How to Design a High School Chemistry Laboratory


School chemistry laboratories play an important part in allowing students to perform scientific experimentation in the same way that professional scientists do. Due to the complex nature of some chemistry experiments, they must be performed in an safe and appropriate environment. When designing a chemistry laboratory, you must provide the proper tools to perform effective experiments and to protect the safety of budding scientists.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 teaching station
  • 5-person laboratory stations with certified work surfaces
  • Bunsen burner hookups
  • Sinks
  • Electrical outlets
  • Storage cabinets
  • Fire blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Eye wash station
  • Emergency shower
  • Place a fully equipped teaching lab station at the front of the room. Situate the station to provide clear sightlines for all students so they can clearly see teaching demonstrations before they conduct experiments themselves.

  • Create student lab stations that can accommodate up to five students within view of the teacher's lab station so that teachers can easily monitor the students' work. By creating spacious work areas, the stations can accommodate activities in which students are working in pairs or in larger groups.

  • Select a laboratory work surface certified by the Scientific Equipment and Furniture Association to ensure that the lab station counter can withstand accidental spills of noxious or abrasive chemicals. Many of these counters are made of an epoxy resin that is specifically designed to be resistant to damage by chemicals or heat. These surfaces range greatly in price and appearance, so explore the options and select one that is economically and aesthetically appropriate for your laboratory design.

  • Equip each station with a certified Bunsen burner hookup, which can be obtained from numerous companies. These setups are specially designed to ensure that gas is only released when necessary and that no spillage occurs to cause a fire hazard.

  • Install a sink at each lab station to allow students to easily access water without moving about the room. Having easy access to water eliminates disruptions of another group's experiment.

  • Install an electrical outlet at each lab station. Although electricity is often not necessary for chemistry experiments, some measurement tools or light sources do require electrical power. Installing outlets when the lab is created is easier than adding them at a later date.

  • Place cabinetry around the perimeter of the room to accommodate the many supplies that are necessary to complete chemistry experiments. Having copious available cabinet space allows chemicals to be stored in a more organized fashion and reduces the risk of accidental chemical mixing.

  • Install safety equipment near the classroom door for easy access in case of emergency. A fire blanket, first aid kit, eye wash station, and emergency shower are all necessary pieces of safety equipment.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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