods carrying services, which can be moved to face the front as and when required. Tecomak's modular school science furniture can be configured as needed, taking into account different styles of teaching and working.

Supporting IT
Most school subjects of today involve the use of computers or tablets in some form, and science teaching is no exception to this rule. This means an up-to-date educational lab needs not just water and gas taps, but enough electrical sockets to easily accommodate individual computers. Equally vital are data connections to allow group networking and internet access, so that technology can easily be incorporated into science lessons.

Whether you are looking for a general school laboratory refurbishment or a chemistry, physics or biology lab design, Tecomak can deliver and manage the project throughout. We are also able to include specialist items such as laboratory fume cupboards if required.

School Laboratory Refurbishment –  follow the link to find out more.

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